Chadbourne puts great emphasis on the training necessary to help associates make the transition from the study of law to the practice of law. Our approach includes:
- formal training in departments, tailored to the nature and size of the practice area
- informal on-the-job training in all practice areas
In all practice areas, associates are encouraged to attend (at the Firm’s expense) workshops on professional skills and programs on legal developments conducted by outside groups such as the Practicing Law Institute. Chadbourne also conducts Firm-wide training on general subjects such as business development and approaches to negotiation. The Firm also offers workshops taught by outside consultants on written and oral communication and presentation skills for lawyers.
Chadbourne has been certified by the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board as an accredited provider of continuing legal education.
Please also see the links below for more information about training:
Corporate and Project Finance
Associates in the corporate department generally have the opportunity (and are in fact encouraged) to work on assignments from each of three basic practice areas, assigned by department coordinators:
- securities, financing, mergers, acquisitions and general corporate work for our large public clients
- matters involving U.S. and non-U.S. private fund clients, including fund formation and transactional work such as mergers, acquisitions and financing
- traditional and structured financing transactions representing lending institutions and borrowers
Project finance associates focus on the Firm’s renowned energy and infrastructure practice, developing their knowledge of traditional and renewable energy sectors and infrastructure development and finance, domestically and internationally. The wide ranging nature of the project finance practice exposes associates to all facets of a transactional based practice, including project development, financing, mergers, acquisitions and private equity transactions.
Partners and senior associates in both the corporate and project finance groups work closely with new lawyers on these assignments. Junior associates benefit from careful examination of work product and frequent team discussions of complex issues or difficult negotiations. This interaction helps associates develop the skills to handle transactions, eventually, on their own.
In addition to the “hands-on” experience, the corporate department also provides in-house training specifically for first-year associates. The department's fall and winter corporate training programs cover the practical “nuts and bolts” of corporate matters, along with training sessions on securities law issues and understanding and drafting transactional documents. The first-year training programs focus on developing an introductory framework for understanding transactional matters, and include an overview of the terminology relevant to the various types of transactions with which the Firm is involved. New associates with an interest in project finance participate in these first-year training sessions for corporate associates, as well as in training sessions with the entire project finance group that address issues specific to that practice area.
Beyond the training focused on first-year associates, the corporate department offers regular in-house training seminars for all attorneys in the department. These cover new developments and other topics of interest to the corporate department and include classes on accounting, loan agreements, negotiating strategies, opinion letters, securities law issues, corporate tax and other topics.
Several levels of training are available for associates in the litigation department to assist them in developing the skills that successful litigators need to master. These skills are valuable whether they represent clients in commercial, securities, products liability, employment, or any other of our litigation practice areas.
In their first year, associates attend a nine-session training course, taught by our own partners. The course focuses on the refinement of practical "real-world" litigation skills. Topics include drafting of pleadings and motions, written discovery, depositions, and ultimately, preparation for trial.
Thereafter, associates attend training programs on more advanced subjects. Monthly departmental meetings educate associates about significant developments in subject areas frequently encountered by our litigators. The department also offers a deposition skills training program taught by outside legal educators. In addition, associates may be selected to attend an intensive off-site multi-day trial skills training program, sponsored by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.
Ultimately, the best way for an associate to develop his or her skills is by working on actual cases, and associates in our litigation department work on all aspects of litigation proceedings. Typical assignments include developing the legal and factual issues that will shape a litigation matter, and drafting of the pleadings and motions that are critical to any case. As they progress, associates are given greater responsibilities, including arguing motions, conducting and defending depositions, participating in trials, and working with partners and clients to develop overall litigation strategy. Our litigation associates work closely with partners and more senior attorneys, and receive considerable on-the-job training and professional development from this interaction.
The employment, environmental, insurance and reinsurance, real estate, tax, and trusts and estates departments also provide targeted training. In addition to group seminars, significant training is conducted one-on-one while working on client matters. In addition, all of our departments hold regular meetings to discuss emerging legal issues.
The tax and trusts and estates departments supplement on-the-job training with advanced academic coursework. Associates in these departments are strongly encouraged to enroll, at the Firm’s expense, in the LL.M. tax program at New York University School of Law.