Perhaps one of the strongest assets of Willcox Savage is its collegial atmosphere. The firm offers the opportunity to know and become friendly with our colleagues. The social events and firm culture reflect the fact that our attorneys enjoy each other's company both at work and outside the office. The firm does not emphasize the distinction between partners and associates — partners and associates enjoy friendship as well as a “mentor-mentee” relationship.
Associates at Willcox Savage benefit from day-to-day communication and training with partners and senior associates. The firm's partners are willing to give their time to work closely with associates to ensure that associates are progressing with their particular projects and with their careers. Each associate is assigned a partner adviser who meets with the associate periodically to assist with assimilation into the firm, to facilitate communication and to provide general advice about the firm.
Associates have many opportunities to enhance their training through general legal education programs, as well as through seminars specific to their practice. The firm provides for attendance at seminars and continuing legal education programs, and also sponsors a number of in-house CLE programs.
Willcox Savage offers many advantages for an attorney looking to develop a sophisticated, challenging and rewarding practice. The firm's experienced attorneys provide direction and guidance to those just beginning to practice law, while still permitting immediate responsibility. By the end of the first year, new associates typically have established substantial client contact, and the litigators have appeared in court arguing motions and trying cases.
Our firm distinguishes itself among other firms of similar size and sophistication by affording new associates a great deal of responsibility early in their careers. Litigation associates not only have the opportunity to work on their own cases and to appear in court almost immediately, but many of our litigators try jury cases very early in their careers. Also, litigation associates have the opportunity to work with partners on larger, more complex cases. Our business associates quickly earn first-chair responsibility in transactions. Direct client contact is encouraged and promoted, and our partners work with our associates to develop a specialty and career path. Because of the scope of their responsibility and the breadth of their training, our business associates often find themselves negotiating deals directly with partners at other firms.
For administrative purposes, the firm assigns new associates to a particular practice section, but permits the associate to work outside his or her assigned section, or to move to accommodate evolving interests. Associates are assigned to a particular section based on their interests and the needs of the firm.
Associates participate in a formal and extensive review process on an annual basis. Each associate prepares a self-evaluation, and every partner for whom the associate has performed a significant amount of work (usually three to five partners) likewise prepares a written evaluation. The associate then meets with the appropriate Section Leader, Practice Group Leader (i.e., business or litigation) and usually one other partner for the actual evaluation. This process includes identifying the associate's strengths and weaknesses and developing a plan of action for the coming year with the input of the associate. For senior associates, progress toward partnership is addressed.
Each associate's work is assigned and monitored by the associate's section leader, who is a partner. Although an associate may work on a number of projects from various partners within different practice sections, the section leader maintains control over the associate's general workload.