Thursday, January 20, 2011

Some law firms evaluate associate writing in "excruciating detail"

From the Careerist Column at, (the author is a former partner at Winston & Strawn):

I recently attended the annual 2010 Professional Development Institute in D.C. where major law firms and law schools shared information about professional development initiatives. As I was sitting through a slide show illustrating one firm’s competency model--consisting of an excruciatingly detailed list of microtasks and performance-
bits--my enthusiasm turned into incredulity. 

Does a partner evaluating a junior associate’s basic writing skills need to be told that the skills set includes “correct grammar, syntax, and punctuation?” A more advanced-level writing skills checklist includes, “providing polished early outlines and first drafts to senior attorneys to gain valuable feedback for final work.”

The author obviously doesn't favor such micro-scrutiny of associate work and instead recommends ways she thinks lead to more productive associate development.  But it's an interesting insight into what some employers expect from their associates when it comes to writing skills.

You can read more here.


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