Chicago - Global law firm K&L Gates LLP this month is launching an immersive mini-MBA program designed to assist its junior lawyers in better understanding key business and financial concepts and, thus, the goals and concerns of law firm clients. A two-day intensive program led by partners and other senior lawyers with MBAs or similar credentials, the mini-MBA curriculum will be offered to all first- and second-year associates across the firm’s U.S. offices during the coming weeks, before expanding to the firm’s offices outside of the U.S. in future months.
The mini-MBA is the latest in a series of innovative, experiential initiatives K&L Gates has introduced in order to advance the professional development of lawyers and allied professionals throughout the firm, with other programs including the BD Science Fair, a program designed to cultivate creativity and intergenerational collaboration in business development approaches in a science fair format, and TED(style) Talks, a multi-session program that allows associates to enhance their communication and executive presence skills through public speaking counseling and competitions.
K&L Gates also recently expanded its online learning platform with two new video series: Access Club, which features candid interviews with top firm leaders on topics including career trajectory, developing leadership skills, embracing innovation, and the power of diversity, and Take 5, a monthly series designed specifically for firm professionals that focuses on personal and professional development topics such as stress and time management and career development resources.
Amy Horn, K&L Gates’ Chief of People and Projects, commented: “Investing in the development of talent is an important part of our culture and is one of K&L Gates’ top strategic priorities. By providing innovative and energizing programs, our professional development team is able to increase participation in programs and, more importantly, the participant’s retention of the concepts presented during the programs. While traditional ‘talking head’ CLE programs will continue to be a part of all law firms’ professional development mandate, programs like the mini-MBA will truly engage, excite, and help to retain our talented, driven professionals.”
A particularly novel aspect of K&L Gates’ professional development offerings is the use of a partner to oversee and direct the department’s efforts throughout the U.S., with Chicago social media and digital crisis partner Desiree Moore coordinating and leading the department’s professionals in designing and deploying programming for the firm’s lawyers and staff, and helping to further the firm’s goals of retaining, developing, and advancing skilled and successful associates and professionals.
“When we discussed with firm management the concept of a full-time firm partner overseeing the professional development department, we realized it was a novel approach and that we would be in somewhat uncharted waters,” said Moore, who is also the author of the book Thrive - A New Lawyer’s Guide to Law Firm Practice, the ideas from which have inspired much of the training she helps to implement. “But we also recognized that my experience as someone who has spent my entire career at the firm and who stands in the shoes of our lawyers each day would be tremendously helpful in identifying the professional development programs we need in order to move the needle and see progress. I work with a fantastic team and together we have been able to produce some innovative and forward-thinking programming.”
K&L Gates is committed to creating a global culture in which firm personnel have ongoing opportunities for growth and development, resulting in a motivated, engaged, and innovative workforce. The firm’s professional development department works to offer an interesting range of formal and informal development opportunities throughout K&L Gates’ worldwide offices for both lawyers and allied professionals.