Laterals & Experienced Attorneys

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Lateral Integration

Unique to SmithAmundsen is the business development support given to our experienced attorneys as they enter the firm. Lateral partners participate in an intensive year-long integration process including regular sessions with the firm’s business development leadership to establish goals and participate in business growth planning and check-ins with the firm’s executive committee and managing partner. 

Business Growth Support

We get our drive from a shared sense of entrepreneurship. The firm was established, and still operates, on the idea that the potential for career growth should be endless and that the success of our individual attorneys should be based on their efforts and not be hindered by other factors. To that end, the firm provides extensive business development resources to individuals at all levels who demonstrate a need and desire for support. Our professional staff includes a highly trained team of business development and marketing professionals who provide personal coaching and regular group training on business development topics. A business development budget is available to attorneys to provide them with the best advantage to growing their practice.

Professional Development

SmithAmundsen’s professional development team goes above and beyond to ensure that our attorneys’ continuing legal education requirements are met and that they have the opportunity to learn and grow outside of these basic requirements. Our continuing legal education program includes:

Skills Development Group

Ongoing skills training is essential to the continued growth of our attorneys. Providing this support at a firm level provides a number of benefits for the attorney, including the opportunity to learn from perspectives outside their immediate service group, the ability to network with lawyers in other SmithAmundsen offices and exposure to a  subject or technique outside their everyday practice. Clients benefit from this training as it allows all of our lawyers to think about legal issues with a deeper perspective than their niche practice. The Skills Development Group holds monthly engaging educational opportunities, mandatory for associates in their first two years of practice, but open to all firm attorneys,  on subjects ranging from written discovery to ethical practices.

Mentorship

SmithAmundsen’s cultural commitment to the personal and professional growth of our attorneys is evident best in the firm’s mentorship program. A mentor is defined as an experienced and trusted adviser and that is exactly what the program aims to achieve as a connection between our mentors and mentees. Our mentors provide guidance and encouragement, an ear to listen, a brain to pick and a push in the right direction when needed.

The mentorship program happens in three phases to account for where each of our firm members is on their personal journey.

Phase I brings together our associates with less than three years’ experience at a law firm with an experienced attorneys from outside the attorney’s immediate service group. The goal of Phase I is to acclimate attorneys to firm life, provide them with an outlet outside of their immediate supervisor for feedback, and offer them a connection to the broader firm.

Phase II brings together experienced attorneys who have made a lateral move to SmithAmundsen with attorney peers to provide mentorship on integration into the firm, its culture and values. This relationship is meant to help answer questions from “how do I get involved in firm leadership” to “where do I find the pens”?

Phase III brings a particular focus to career advancement bringing together experienced attorneys with senior attorneys who act as coaches and advocates as the mentee’s professional life begins to include more nonbillable work. Mentors offer guidance on moving into leadership, practice growth, client management and work-life balance.

We train our mentors before they take on a formal mentee in our program. At the end of the year, mentees have the opportunity to provide feedback on their mentors so we know who has gone above and beyond for them offering support and practice guidance.

Benefits

Compensation + Retirement Benefits

  • Competitive salaries
  • Referral bonus program
  • 401(k) plan with traditional + ROTH savings options
    • Profit Sharing plan participation for attorneys

Health Benefits

  • Health Insurance plus coverage for dependents, domestic partners and spouses
    • Automatic discount on premiums for non-tobacco users
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Firm-sponsored life insurance and AD&D coverage
    • Optional supplemental life insurance for self, spouse and child(ren)
  • Long-Term disability benefits
  • Short-Term disability benefits
  • Flexible-spending account (FSA)
  • Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • Employee Assistance Program

Other Support Benefits

  • Gym reimbursements for attorneys
  • Discounted or free parking (office site specific)
  • Bar membership dues paid for by the firm
  • Continuing legal education opportunities at all levels
  • Qualified Transportation Program (tax-free transit and parking)
  • Respite room access
  • Dress for your day policy
  • Cell phone data reimbursement
  • Technology allowance
  • In-house library resources
  • Birthday celebrations

I joined SmithAmundsen as a summer associate in law school and then as an attorney in 2013. I was immediately placed on incredibly varied and interesting cases where I learned the basics of how to be an attorney. My mentors at SmithAmundsen fought to make sure I received significant trial experience which has been some of the most rewarding work of my career. I made partner in 2019. I was consistently encouraged to build a practice group specific to my interests and given space and guidance to grow it. I love working here.

Max Goodman, Partner, Chicago
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