“Let’s face it, most firms I know and deal with hide their associates behind a big wall of partners. It’s like they think we don’t know they’re there and do the work,” said an EVP and General Counsel at a Large Financial Institution BTI spoke with during our annual survey. “I often suggest my law firms bring associates to meetings so they can see what client interaction is really like. And, I make a point to talk to them after the meeting.”
Clients make a mental note of the firms who will put their associates on the front lines and make them visible. They believe client-facing experiences, however limited, are good for these young attorneys and will help their careers.
We asked more than 300 corporate counsel which law firms had the best associates. The vast majority indicated they didn’t know—all of their firms had really good associates. But, clients say 46 firms have the best associates. These 46 firms stand out because clients have seen and met the associates.
Clients like to talk to associates and offer bits of advice on being an attorney, improving their work, and to share insight on what it’s like to be a client or about the nature of meetings. They like to mentor and help. And, associates love the exposure and advice.
Knowing clients like to work with associates would compel partners to find low-risk opportunities to include your associates when possible and appropriate. You can ask clients if they think bringing associates to a meeting would be helpful in any way.
But, we recommend training any and all associates in the basics of client service and client-facing behavior first. Clients want to teach and mentor—but they expect associates to know the basics of how to act in front of a client.
Please join us in congratulating the following firms for gaining the respect and recognition of clients for having the Best Associates and Standout Associates:
Law Firms with the Best Associates:
ARNOLD & PORTER KAYE SCHOLER
HOLLAND & KNIGHT
ROPES & GRAY
Law Firms with Standout Associates:
ALLEN & OVERY
BARTLIT BECK HERMAN PALENCHAR & SCOTT
BERESKIN & PARR
DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON
HOLLAND & HART
JENNER & BLOCK
KELLOGG, HANSEN, TODD, FIGEL & FREDERICK
KING & SPALDING
KIRKLAND & ELLIS
NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT
OSLER, HOSKIN & HARCOURT
SQUIRE PATTON BOGGS
STINSON LEONARD STREET
WIGGIN AND DANA
WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI
You can download a complimentary copy of the full report here: BTI's Law Firms with the Best Associates 2017.