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Professional Development Insights

The best way to gain insight into DWT’s professional development programs is to hear from the attorneys who’ve benefited from them.

New associate program
All new associates participate in a comprehensive orientation week as well as an intensive two-day training session. Topics include legal writing, communication skills for new lawyers, and law firm economics. Our associates enjoy the opportunity for relevant training as well as an opportunity to interact with their peers from around the firm.  Here are just a few of the comments from participants in our sessions on legal writing and communication skills:
  • "This was an outstanding presentation. The use of interactive modules and group participation kept it lively and engaging."
  • "[The presenter’s] command of the material was superb. His practical tips and references greatly enhanced my confidence in writing legal prose. He really makes you think critically about your writing but also makes it feel like you can accomplish it."
  • "[The program] forced me to do something that I’m typically not comfortable with— speak in public—and analyze my strengths and weaknesses, which I found really informative and helpful. Having seen myself on video, I feel much more comfortable."

Great coaching experiences
Individualized coaching is available to all partners and associates at DWT and is designed to align with their professional goals. Through coaching, attorneys can identify and focus on their goals, enhance self-awareness, and gain new perspectives. Coaching can also help attorneys identify alternatives and feel empowered to develop their own career development solutions.  Here are just a few comments from DWT attorneys about their coaching experiences:
  • "Professional Development connected me with a nationally known expert and coach, a former health care attorney who now works as a consultant. The consultant helped me focus on a longer-term career development plan and determine important health care associations to integrate myself into. I am grateful for this coaching opportunity and see it as a key role in my professional development moving forward."
  • "The professional development coach helped me transition out of my initial practice group and brainstorm how to handle relationships and make known that I wanted to change practice groups, which is not common for associates."
  • "Professional Development connected me with a writing coach who helped me tighten up my arguments and provide feedback on writing projects for several months."
  • "The professional development coach is a sounding board for things that might be uncomfortable to talk about with partners."

Communication skills training
Communication skills are important for all lawyers and DWT makes a significant investment in communication training for our partners and associates. Our communication skills training is often accompanied by a one-on-one coaching session.  Here are just a few comments from DWT attorneys about the training they received:
  • "The presentation—and particularly the coaching session—were invaluable. I got more out of this in terms of practical skills than any other CLE I can recall in my career. [The presenter was] incredibly insightful and helpful, and I think she'll have an immediate impact on my speaking skills."
  • "Absolutely terrific. In addition to providing some excellent pointers as to how to present to a group, [the presenter’s] comments were equally relevant to one-on-one communication with clients. Not only relevant to more junior lawyers, even those of us who have practiced for many years need to hear this. I also found my coaching session very helpful. I highly recommend [this training] to every lawyer in the firm—regardless of practice area or seniority. I would love to have another coaching session."
  • "Thank you for making this workshop available to us.  Hands down it was the most invaluable program that we have ever had. [The presenter] was direct, non-judgmental, on-point, and extremely helpful. I came away with doable improvements."