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We Go to Court
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We Go to Court

Norman C. Kleinberg

One of the more innovative programs we have had here at the Firm is to encourage our clients to send us very small cases which we can then use as training vehicles for our young litigators. And they actually get to try those cases. They handle them totally on their own. And I firmly believe that there is not a cadre of associates in the litigation arena in the New York area that has more experience within the courtroom than the people that work here.

 

 


Training
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Training

Candace K. Beinecke

In our corporate practice particularly, we have a philosophy that’s unique among city firms. We insist that our lawyers both specialize and get a broad range of experience. It’s our experience that, to be a good corporate advisor, when you get to be more senior as an attorney, you need to understand all aspects of a transaction. You need to focus on particular areas of expertise, but you need to have facility with a broad range of issues. And so we try to give our associates training that is both deep and broad, so that they can mature to be serious corporate advisors.

 

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The Hughes Institute.

Hughes Hubbard is committed to the professional growth and development of our attorneys. The firm has created a formal training program called The Hughes Institute to develop and enhance the skills of its lawyers at all levels. It starts with a weeklong program of intensive courses designed to help new associates, directly out of law school, gain the information and skills they need to make the highest possible contribution to the firm and its clients, quickly and effectively. Beginning in the fall, entry-level associates travel to the firm’s New York office where they interact with their peers from across the firm and participate in a classroom-style program created and taught by selected professionals from outside the firm and Hughes Hubbard partners including members of the firm’s highest management body—the executive committee. These courses cover topics such as basic finance and corporate governance, effective legal writing, ethics, client interaction skills and the firm’s unique history and traditions. The entire class receives the same initial training, then splits into two separate tracks geared to acquiring either litigation or transactional skills.

Continuing training within departments.

Departments hold monthly meetings, most of which are built around continuing legal education programs. In addition the firm offers a number of special training programs including

  • Intensive Trial Advocacy Programs—The highlight of these programs are two days of jury trials in the Advanced Trial Advocacy Workshop where associates have the benefit of live and video review from many of the firm’s most experienced senior litigators. Outside law school professors serve as judges, outside medical doctors and other professionals serve as witnesses and high school students serve as jurors. After the trial is complete, associates watch the jurors deliberating. Deliberations are also videotaped for later review by the participants. Hughes Hubbard also offers a two-and-a-half day Basic Trial Advocacy Workshop for new associates and a half day workshop for summer associates.
  • Criminal Trial Program—Hughes Hubbard attorneys advocate for criminal defendants in court and in negotiations with prosecutors, developing skills while often achieving extraordinary outcomes. Recently, the CTP has persuaded prosecutors and the court to agree to favorable plea offers in three cases, prepared for two trials and numerous evidentiary hearings, worked on two appeals, and continued to represent a client through a rehabilitation program in the Manhattan Mental Health Court. Through these pro bono cases, and more than 40 other matters since the program’s inception, HHR associates enjoy the unique opportunity to experience all the elements of a criminal case and learn firsthand what successful courtroom advocacy entails.
  • Corporate Negotiation Workshop—This is a corporate department program taught by a prominent law school professor. It covers the basics of negotiation including the specific challenges of international negotiation and includes several negotiation exercises.
  • In-house Deposition Program—The firm presents deposition training to all new litigation associates. As part of this training, associates take and defend simulated depositions.
  • Corporate Counsel Program for the City of New York—Graduates of our in-house deposition training program gain further training when they get to take depositions for the City of New York—a pro bono client for whom we have won several trials.
  • Pro Bono Matters—We provide nation-wide counsel to a variety of nonprofit organizations dedicated to serving the underserved. This gives attorneys exposure to a large spectrum of legal issues, ranging from basic corporate questions to time-sensitive and complex matters, both corporate and litigation. For more on the firm’s pro bono activities, click here.

In addition to the programs listed here, lawyers further advance their skills and knowledge by working on cases, deals and other matters as members of client service teams.

Our assignments add to your training.

We seek to staff our matters in a way that provides learning opportunities for associates. Junior associates work closely with partners, and care is taken to give each associate an overview of the matter and an opportunity to see the particular project through to its conclusion. Young associates also get "hands on" experience through our "shadowing" program in which they work alongside a senior lawyer on a client matter without billing time to the client. Each associate gains increased responsibilities as quickly as his or her professional development allows.

Close attention is given to the progress of each associate.

Upon arrival, each new associate is assigned a partner, a senior associate and a junior associate as mentors. In addition to comments relayed in the course of an assignment, each associate receives formal evaluations from our Personnel Committee. At least once each year, this committee collects individual evaluations of each associate’s performance. Members of the committee then meet with each associate individually to provide a candid assessment of his or her progress with regard to quality of performance and personal development. Associates are encouraged to give any comments or criticism they may have regarding work or life at the firm, and our Associates’ Committee serves to facilitate such communication. The periodic evaluations by the Personnel Committee also are the foundation for merit salary increases, bonuses and consideration for partnership. We believe that associates who have excelled in their work should receive commensurate rewards.

Our attention continues, no matter where you are.

No matter where you are, you are always a part of Hughes Hubbard. We are proud of our alumni who have distinguished themselves in the legal profession, business and beyond. As part of an alumni program, we publish an alumni newsletter, hold alumni events and maintain a job bank. And alumni are always welcome to attend CLE programs given by our lawyers as well as the Annual Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Lecture.

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