We want our attorneys to develop skills that make clients and colleagues ask for them by name. As a result, we invest a great deal of time and thought in the professional development of our attorneys. We offer a variety of training initiatives, including detailed orientation and integration programs, formal and informal department-specific training, and our "series" training that focuses on skills needed at designated junctures in an attorney's career.

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Our first-year associates and recent judicial clerks participate in a weekly series of programs to ease their transition and educate them on the practice of law. We have developed a sophisticated training series designed to help third-year associates build their professional profiles and fifth-year associates build practices in a competitive legal market. These programs are supplements to department-specific, formal and informal training and in-house CLE programs offered in all 13 of our offices. (Ballard Spahr is an approved provider of CLE programming in multiple states; CLE programs are listed in the site's Events & News section.) We also encourage our attorneys to devote time to pro bono matters, for billable hour credit, as another way to broaden their legal experience.

Time and again, our attorneys tell us that the relationships they form with their colleagues, especially partners, are among the most valuable enrichment resources at their disposal. The firm's partners have made a commitment to such relationships through formal and informal attorney mentoring programs, spending one-on-one time with junior colleagues to guide and counsel them on business, career, and personal development, and client relationships. No matter how each program is designed, the goal is the same: to ensure that each attorney has a mentor who is committed to investing time in his or her professional growth.

Our attorneys receive annual, formal written and oral performance evaluations. Evaluators consider the attorney's knowledge of practice area, judgment, written and oral presentation, self-confidence, overall quality of work, and commitment to teamwork. In addition to this formal process, informal feedback is provided throughout the year.

In keeping with the fundamental values of our firm, attorney evaluations are completed without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, national origin, handicap or disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or veteran status.

Attorneys are first eligible to be considered for admission to the partnership eight years after law school graduation.

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