The recent change in one magic circle’s employer value proposition led the firm to reframe the way it supports its senior talent. The moral contract between firms and lawyers used to be that only the best talent would be supported to become partner, but that now everyone will be supported to become the professional that they are capable of becoming in a personal way.
That firm’s concern was to be able to better support senior talent and provide them with new outstanding developmental opportunities.
The framework that we designed collaboratively with the firm included the following elements:
the opportunity for each senior associate to make an individual assessment of their competencies, motivations and potential;
individual sessions on how they measure up in relation to the competencies established by the firm for their level of seniority, as well as how these fit with their broader developmental aspirations and objectives;
matching them with a mentor outside of their practice area in a light but structured mentoring framework;
tools and sessions to equip mentors with high level mentoring abilities; and
individual support on request throughout the programme.
The initiative fundamentally shifted the responsibility and ownership of talent development and required many partners in the firm to become skilled, competent and committed to develop talent, support transitions, deal with challenges and encourage individual progression in remarkable new ways.