At Cassiday Schade, We Want to Create a Good Lawyer
Our firm’s culture creates an open environment where associates are allowed freedom, but expected to perform and meet expectations. Successful associates are able to handle that freedom and thrive as a legal professional.
“When I started at Cassiday Schade as an associate, I quickly gained significant experience in litigation. I was involved in my cases at all levels, from the initial pleadings and discovery, up through expert and trial work. Associates at our firm work closely with the partners. The environment is one that encourages associates to take a pro-active role in the management of their cases while learning and expanding their litigation experience with direct mentoring by the partners.” -Stacey A. Cischke, Partner
The firm also has an Ombudsman Program as a resource for associates. Two partners serve as ombudsmen and are available to associates as a source of confidential professional development and conflict resolution.
Associate Liaison Committee
The Associate Liaison Committee (ALC) is a committee organized by and for associates. The goal of the committee is to create a collegial and positive environment in which associates are encouraged to learn legal and business development skills. The ALC consists of associates selected by their peers to work as a team to participate in on-going dialogue between firm associates and partners, organize social events for associates and coordinate associate initiated community service projects. ALC members are active leaders in the firm and are available to all associates as an additional resource to help them deal with any issues relating to their work environment.
What does the attorney training/mentoring program consist of?
Associates are welcomed into the firm as professionals and are afforded the appropriate amount of autonomy to do their jobs while still being encouraged to collaborate and work as a part of the firm’s larger team dynamic. We make every effort to equip all of our attorneys with the resources they need to be effective in their position. Since an associate may come to us as a new lawyer or with work experience from another firm, we do our best to provide on-going, on the job training through a variety of people and assignments. Associates will be assigned with mentor partners but are also encouraged to build relationships with all attorneys at the firm.
Additionally, billing mentors are assigned to new associates in order to facilitate their development and help the firm in its mission to remain accountable to its clients, particularly those with litigation management guidelines. Billing mentors assist less experienced associates with the basics of learning legal billing (proper and accurate recording of time) and opens up the lines of communication with partners the associate may not already have an assigned reporting relationship. Attorneys are trained to write complete and comprehensive task descriptions so that our clients can easily see how the case is developing.
New associate additions to the firm handle motion call on a rotating basis. Our associates find this to be a great asset to their learning and development as a trial attorney. This work helps new attorneys become familiar with procedure and facilitates relationship building with courtroom personnel. As part of motion call there are opportunities to shadow depositions, substantive motions and trials.
How are associates assigned work?
New associates are typically assigned to work with three experienced partners. The firm works, whenever possible, to accommodate and take into consideration the type of practice area the associate is most interested in pursuing in the long term.
New graduates will be required to complete Phase I assignments (introductory assignments in preparation to become active litigators: summaries, research, review of discovery, and observation of depositions and mediations) until after they have been sworn in. Following their admission, they will be assigned increasing responsibility.
How much work do associates have on a file?
Unlike other firms where associates may not touch a file for months, even years, the amount of involvement and responsibility from the start is significant. Associates who demonstrate ability are quickly given increasing responsibility and more challenging assignments.
What kind of trial experience can I expect to gain?
Associates are eager to get trial experience and at our firm they are exposed to trial work faster and with more frequency than has been reported at other firms. If your goal is to actively litigate, Cassiday Schade is the firm for you. Although client guidelines may dictate the amount of associate involvement on a matter or trial, many associates get significant trial experience during their time at Cassiday Schade LLP. Additionally, there is valuable and rewarding experience to be gained from the trial preparation process.
Do associates have client contact?
Associates are typically afforded opportunities to interact with clients either through firm sponsored events or in more intimate settings with the partners to whom they are assigned. Interaction with clients is encouraged at all levels.
How are associates provided with feedback?
Associates are provided with regular feedback through their partner assignments. More formally, associates can expect to be reviewed on an annual basis.