Schnader typically hires a new class of associates each fall. We give substantial weight to academic achievement, intellectual ability, work experience, and those personal qualities that we believe help to make a successful lawyer. Faculty and professional recommendations are considered.
Please visit our Associate Benefits page to learn more about benefits for full-time associates.
Professional Development for Associates
Substantive education: There is no substitute for hands-on experience. As a smaller firm, our associates work closely from day one with some of the best lawyers in the country, including members of the American Law Institute, American College of Trial Lawyers and those ranked in publications such as Chambers USA. In addition, through our membership with the Practicing Law Institute, our associates have access to cutting-edge legal education in every practice area.
Mentoring: Each new associate receives both a junior and senior mentor. The junior mentor is a senior associate who builds a supportive friendship with the new associate. The senior mentor is a partner who works with the associate to build legal, case management, client relationship, and business development skills. Mentors help new associates transition into private practice by providing guidance on workload management, training and professional development opportunities, and how to get optimum use from the support services of the firm.
Pro Bono work: Our deep commitment to pro bono works means that our associates are actively involved in complex matters early in their careers, gaining invaluable, practical experience.
Community involvement: We support our associates becoming involved in bar associations, and professional, nonprofit and community organizations. In fact, our former Chairman co-founded the Philadelphia Board Observer Program which places young attorneys with nonprofit boards in the Philadelphia region, where they develop the leadership skills necessary for board membership. This program is very successful and was the recipient of an award from the National Conference of Bar Foundations.
Business Development Training: We offer individual business development coaching, assistance with creating and fulfilling a business plan, support for your writing, publishing and speaking goals, and guidance on joining professional organizations.
Firm Retreat: The firm holds a two-day retreat for all attorneys to build relationships with each other through team building and informal social activities. The retreat also includes workshops on business development, collaboration, diversity, succession planning, and practice group management.
Take An Associate to Lunch Program: The Firm pays for the lunches of host lawyers and new associates to encourage our lawyers to build relationships with each other.
Training and Support
Litigation and Transactional Training: Our most recent associate training program took place in the Philadelphia office. The program included litigation and transactional classes for which attorneys received CLE credit.
The litigation side focused on deposition training, where participants role-played taking or defending a deposition, and had the opportunity to play the opposite role in a second training session. Faculty (made up of senior associates and partners) played the witnesses and provided feedback and suggestions for improvement. In addition, a court reporter was present, and attorneys received a transcript after the training to review and learn from their performance.
The transactional side included courses on common financial agreements, corporate opinions, due diligence in transactions, factors to consider in choice of business entity, and the tax treatment of corporations and partnerships.
After a full day of classes and meetings, our associates split into groups and played “Escape the Room Philly.”
Trust & Estates Training: The Trusts & Estates Department trains its associates in drafting Wills, Revocable Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, Trusts and other agreements. The associates work with senior attorneys, clients, fiduciary administrators and accountants to learn how to administer a decedent’s estate and to create, fund and administer trusts. Associates are given opportunities to gain experience in areas such as nonprofit creation and representation, tax planning, Orphan’s Court practice and can gain experience working with the IRS and other taxing authorities.
Observation Opportunities: We offer new lawyers the opportunity to observe experienced lawyers in a variety of settings including closings, negotiations, mediations, hearings, appellate arguments, depositions and witness interviews.
Feedback: Partners are expected to meet with associates regularly to provide thorough, substantive, and constructive feedback about the associate’s work and concrete suggestions for any improvement.
Evaluations: Each year, associates participate in a comprehensive evaluation process, which includes written evaluations from the partners with whom the associate has worked and an associate self-evaluation. Each associate meets with a member of the Associate Professional Development Committee and department or practice group chair to discuss the associate’s performance over the past year and to discuss and set goals for the coming year.