"At Katten, we provide you with numerous opportunities for growth and development beginning on your first day and continuing throughout your career." — Melanie Priddy, Chief Talent Officer
At Katten, our professional development team is dedicated to ensuring your success at the firm. We offer career advising and coaching to help each unique individual thrive. Our best-in-class learning opportunities help you understand your clients' industries and challenges and develop extraordinary legal expertise. The peer coaching and integration activities we facilitate help you get up to speed quickly in a new environment. Finally, our annual and biannual milestone events such as New Associate Retreat, Mid-Level Associate Academy, Senior Associate Retreat, and New Income Partner Orientation provide you with opportunities at pivotal times in your career to network and collaborate with your peers; learn from our partners and industry experts; and prepare for the next stages of your career.
New Associate Orientation
We offer our first year associates a robust onboarding program each fall, including pairing them with associate and partner mentors; offering more than two dozen training programs designed to help them get up to speed on the firm and their legal practice; and providing numerous opportunities for interacting with our firm leaders and each other.
Additionally, our First Year Associate Substantive Training (FAST) programs offer bite-sized chunks of substantive legal skills training courses for our transactional and litigation associates. These programs are taught by our partners and associates and feature the knowledge and resources associates need to complete typical first year associate assignments.
Through the two-week First Year Associate Challenge, associates compete on cross-office and cross-department teams to earn points for doing activities that help them integrate into our firm, get to know their colleagues, and learn about important firm resources.
By creating a First Year Plan, associates work with their partner mentors to set goals that will guide them through their first six months at the firm.
Mentoring and Coaching
Katten's formal mentoring program includes a menu of options providing flexibility to meet associates' own unique interests, needs and goals. All first year and lateral associates are paired with a mentor team consisting of a partner and at least one associate. Our Mentoring MeetUp Program provides an opportunity for associates and partners to connect for virtual, or, where permitted, in person, to build meaningful professional relationships. A Mentoring MeetUp may be an opportunity to: (1) connect and check in; (2) receive mentoring on critical skills or practice-specific issues; or (3) discuss short- or long-term career development goals. Our First Year Associate Learning Circles, Lateral Associate Learning Circles, and New Income Partner Meet-Ups are mentoring/coaching sessions that provide each group an opportunity to connect with peer attorneys and discuss topics related to their integration.
Our internal career coaches are leaders on professional development and diversity teams at Katten. They leverage their experience and coaching certification to help Katten attorneys reach the highest levels of performance and engagement. They work with attorneys one on one, helping them to be more effective, successful and balanced in their work.
Talent Development Partners
Our Talent Development Partners lead the strategic talent development initiatives for attorneys in each practice group. These 35 partners collaborate with the Talent and Practice Management Teams on engagement, diversity and inclusion, professional development, mentoring, coaching, and performance evaluations.
Associate Sabbatical Program
To foster wellbeing and to reward associates for their hard work, we offer the Associate Sabbatical Program. Associates who have completed five years of tenure are eligible for a four-week paid sabbatical.
London Training & Development Programmes
Our London office offers an all-encompassing approach to learning and development that enables you to unite the firm's strategic goals with your own career objectives. The London learning experience comprises legal training, practice-specific training, financial training and skills training for every stage of an associate's career journey. From mid-level onwards, particular focus is put on developing and embedding skills and confidence in business development, relationship management and leadership in preparation for promotion to senior associate and partnership.
"Wellbeing is a high priority at Katten, and we are committed to embedding the value of wellbeing into the fabric of our firm." — Roz Pitts, Director of Professional Development & Well-Being
Katten pledged its support to the health and wellbeing of our business professionals and attorneys by joining the American Bar Association's Well-Being Pledge & Campaign in 2018. Several members of our Talent team are certified as Mental Health First Aid Responders. We also partner with our Employee Assistance Program to offer programming and benefits at no cost to our attorneys and business professionals.
Our Global Well-Being Committee and local champions promote the wellbeing of our attorneys and business professionals. These individuals lead our efforts around programming and serve as advocates to promote our culture of wellbeing. In 2019, we launched Katten Well-Being 360: Live Well, Work Well, Be Well, an initiative aimed at providing continuous support to our attorneys and business professionals across eight areas of wellbeing: emotional, occupational, intellectual, spiritual, physical, social, financial and environmental. We offer a variety of learning tracks related to each dimension of wellbeing and resources to help our attorneys and business professionals find fulfillment in each of these areas. In 2021, Katten became a founding champion of the Institute for Well-Being in Law, an organization dedicated to the betterment of the legal profession by focusing on a holistic approach to well-being.
Also in 2021, Katten launched KattenFlex, our guidelines around remote work. We do not require our attorneys and business professionals to work from our offices for any set number of days per week or month. Rather, we trust them to work with their individual practice group leaders and supervisors to determine the best workplace balance for providing exceptional service to our clients. We will periodically revisit these guidelines to make sure we are meeting client, industry, practice group and firm needs and that we are contributing to a culture of community at Katten.
Each year we offer dozens of programs and activities designed to facilitate physical, social, and spiritual wellbeing, including hosting outside experts, mindfulness and meditation sessions, and a summer wellbeing series. Additionally, we offer our attorneys and business professionals an annual wellbeing stipend.