CHICAGO (January 13, 2010) - McDermott Will & Emery LLP announced the launch of its new Career Progression and Professional Development System for associates, which will begin to take effect in the United States this year. The system is designed to align individual career and professional development goals with the strategic objectives of the Firm by instituting performance-based assessments relating to specific criteria.
The goals of the new program are threefold: to build the professional competencies and skills of the Firm’s attorneys; to define the Firm’s standard of excellence; and to help associates advance their careers. To evaluate the achievements of associates at each level, the Firm has developed core competencies applicable to all associates and substantive competencies relevant to each Practice Group and/or Business Unit. The Firm-wide competencies include fundamental legal competencies, client service, business management and leadership. Salaries, bonuses and billing rates will be based upon the level of competency that each associate has achieved.
“In response to the current economic environment, and as a result of client feedback, we are implementing a new performance-based professional development model, which we believe will ultimately deliver more cost-effective and valuable services to our clients while setting clear standards for the development of our associates,” said John Hendrickson, head of Compensation Committee and employees benefits partner.
The program is rolling out immediately, and the first competency-based advancements will be made effective on January 1, 2011 based on the 2010 assessments. The system is intended to promote universal skill sets for all associates and reward superior talent and development with accelerated career advancement. Moreover, the new framework will provide for increases in associates’ billing rates only when they are supported by corresponding increases in competency and value to clients.