Ask the more seasoned practitioners at Otten Johnson about their development as attorneys, and they’ll tell you that law school provided a good foundation, but their most valuable training was working with the great attorneys who came before them and took the time to show them the ropes. Otten Johnson takes pride in its mentoring program, and mentoring and on-the-job training continues to remain the focus of attorney development at Otten Johnson.
Associates at Otten Johnson are given significant responsibility from the start, and are typically involved in all aspects of a case or transaction. In fact, the attorneys of Otten Johnson get substantial experience involving direct contact with clients and other parties extremely early in their careers. We make an effort to give even first-year and second-year litigation associates the opportunity to defend and take depositions and obtain trial experience. We help our transactional associates develop the drafting, negotiation and management skills necessary to close real estate and corporate deals or to handle complex annexation or entitlements processes.
Of course, an important part of associate development involves building client relationships; at Otten Johnson, opportunities for associates to have client contact are plentiful. Likewise, Otten Johnson fully supports each associate’s efforts to establish his or her presence within the community and to broaden his or her development through relationships outside of the firm.
A mentor is assigned to each new associate from among the directors in the associate’s practice group, and that director works with the associate on all aspects of the associate’s professional development. Mentors help their associates develop legal knowledge and skills, monitor the depth and breadth of their associates’ workloads and assist their associates in developing effective client relations and business development skills.