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At K&L Gates, we take an intergenerational view of talent and make a significant investment in cultivating the future leaders of the firm through key initiatives such as the Path to Equity Partnership Program (PEPP) and milestone events like the Global Associate Symposium.

PEPP is a comprehensive program for our income partners designed to weave them quickly into the fabric of the partnership and inculcate in them a sense of ownership in the firm. We have incorporated key elements into the Program, including: a Leadership College for newly promoted income partners to learn from and interact with members of K&L Gates’ Management Committee who serve as the College’s faculty and an Income Partner Advisory Committee (IPAC) composed of income partners from across the globe who advise firm leaders on the implementation of PEPP and other related initiatives.

Our most recent Global Associate Symposium focused on the theme “The Power of Global Collaboration” and on understanding the challenges facing a modern law firm. Nearly 70 senior associates representing offices across the globe were divided into diverse teams. The teams were given several challenges to solve and were tasked with finding innovative and creative ideas and solutions through the process of collaboration and teamwork. Partners served as mentors and advisers for the teams, and firm leaders presented TED-style talks or “lessons” on teamwork, leadership and coaching that encouraged our high-performing associates to take risks, think imaginatively and work collaboratively with colleagues from around the world.

Our commitment to, and investment in, lawyer training and development are further evidenced by our broad definition of professional development. Informal training takes place through a combination of mentoring and coaching, the associate review process, pro bono opportunities and participation in practice groups. Our mentoring programs ensure that each junior lawyer has a one-on-one mentoring relationship with a partner. The programs focus on accelerating our lawyers’ learning processes by translating legal knowledge into effective legal practice in order to improve the delivery of services to our clients. Mentors assist junior associates by emphasizing the firm’s values, imparting the understanding of the firm’s competencies and expectations and providing guidance to assist new lawyers with navigating their early career development. Associates are also encouraged to discuss performance feedback with their mentors to identify developmental priorities and strategies for achieving them.

The Annual Review Process also provides a structured platform for meaningful feedback and assistance in our associates’ development. This process is intended to be a constructive, proactive mechanism through which future growth prospects are reviewed and discussed and appropriate promotion decisions are made. Our Associate Competencies, Professional Development offerings, Mentoring Program and Annual Review Process are seamlessly integrated to ensure a consistent and integrated approach to professional growth and development throughout an associate’s career.

Technology plays a significant role in our professional development efforts. We regularly use firmwide videoconferencing and WebEx to deliver consistent training on important substantive legal topics. Our Global Online Learning Center and our access to the Practising Law Institute (PLI), provide our lawyers with 24-hour access to recordings of our in-house training programs and PLI’s extensive library of programs.

The Global Associate Liaison Committee (GALC), composed of thirteen associates from across the firm, serves as a global resource for associates to raise issues and concerns affecting associate life for discussion with the firm’s Management Committee. The GALC promotes intergenerational excellence through cross-office and local associate communication and networking, and cultivates a common associate culture. The Committee has developed several highly successful initiatives, including those to facilitate business development and cross-office work, Local Associate Liaison Committees and Global Day of Service. K&L Gates won the “Global Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year” recognition in honor of our inaugural Global Day of Service. The award, part of the overall “Citizenship” category, was given as part of the American Lawyer’s 2014 Global Legal Awards.