There are so many things an associate needs to learn along the road from law school to full partnership, both straightforward and nuanced. We rely on our mentoring program to teach associates the “soft” knowledge that comes from real-life experience, but there remain a number of technical concepts and skills sets that all associates should master before they’re ready to enter the partnership. Law schools do a great job of producing strong legal minds, but they don’t necessarily teach students how to be practicing lawyers. That’s where Q&B University, or “QBU” for short, comes in.
Think of this as an extended orientation program — now that you’ve got your J.D. framed and hung on the wall, it’s time to learn the actual business of practicing law, and the established procedures that Quarles & Brady uses to do it. You and your fellow fledgling attorneys will discuss topics such as fundamental legal strategies that consistently work, how to interact effectively with your secretary, how to record your work time properly and promptly, and how to sign up for firm programs such as the flexible benefits plan and the 401(k). It’s broad and basic stuff, but it lays a foundation for much more learning to come.
By the time you’re about halfway to partner status, you’ll be performing all of the baseline functions of practicing law like a pro, but there are higher functions of being an attorney that have yet to be learned. Now is the time to explore the managerial aspects of the law firm, from budgeting to practice group supervision to fee structuring to business development. QBU Mid-Level will prepare you for comprehensive client relationship management, advanced service techniques, marketing and public relations, personnel oversight, and other skills that all partners should possess.
As you complete your final years as an associate, your training will become more specific to your particular practice and future as an partner. At Quarles & Brady, you’ll be ready for the responsibilities of being a full partner before you actually become one, so relax and absorb. A fantastic professional future awaits you if we have anything to say about it.