Once a new associate begins work at our firm, he or she is assigned to a particular practice area. We regularly make assignments to practice areas in accordance with the new associate’s expressed interests, with the understanding that the needs of our firm and the nature of our practice create flexibility within this initial assignment. Movement of attorneys from one practice to another in response to individual wishes and developing firm needs is not unusual.
Although assigned to a specific practice area, the associate will be 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.
Because of the responsibilities new associates receive early on, our firm is dedicated to the necessary training to assist them in their practice. Our firm has technology resources and a full-service library as well as access to and ongoing training for the resources available through Lexis-Nexis, Westlaw, the Internet and other sources widely used within the legal practice. We consider our legal assistant and paralegal staff to be the best in the area.
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, by overseeing his or her workload, progress as an attorney, and general well-being and satisfaction with our firm.
Bass, Berry & Sims has a Professional Development Committee designed to provide a periodic evaluation process. An associate should also expect more frequent meetings with his or her supervising attorney to review ongoing progress.
We invite attorneys to become members of our firm based on merit and perceived readiness. We do not adhere to a strict longevity standard for consideration for membership, but expect most people to be considered at the conclusion of their seventh, eighth, or ninth year following their first admission to the bar, with the current norm for someone at that level being eight years. Even though we do not adhere to a strict timeline, we do assign attorneys to associate classes for compensation and other purposes.
Continuing Legal Education
The Tennessee Bar requires each attorney to complete 12 hours of continuing legal education and an additional three hours of ethics training annually. Our firm will pay for the cost of this continuing legal education, plus 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.