King & Spalding's comprehensive career development resources enable our lawyers to effectively meet client and firm needs and expectations and continually grow their careers. We provide our lawyers with a wide range of formal and on-the-job training at the firm, office, and practice group levels. We also offer individualized coaching and other tailored training as needed by lawyers. King & Spalding’s career development resources enable our lawyers to take an uncompromising approach to quality in everything they do.
King and Spalding also offers CLE programs for clients free of charge on a multitude of substantive legal topics, and these programs can be held at the client’s offices or at King & Spalding’s offices.
- Lawyer Integration Programs - Lateral partners, lateral associates and counsel, and new associates attend formal integration programs to assist them with effectively integrating into the firm. The integration programs help lawyers learn about the firm's culture and history, policies, organization, expectations, and resources.
- Litigation Associate Academy - A 2 day skills-based workshop that offers associates an opportunity to develop their “stand up” litigation skills. This program is typically taught by experienced lawyers from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and firm partners and counsel.
- Junior Associate Academy, Mid-Level Associate Academy and Senior Associate Academy - 2 day intensive programs that help our junior, midlevel and senior lawyers broaden their focus beyond doing the work assigned to them toward interacting with clients, managing others, and developing their leadership and communications skills. Sessions include how to successfully meet client expectations by developing project management, delegation, feedback, matter management, and practice economics skills, including managing budgets. Programs frequently offer associates the opportunity to complete the Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to learn more about their “style” and how it impacts their interactions with others.
- Ethics/Professionalism - Annual programs covering topics such as Current Issues in Ethics and Professionalism, Conflicts of Interest, Negotiation Ethics, and How Technology Affects the Way Lawyers Practice.
- Practice Management - Programs cover topics such as client relationship management and business development.
- e-Learn Programs - Our e-Learn programs are a series of one hour web-based programs presented regularly by King & Spalding lawyers that cover "hot" topics and qualify for CLE credit in many jurisdictions, enabling client lawyers to meet CLE requirements.
Practice Group Programs
- Formal Training. Practice Groups provide courses throughout the year that address the substantive areas of law relevant to the lawyers on the team. These training sessions range from formal programs, which qualify for CLE credit, to informal discussions on new developments in an area of the law. With all of our training, we emphasize the need to be problem-solvers and provide clear and actionable advice.
- Practice Group Support. Each Practice Group supports the individual initiative of its lawyers in various ways, including:
- Work Assignments. Each Practice Group strives to assign its lawyers work in a manner that meets client needs and enables the lawyer to develop expertise. On some Practice Groups, assignments are given informally, and on others they are given based on a formal work assignment system that is coordinated by a lawyer in the Practice Group.
- Competency Skills Checklists and Individual Development Plans. Many Practice Groups have competency skills checklists to help guide their lawyer's career progression. Several Practice Groups are also linking these checklists with work assignments and encouraging associates to prepare Individual Development Plans.
Other Training Opportunities
- CLE Self-Study Courses. The firm maintains a library of recorded CLE courses available on DVD for check-out by lawyers and clients.
- External Courses. King & Spalding lawyers may attend external courses from a variety of providers including ALI-ABA and state and local bars. These programs ensure that our lawyers have opportunities to learn from national and international experts and to network with their colleagues.
- West LegalEdcenter. Lawyers may access numerous online CLE courses and materials under the firm's West LegalEdcenter subscription at no additional charge. The firm also has a limited number of rotating seats we offer to our clients to use as a research tool and to earn CLE credits free of charge. Access to WLEC is provided to clients in the form of a 30 Day Pass.
- Practising Law Institute (PLI). The firm maintains a subscription to PLI so lawyers can attend the vast majority of PLI programs live or online at no additional charge.
King & Spalding believes that in addition to on-the-job and formal training, individualized support is important in the development of all lawyers. Resources include:
- Lateral Partner Transition. King & Spalding provides each lateral partner with a sponsoring partner who works with the Practice Group Leader, Lateral Partner Committee, and firm administration to smooth the transition and accelerate integration.
