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How Are Associates Evaluated?

What could be more important than providing associates with thorough and timely feedback regarding performance? Here's how it works: the firm will conduct two reviews of associates each year—a mid-year review and a year-end review.

Reviews focus on performance in the following categories: 

  • Substantive legal knowledge

  • Analytical skills

  • Written and oral communication skills

  • Responsibility

  • Professionalism

  • Leadership

In addition to these semi-annual reviews, as a sixth year associate you will receive a comprehensive career assessment and review at the end of your sixth year. The precise timing may vary.

Do Associates Get Formal Guidance as Their Career Progresses?

The firm has developed an extensive program to support and guide all our lawyers as they develop throughout their careers here, not only through our formal programs, but also through our personal commitment to one another. Our goal is to make Weil the place to stay by ensuring that we guide, coach and work in supportive teams.

On a formal level, our programs are geared to support associates with the following colleagues:

  • New Associate Partner Advisor
  • First-Year Associate Mentor

  • Partner Mentor

  • Career Development Partner

Whether it is advice about working relationships, insight into the firm culture and how it all works, constructive feedback on assignments, or developing contacts both inside and outside the firm—we are here for you.

How Do Associates Keep Learning?

The firm places a high priority on professional training, both formalized and on-the-job, for our lawyers. Throughout the year, we offer a broad array of in-house programs. We also encourage associates to attend programs and seminars at bar associations and outside legal education providers to supplement what we do here at the firm. Most importantly, associates work day-to-day with some of the finest lawyers in the world, who share their knowledge and experiences through ongoing instruction, guidance and insight. 

Whether you want to brush up on old skills or learn something new, we'll help you do it.

How Do Associates Give Feedback About Their Experiences?

We recognize that it's not enough for us to tell associates how they are doing. The firm gives attorneys an opportunity to provide feedback on their experiences with partners and senior associates with whom you work in the form of an Upward Feedback Survey. You have the chance to comment on case and transaction management, assignments, building professional relationships, your professional development, and issues of respect and collegiality. It is important to note that this Survey is completely anonymous and confidential.

We also have a terrific staff of professionals who focus on Attorney Programs and can be contacted with any questions or concerns. Be assured, we want to hear from you.

Christian Gillis
Director, Legal Personnel & Legal Compliance
Tel: +1 212 310 6790
Fax: +1 212 310 8007

Martha Baker
Director, Professional Development
Tel: +1 212 310 6731
Fax: +1 212 310 8007

Meredith Moore
Director, Global Diversity & Social Responsibility
Tel: +1 212 310 6769
Fax: +1 212 310 8007

Do Associates Ever Meet As a Group?

The firm offers many opportunities for associates to come together as a group. Examples include Practice Group, Department, or Affinity Group Retreats, training programs, networking and social gatherings, such as T.G.I.T mixers. Another example is Town Hall meetings. Town Hall meetings are one of the many forums that the firm sponsors to encourage and support open communication among our attorneys. The meetings are held occasionally during the year, and issues, and questions raised by the associates are addressed.  The meetings also are used to make announcements concerning Firm governance, news about the Firm and compensation.  Questions from associates are solicited in advanced, as well as taken from the floor.

Does Diversity Matter?

Inclusion is in our DNA. One of the hallmarks of Weil’s culture is our longstanding commitment to diversity since Frank Weil, Sylvan Gotshal, and Horace Manges found many doors closed to them because of their religious beliefs. They founded Weil, Gotshal & Manges to open those doors.

To compete effectively in the global marketplace, we need the best minds around the table. And, we know that the best minds are diverse. Diverse perspectives and ideas result in better results for our clients. Diverse people and backgrounds also simply create a more interesting and dynamic place to work. One of our key goals at the firm is to create and maintain a climate of inclusion. And what does that mean?

