ERIC Number: ED216641
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Preparation of Associate Attorneys: A Study of the Determinants of Initial Success in Law Firm Practice.
Bernstein, Marlene A.
Predictors of success in the law firm were studied through interviewing and survey administration. Selected partners at several of the top 100 law firms were interviewed, and 600 alumni of 2 elite law schools were surveyed. The alumni sample was comprised of 150 members of 2 graduating classes from the 2 institutions; those who graduated 7 and 8 years ago and were fairly well established in their careers, regardless of the type of career. Particular emphasis was placed on the initial 3 year period following law school graduation. Preliminary findings include the following: beyond an acceptable level, professional competence is not as important a criterion of success as are other less measurable characteristics; the law school attended is more important than actual performance in law school; possession of, or ability to assume organization characteristics (i.e., behaviors, appearances, and values) indigenous to the firm is more important for success than is exceptional professional skill; demonstration of professional commitment, willingness to work long hours, to place professional life and firm responsibilities above personal life, is characteristic of all fast trackers; a mentor or guiding individual has been influential in the careers of a significant number of fast trackers; and attainment within the initial 8 to 10 year period is most important and does not increase significantly with the passage of time. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 1982).