We encourage associates to assume significant responsibility for client matters early in their careers. This is consistent with our goal to help lawyers at the firm develop rapidly into flexible, well-rounded professionals. We recognize that successful professional and personal development does not happen without a deeply ingrained institutional commitment to training.
We structure our internal training programs in part to aid associates make the transition from education to practice. Our approach is to integrate the teaching of substantive legal and business concepts with the practical examples of issues that commonly arise in our client engagements. To that end, we provide associates with the opportunity to receive on-the-job training from senior lawyers, as well as to participate in practical and comprehensive formal training programs, both within and outside the firm.
In addition to firm-wide training lunches on various topics, the Brussels office tailors its training programs to its associates and the practice mix in the office. For example, practice groups sponsor a series of seminars and case studies designed for new lawyers. Lawyers in all practice areas at all levels of seniority are encouraged to attend these programs. The firm’s training and professional development efforts for all lawyers also include periodic practice group lunches where presentations are given or discussions held on legal issues relevant to our practice.
There are also annual or bi-annual pan-European practice group meetings, which not only serve an educational purpose, but also allow colleagues from different offices a chance to get to know each other better.
Whenever possible the Brussels office designs its practice groups meetings in such a way that lawyers can obtain credits necessary to comply with the requirement of the given bar whether that be the NY bar, Dutch bar, bar of Wales and England or the Ordre Français.
Technology and Support Services. The firm uses state-of-the-art IT equipment and technical support for our lawyers.
In addition, our lawyers can make use of highly trained and motivated support staff in each of our offices, including a translator, paralegals, librarians and IT-staff.
Work Assignments. We offer an informal and collegial working environment that is accommodating to the individuality of our lawyers. We encourage new lawyers who so wish to pursue their interests in a number of different practice areas in order to gain broad experience as a foundation for the development of sound legal judgment and superior lawyering skills. We believe we can best serve the changing needs of our clients with lawyers of broad-based experience who possess the willingness and ability to be flexible in their practice. In a constantly changing legal environment, it is important for our lawyers to develop the confidence and creativity to practice with ease and effectiveness in a variety of areas. As a lawyer’s experience increases, the lawyer is expected to assume increasing responsibilities in chosen areas of interest.
Lawyers who practice in the same area meet frequently within the framework of the practice groups to participate in training programs and to exchange information about work in process, client development efforts and new legal developments. In keeping with our overall style, these training sessions and practice group meetings are informal and attendance is not restricted to those actively engaged in the practice area.