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Stepping It Up: A Guide for Mid-Level Law Firm Associates

Author(s): Jennifer L. Bluestein
Practice Area: Career development and management, Communications (Career development and management), Professional development
Date: Nov 2020 i Other versions can be found in the Related Items tab.
ISBN: 9781402436888
PLI Item #: 302282

This book provides guidance on how mid-level associates in large firms can successfully make the transition from junior associate—by “stepping up” their performance to meet the increasing expectations that partners have of associates with several years of experience. The book focuses on associates in their third to sixth years of practice—the time period in which law firms are most likely to lose the talent in whom they’ve invested so much.

Chapters are written by various legal professionals, including law firm chiefs, in-house counsel and senior associates, who share their experiences and perspectives, along with clear examples, of what is expected of mid-level associates. Most of the chapters focus on discrete areas that can be stumbling blocks for associates after their first few years of practice.

This broad-ranging book addresses skills development, as well as issues related to self-care and career development, including:

  • Communicating confidently
  • Avoiding the pitfalls of email and maximizing its benefits for business communication
  • Standing out as a current and future leader
  • Learning to delegate
  • Positively impacting firm culture and practices regarding diversity and inclusion
  • Translating evaluation and review feedback
  • Timing a lateral move and integrating into a new firm quickly
  • Asking for help
  • Achieving work life balance
  • Marketing and business development
  • Associate well-being
  • Trends in technology, pricing and talent that will shape the future of law practice
  • Law firm economics
  • Deciding whether to go in-house
  • The road to partnership

Jennifer Bluestein is Chief Talent Officer at Perkins Coie LLP, responsible for all human resources functions, including associate, counsel and staff recruitment, development and training, performance management, employee relations, compliance, compensation and benefits. Jennifer, who is based in Perkins Coie’s Chicago office, was previously at Greenberg Traurig for more than 10 years as Director of Professional Development and then Chief Learning & Development Officer. Prior to that, she was Director of Professional Development at Baker & McKenzie for five years. Earlier in her career, Jennifer was an employment and litigation attorney.