- The Link Program. King & Spalding's Link Program "links" all new associates and counsel to an associate or counsel "Host" and a "Partner Host." The goal of the Link Program is to provide our new lawyers with readily available resources for answers to everyday questions and help them build relationships within the firm. Our culture is one of genuine respect and we take the time to build and enjoy relationships with each other.
- First Year Interviews. The Professional Development Department meets with lawyers in the first year of practice to "check in" regarding workload, work experiences, training opportunities, and to discuss any questions that may have arisen during the first few months. The goal is to assist new lawyers in making a smooth transition to the firm.
- Career Consulting. The Professional Development Department is available to meet with a lawyer to confidentially discuss questions the lawyer may have about the firm, career development, or career path.
- Practice Area Resources. Lawyers have access to practice specific resources including Practical Law Company, Case Central, Lexis-Nexis, BNA Newsletters and numerous trade journals and periodicals.
- Assistance With Oral Communications. Lawyers may attend a public speaking workshop or receive individual coaching by a public speaking consultant. Areas of focus could include presentation style, accent, and vocal quality.
- Individual Research and Writing Coaching. Lawyers may receive individual coaching by reference librarians or external research and writing consultants.
Pro Bono Opportunities
King & Spalding encourages all of its lawyers to participate in pro bono opportunities. These opportunities not only provide legal services to those in need, but also provide our lawyers training. Through pro bono work, new litigation lawyers can gain valuable courtroom experience, and new transactional lawyers can learn practical drafting and negotiating skills. In both cases, the lawyers work extensively with their clients, assessing and then accomplishing their legal goals.
Feedback and Evaluations
The firm encourages lawyers to provide informal feedback on a day-to-day basis to the lawyers with whom they work. In addition, associates in their first 3 years of practice receive formal evaluations once a year from their Practice Groups, and thereafter receive a formal evaluation once a year from the firm's Associate Evaluation Committee ("AEC"). The goal of each evaluation is to provide the lawyer constructive advice on how to further his or her career development. We encourage our lawyers to actively seek feedback on their assignments and work as a team to produce the best product for our clients. Partners and Counsel are reviewed annually by the Partners' Committee. Equity Partners are reviewed every 2 years by the Compensation Committee.
The firm offers a number of lawyer positions to fit varying client and lawyer needs. There is also a part-time program that enables lawyers in any of these positions to work part-time if the arrangement is beneficial for the clients, individual lawyer, and firm.
Associates who have completed their sixth year will become Senior Associates. This title connotes the associate’s advanced expertise and talent. Lawyers with 7+ years of experience may be considered for promotion to partner or counsel at the Practice Group's recommendation. These recommendations are reviewed each Fall by the Policy Committee and AEC. Partners may be considered for promotion to Equity Partner on the Practice Group's recommendation to the Partners Committee, a process that also occurs in the Fall.
Associates and Counsel Committees
These committees provide a forum for ideas, concerns, and dialogue by associates and counsel on topics that are of interest to them and offer leadership opportunities for associates and counsel. Associates and counsel are also invited to serve on a variety of other firm committees, including the Lawyer Development, Hiring, and Pro Bono Committees.
Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Credit
King & Spalding is an accredited CLE provider in California, Georgia, New York, Rhode Island and Texas and is a CPD provider with the Law Society of London. As an accredited provider, we can grant CLE/CPD credits in those jurisdictions for qualifying King & Spalding University courses. The firm also applies for CLE credit in North Carolina and Virginia, if needed, by individual course application. Uniform Certificates of Attendance will be provided to attendees to seek credit in other jurisdictions.
Lawyer Development Committee and Professional Development Department
King & Spalding's Lawyer Development Committee and Professional Development Department, in collaboration with designated members of practice groups, develop, provide, and oversee all aspects of career development at King & Spalding. The Lawyer Development Committee is made up of King & Spalding lawyers from various Practice Groups, offices, and levels. The Professional Development Department is led by a King & Spalding partner, includes two other licensed lawyers, and the entire department is dedicated full-time to promoting career development at King & Spalding.