Once a new associate begins work at our firm, he or she is assigned to a particular practice area. This assignment is based on both the expressed interest of the associate and the needs of our firm’s practice. Movement of attorneys from one practice to another in response to individual wishes and developing firm needs is not unusual.
While associates are assigned to a specific practice area, they are still given the opportunity to work with a variety of attorneys throughout our firm. Responsibility is given to new associates as rapidly as possible commensurate with his or her training and experience, including client contact, from the start. There are also training sessions offered within most of our practice areas, along with firmwide seminars and sessions in conjunction with our formal Professional Development program.
Due to the responsibilities the new associates receive early on, our firm is dedicated to the necessary training to assist them in their practice. Our firm has resources and technology and a full-service library as well as access to and ongoing training for the resources available through Lexis-Nexis, Westlaw, the Internet, etc. We also consider our secretarial and paralegal staff as invaluable resources of firm and legal knowledge.
Each associate is assigned a supervising attorney when he or she joins our firm. The role of the supervising attorney is to lend guidance throughout the years as the associate develops. This includes overseeing his or her workload and progress as an attorney as well as monitoring the associate’s general well-being and satisfaction with our firm.
Each associate that joins the firm with four years of experience or less is assigned a mentor. This attorney is an associate within the new arrival’s practice area and is charged with the task of assisting the new associate with acclimating within the practice area and the firm as a whole. The mentor also helps to guide the new associate to proper channels should any issues arise.
Bass, Berry & Sims has an Associate Development Committee designed to provide a periodic evaluation process. The associates should also expect more frequent meetings with their supervising attorneys to review ongoing progress.
Continuing Legal Education
The Tennessee Bar Association requires each attorney to complete 12 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) and an additional three hours of ethics training annually. Our firm pays for course registration as well as the cost of travel, lodging and food for out-of-town seminars. In addition, we host several CLE seminars throughout the year, and firm attorneys are welcome to attend any or all of these events.