POWER OF OPPORTUNITY

Careers: Associates

Lateral Associate Hiring FAQs

Does Pepper Hamilton hire lateral associates?

Yes! Pepper Hamilton hires talented associates to join our team. For a list of current openings and to apply online, visit http://careers.pepperlaw.com/selfapply.htm.

Does Pepper hire judicial clerks? If so, when should I apply?

We are always happy to review judicial clerk applications. Interested clerk candidates should submit their application materials in the early part of the year in which their clerkships are scheduled to end.

How does Pepper develop its associates?

We are committed to helping our associates continuously develop as lawyers both for their own personal career development and to serve our clients with efficiency and excellence. There are five facets of the firm’s formal development program for associates:

  1. Professional Competency Framework
  2. Mentoring
  3. Training
  4. Evaluation
  5. Professional Development Planning

What is Pepper’s Professional Competency Framework?

The Professional Competency Framework outlines the skills we believe all successful associates must develop over time. The framework serves as a guide for associates as they chart their development consistent with Pepper standards and also provides a basis for:

  • mentoring
  • evaluating
  • advancing
  • compensating
  • training

The framework consist of firm-wide professional competencies and practice group-specific benchmarks. The competencies fall into key performance areas such as:

  • legal skills
  • communication skills
  • professionalism

Benchmarks are the specific skills and expertise necessary to perform the work that is unique to individual practice groups. Benchmarks are also keyed to developmental levels. There are four developmental levels in the framework. Progression through the levels is flexible and based on merit and skills development, as determined in the annual evaluation process.

As a new lateral associate, would I be assigned to a mentor, or do I need to seek one out on my own?

All new associates are paired with a Partner Mentor and an Associate Mentor. Partner Mentors provide candid feedback and coaching, professional insight, and opportunities to guide and support the associates’ performance and overall professional development. 

Associate Mentors help associates make a smooth transition into their practice groups and the firm. Of course, all of our associates are welcome to seek guidance and mentorship from anyone who they meet that they seem to “click” with.

What kind of training would I receive as a new associate at the firm?

Pepper Hamilton is committed to offering its attorneys a superior training experience and has a comprehensive firm-wide training curriculum for all associates – not just junior associates. Training programs are offered at the firm-wide, department and practice group level. Associates are assigned to “learning paths” for their level and practice group. The learning paths align with the firm’s associate development framework and give associates a blueprint for success at Pepper.

Our Attorney Training Program offers training and resources in the following areas:

  • legal knowledge and skills
  • communication skills
  • people, project and client management skills
  • law firm economics and management
  • business development skills

When and how would I expect to receive feedback?

Feedback is a two-way street. We encourage our partners and senior associates to provide feedback and guidance to associates with whom they work, but associates should not be shy about asking for constructive feedback on their work product. 

As for more formal evaluations, all new associates receive informal interim evaluations after their first six months at the firm. All associates participate in the firm’s annual formal evaluation process, which includes two components: feedback on an associate’s performance over the course of the year, and a self-assessment of an associate’s developmental progress. As part of this process, associates also give and are given guidance on specific training and experiences that would be helpful to their continuing development and advancement.

What does Pepper Hamilton’s compensation package for associates look like?

Pepper Hamilton offers competitive salaries and a generous benefits package. Please view our NALP Form, which includes more details regarding compensation at Pepper.

What can you tell me about Pepper Hamilton’s commitment to hiring and retaining diverse associates?

Pepper Hamilton is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion and works continuously to expand and promote opportunities for all Pepper lawyers. Recognizing that diverse characteristics and talent enhance any organization, and that a national law firm must reflect our many different cultures and ideas, Pepper actively recruits and encourages the hiring, training and promotion of people from diverse backgrounds including women, members of the LGBT community, the disabled, people of color, as well as those with different socio-economic backgrounds.

Pepper attorneys have the opportunity to participate in the following affinity groups at the firm:

  • Diversity Liaison Committee
  • African-American/Black Affinity Group
  • Pepper Pride
  • Pepper Latina/o Caucus
  • Veterans Group
  • Women’s Initiative Network

Visit our Diversity section for more information.

What is Pepper Hamilton’s view of pro bono and community involvement?

Pepper has a long-standing commitment to pro bono work. Pro bono work benefits the public, the individuals we serve, and the development of our attorneys’ skills. We believe that each of our attorneys should provide public-interest legal services, and we encourage our associates to do so. In fact, associates’ pro bono hours count toward their annual billable hours target. The firm’s pro bono efforts are overseen by the firm’s full-time Director of Pro Bono Programs, who serves as an invaluable resource for our associates.

In addition, we understand and value our associates’ participation in professional and community organizations. We encourage associates to assume leadership positions in such organizations as an extension of formal professional and career development training.

Visit our Pro Bono section for more information.

Please see Pepper Hamilton’s NALP Form for additional details about the firm.