Joint ALM/Practical Law Company Study: Law Firms Overhauling Associate Training

Survey Reveals Two-Thirds of Firms Have Overhauled Associate Training in the Past Year

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 1, 2010) - NEW YORK, NY According to a new survey conducted by ALM Legal Intelligence and Practical Law Company (PLC), two-thirds of firms have updated or changed their associate professional development programs in the past year. That statistic was one of many in the "2010 Law Firm Associate Support and Professional Development Survey," which indicates that law firms are responding to client demands and adapting to the new legal landscape since the economic downturn.

The online survey, which was conducted via a confidential, web-based questionnaire to firms throughout the US, also found that large firms, in particular, feel pressure from clients to exclude junior associates from billing hours on their matters -- perhaps one reason for the trend. In fact, 68% of firms indicated they updated their training programs for business development purposes and 45% of firms said they were responding to client demands for greater efficiency. The survey further reports that more firms are now more likely to incorporate practical, skills-oriented exercises in their training curricula for associates. 

Of the firms that haven't changed their training programs in the past 12 months, a third of respondents indicated that their attorneys simply didn't have enough time to create training resources. 

Jennifer Tonti, The American Lawyer's Research Director, noted, "With their compensation no longer guaranteed, associates have become more invested in their own development. Associates now expect law firms to give them the practical skills they require in order to hit their benchmarks and add greater value for clients and their firms."

"The changes to professional development and training are just part of the larger transformation of the legal industry," explained Jeroen Plink, CEO of PLC's US services. "Legal advice has become a buyer's market, with clients demanding high quality work done efficiently and at lower prices. As evident from the survey results, law firms are responding."

The "2010 Law Firm Associate Support and Professional Development Survey" results are available for download at no charge at:

About ALM: ALM Legal Intelligence offers detailed business information for and about the legal industry, focused on the top U.S. and international law firms. The division's online research web service ( provides subscribers with direct, on-demand access to ALM's extensive database of surveys, rankings and lists related to law firms and the legal industry. The site also includes an online store where non-subscribers can, on an individual basis, purchase and download preformatted individual law firm reports, ALM Legal Intelligence research reports, and selected current-year survey data.

About Practical Law Company: Practical Law Company (PLC) provides practical legal know-how for law firms, corporations and law schools. PLC's U.S. online resources for law firms cover corporate, securities and finance practices, helping lawyers to practice more efficiently and protect profit margins. Law firms also incorporate PLC's materials into their in-house professional development and training programs to build their curricula and provide just-in-time learning for associates. Founded in the UK in 1990 and launched in the US in 2009, PLC works with the world's leading law firms and corporations. For more information, visit or call 646.562.3405.

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Media Contacts
for PLC:
Susan E. Jacobsen