Thursday, June 9, 2011

Law firm launches new recruiting program that tests 3L practical skills before hiring

The Nashville based law firm of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis will be implementing a new associate recruitment program this fall called Schola2Juris in which the firm will forgo traditional on campus interviewing in favor of taking 3L's on a six week test drive before making final offers.   The AmLaw Daily explains:

Schola2Juris--an apprenticeship program announced last fall that will see the firm hire only 3Ls based on actual full-time openings--officially launches on July 5. That's when the firm will open the application process for rising 3Ls for up to ten new jobs across the firm's various practice areas. 

As we reported in September after the firm's initial announcement, the shift away from the traditional model is significant. Not only will Waller Lansden focus only on 3Ls, who are closer to completing law school and actually joining the firm, but the six-week apprenticeship program will run in the fall--from the beginning of September into October, while the hires are still in school.

The apprentices will work remotely, for the most part, on laptops and video-conferencing software provided by the firm. And, as previously reported, those hired via the program will receive a $10,000 scholarship.

. . . .

The 3Ls will work remotely, using video-conferencing equipment to sit in on discussions, talk with advisers at the firm, and even participate in a virtual classroom for business classes. "So, they'll meet as a group, all together, and be able to interact that way," Pearson says. "And, then, they'll meet with different people throughout the firm in different group settings."

The virtual nature of the work, says Pearson, allows students across the country to participate. A four-day retreat is scheduled at Waller's Nashville office for late September, so that the apprentices have the opportunity to meet with their advisers face-to-face, shadow associates at the firm, and sit in on client meetings or trials. 

The hires will complete training modules created by each practice group that will offer apprentices a simulated experience meant to reflect the type of work they would perform as full-time associates, Pearson says.

For instance, corporate apprentices will experience the entire lifecycle of a corporate client from the drafting of documents that would be required for a company's formation to issues surrounding dissolution. In between, the apprentices will learn about such matters as shareholder agreements, M&A due diligence, and joint ventures.

Since it's a buyer's market out there, no doubt we'll see other employers trying more innovative ways to recruit new associates that best meet the firm's particular needs. You can read more about the Schola2Juris program by clicking here.

(jbl).

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_skills/2011/06/law-firm-launches-new-recruiting-program-that-tests-3l-practical-skills-before-hiring.html

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