  • 16 Firm leaders are LGBT, people of color, or women. 4 Management Committee members are women; 2 are attorneys of color; and 1 is LGBT.
  • 89% of the most recent US new partner class are women or people of color. Since 2007, 41% of new partner promotions have been women.
  • Cultural diversity is our strength. In our U.S. offices alone, our lawyers and staff hail from 40 countries around the globe. Firmwide, our employees speak 49 languages.  Our offices span three continents and nine countries.

How Does Weil Promote Diversity?

The Firm has consistently been a pioneer with respect to formal diversity efforts for 30 years. Our innovative annual diversity initiative is designed to create an environment of inclusion in which we value individual and group differences, respect the perspectives of others and communicate openly. We employ focused diversity recruiting strategies because our goal is to seek out, hire and retain the best and brightest candidates in the world. We were among the first law firms to develop affinity groups to provide a forum for women, racial/ethnic minorities, and LGBT attorneys to network and grow. Not content to rest on our laurels, we continue to innovate with a series of new programs to take our diversity efforts to the next level, such as:

  • Upstanders@Weil is a unique ally initiative engaging all of Weil’s people around the world to move from a well-meaning bystander to a well-doing Upstander of inclusion efforts.  The effort was launched during our global Diversity Month in 2015 with an action guide of Upstander behaviors, an interactive theater training program, and a film highlighting diversity champions across the Firm. Over 70 partners, associates and staff to date have been named Upstanders@Weil award winners.
  • Annual Diversity Education demonstrates the strength of our commitment to creating an inclusive culture. Each year US attorneys and staff are required to participate in a 2 hour workshop modeled on the ethics CLE requirement. In 2016, the program utilized professional actors in interactive theater bringing diversity scenarios to light. The 2017 program, Talking Boldly About Race, provides guidance on how to address racial/ethnic diversity in the workplace.
  • Affinity Group Conferences: No other law firm holds individual firmwide conferences for their Asian, Black, Latino, and LGBT affinity groups. Our conferences bring together members from across the Firm’s offices for professional development, internal networking, and client development. The Firm held Asian Attorneys@Weil and Latinos@Weil conferences in 2014, a global Black Attorney conference in 2015 and a global conference for the WEGALA (LGBT) affinity group in 2016.  In 2017, the Firm held a Multicultural Attorney Conference (Asian, Black, and Latino attorneys from the Firm’s US and London offices).  Our Women@Weil New York affinity group holds biennial offsites.

Sound serious? It is, and we are. Check in with Meredith Moore to learn more.

How Do Associates Get Pro Bono Experience?

Devoting significant time to rendering pro bono legal services is an important part of a lawyer's professional responsibility, and the firm believes that pro bono work can be an enriching personal and professional experience. We handle pro bono matters with the same level of professional responsibility and resources that we give to other clients, and credit such work in our evaluation processes. In addition, the firm's Pro Bono Externship Program was established in 1999, and has successfully placed junior associates from various areas of practice at leading pro bono legal service organizations to work full time for a period of several months. Our commitment to pro bono is respected in both the legal and business communities, and its continued success depends on the full participation of attorneys throughout the firm at all levels of seniority. 

For more information please contact Miriam Buhl, Pro Bono Counsel.

What If An Associate Wants a Reduced Work Schedule?

There are many reasons for needing some flexibility in your time commitment to your career. We understand, and we have developed a flex-time work program which can present you with options that work for you, for the firm, and for our clients. You should know that participation in the flex-time work program will not preclude you from partnership consideration. 

How Do Associate Programs Get Developed?

We have a terrific and dedicated set of committees and professionals who ensure that associate-related programs come to life and meet the vision of the firm's leadership. We encourage you to learn about these committees, get to know how they serve associates, and meet the partners, associates and staff who work hard to build a supportive and positive work environment.

The committees are:

  • Diversity Committee
  • Pan Affinity Group Council
  • Professional Development Committee
  • Professional Evaluation & Compensation Committee
  • Professional Hiring and Steering Committee
  • Summer Program Committee
  • Associates Committee