Thompson Coe's Associates' School began in 2001 as a way to provide our young attorneys with the knowledge and skills they didn't learn in law school, but that are necessary to succeed. What started as informal lunch meetings with a handful of attorneys has grown into a multi-office, multi-state training course for all of Thompson Coe's new hires and senior associates. It is now an integral part of our attorney development program and a means for Thompson Coe to adhere to its standard of high-quality attorneys and superior work product.
Beginner: 1-4 Year Associate
As a new attorney just out of law school there is much to learn about life in a law firm. In this two-day training session associates learn the ins and outs of successfully navigating their first few years as an attorney. Examples of what is covered include how to bill time effectively, the importance of conflicts checks, meeting client and partner expectations, and where to turn in the event a mistake is made. The program provides instructions and tips on how to fine tune skills relating to associate's everyday practice, and provides valuable face time with senior attorneys and partners who give insight into how to successfully grow in their careers.
"A lot of young attorneys beginning their legal career have the same thought I did when I started with Thompson Coe: What practical training and mentorship will I get that will make me a better lawyer? At Thompson Coe, a big part of the answer to that question is the Associates' School program. Besides offering an opportunity to interface with the managing partners at the firm, Associates' School educates the associates on the availability of firm mentors and provides targets to allow the tracking of associate progression and ability. In addition, young associates receive training on legal skills specific to litigation handled by their practice group, as well as on general case management and client interaction. I found the program to be well organized, fun, and a huge benefit to associates looking to make the most of the mentoring and leadership programs at Thompson Coe." - Andy McCluggage, Houston
“Thompson Coe’s Associates' School offers a helpful roadmap for how young associates should model their practices. The insight from partners on how to navigate the insurance defense landscape was particularly useful.” - Whitney Mack, Austin
Advanced: 5 Year - Senior Attorney
Once an associate has been practicing for at least five years and has enough experience to take on more complex tasks and projects, they attend the Advanced Associates' School. This content-rich program exposes associates to the next level of practice through interactive lectures, open-panel discussions, and question-and-answer forums. At the end of this program associates should not only be armed with invaluable knowledge, but feel confident about Thompson Coe's investment in their development toward partnership.
"Thompson Coe’s Advanced Associates' School provides a primer for the challenging transition from a task-oriented “young associate” to a more senior lawyer on the partnership track. Things like developing and managing client relationships, case management, and locating and selecting the best experts are not skills that necessarily come naturally, but this program gives insight into why they are critical to becoming a complete lawyer. Advanced Associates School is two days of intensive training that has helped me understand the shifting focus and expectations (and how to best meet those expectations) at this critical stage in my career." - Travis Brown, Dallas
"During my fifth year at Thompson Coe, I attended Advanced Associates' School, which focused on handling more complex cases, taking and defending expert depositions, preparing cases for trial, and examining witnesses during trial. As with the first associates' school, I found Advanced Associates' School extremely beneficial and believe it helped my development as a senior associate. I have spoken with my friends at other firms and none have gone through an associate program like the two Thompson Coe has provided. Thompson Coe's Associates' and Advanced Associates' School is yet another way the firm sets itself apart by investing in associates early on and making an effort to provide continuous training throughout their careers." - Jessica Childs, Dallas