Associate Development and Specialization
The firm provides opportunities for specialization in one or several of the firm's many practice areas.
The goal is to assist each associate in discovering and fully developing his or her particular areas of interest and ability. Workloads are monitored and adjusted, when necessary, as a result of information obtained through the firm's process for the evaluation of associates.
Evaluation of Associates
Associates are assigned a partner to serve as their mentor. Associates and partners work together on most assignments, although on many projects the associates assume the majority of responsibility for the file and client contact. All partners recognize their responsibility to provide guidance and evaluation to associates. Associates receive formal evaluations every six months which are administered by the firm's associate liaisons with input from the associate mentors and all partners who work with the associates. Associates are also encouraged to add their input to the evaluation process prior to the formal evaluation meeting. Associates are evaluated on the quality of their work, skill development, productivity and participation in community and bar association activities. Associates are not required to bring new clients to the firm but associates receive additional credit if they participate in building the firm's client base. All partners have an open-door policy and are available to associates to discuss client matters or professional matters at any time.
The firm's compensation package ranks at the top of its market and is augmented by a bonus plan which provides incentives for associates to develop their private practices. The firm provides a starting salary that is competitive with that offered by other major firms in the area, and provides annual salary adjustments. In establishing a particular associate's salary, the firm considers professional experience prior to an associate's hire. The firm's compensation package also includes medical, life and disability insurance, paid vacation, participation in the firm's generous retirement plan and bar association membership.
Each summer the firm hires second and sometimes first year law students. Many of the firm's attorneys came to the firm as part of the summer associate program although participating as a summer clerk is not a prerequisite to later employment as an associate. Summer associates are typically assigned to work for three partners every two weeks which gives them exposure to most, if not all, of the firm's practice areas. Summer associates engage in a fair amount of research and writing but are also encouraged to observe trials, motions, depositions, closings, will executions and client interviews. Most summer associates find that they are able to narrow their legal interests after receiving exposure to the firm's many practice areas.
To inquire about employment with the firm, forward correspondence to:
Michael E. Osburn or Cynthia Ann K. Manchester
Recruiting Partners, Levene Gouldin & Thompson, LLP
450 Plaza Drive
Vestal, NY 13850