McKenna's Roadmap to Partnership and Rainmaking
A midsize Atlanta law firm has created a new professional development structure that not only serves as a roadmap to partnership for associates but may help McKenna Long & Aldridge retain rainmakers.
At the helm of the 456-lawyer firm’s expanded professional development program is Avital “Avi” Stadler, a securities litigator who gave up a Sutherland Asbill & Brennan partnership to take this leadership role at McKenna, writes the Daily Report, in an article reprinted by New York Lawyer (reg. req.).
The goals of the venture aren’t startling—helping each firm attorney develop in five core competency areas, for instance—but McKenna has structured its professional development program toward keeping these goals in the forefront of each lawyer’s mind and providing a specific plan for meeting them. Each associate, for instance, works with a designated partner to plot an annually revised career path that is based on progressing in these five areas. This structure is intended to encourage both the associate and the partner to focus their efforts in an organized way on the highest-priority career concerns.
“As we become smarter, or more educated, we see that professional development is key to our client service and retention strategies,” says Jeffrey Haidet, the firm’s chairman. “It doesn’t stop when you become a partner. Part of what Avi is developing, rather than general ‘one size fits all’ training, is experience development for all levels.”