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Career Development

Our approach to cultivating the careers of female lawyers is simple yet remarkably effective. We begin by recruiting the very best of the best from the pool of talented female law school graduates.

We then provide our female lawyers with the tools they need to succeed: hands-on training, one-on-one mentoring, an extensive and formal professional development curriculum, networking opportunities, open-door policies that encourage access to partners and senior lawyers and—most importantly—varied and challenging work assignments that expose female lawyers to different partners and unique legal problems across a wide range of clients and industries. 

The development and advancement of female lawyers remains one of the Firm’s most important priorities. One example of our efforts in this regard is our Women’s Leadership Cohort Pilot Program. In 2022, we launched this Program for our U.S.-based mid- to senior-level female associates with the goals of supporting the career growth and skills development of our female associates and building a pipeline of future female leaders at the Firm. The cohorts meet every 4-6 weeks with an external consultant and discuss topics including: personal branding; integrating work and life; managing up, down and across; and managing difficult conversations / giving and receiving feedback, to name a few. 

In 2006, Simpson Thacher formally established the partner-level Women’s Committee to monitor the progress of the Firm’s female lawyers, launch programs to develop female lawyers, ensure that female lawyers are fairly represented in the highest ranks of Firm management and address any unique issues that may impact them disproportionately. To ensure we take into account the full range of ideas and perspectives of our female lawyers, the Firm’s Women’s Committee works very closely with the Women’s Advisory Council, which is comprised of female counsel and associates. Together, the Women’s Committee and the Women’s Advisory Council provide strategic direction to our efforts to promote gender equity throughout the Firm. Practice Group heads, office leaders, staffing partners and representatives from the Legal Personnel and Diversity Departments meet semi-annually to focus on the career development of female, LGBTQ+ and associates of color across our offices. During these meetings, partners share information on the associates and counsel in their groups, including a performance overview, suggestions for career development and training opportunities, and advancement potential. Time is devoted to discuss associates and counsel at length to ensure they are performing well, have access to quality work and are not being overlooked. At the recommendation of the partners, the Firm can provide private internal or external coaching to these lawyers as further investment and continued commitment to our associates’ career development. 

We are also committed to external developmental opportunity for our women lawyers. Since 2019, we have participated in the Ms. JD LaddHer Up Retreat for our female mid-level associates. Ms. JD is a non-profit organization, which was founded at Stanford Law School, and is dedicated to the success of women lawyers. The retreat creates a unique opportunity for women law associates in the early to mid-stages of their careers to personally engage in career strategy discussions with women general counsel, build business development and personal networking skills, and learn how to effectively pitch to potential clients. We take the development of our talent very seriously and encourage our associates to attend conferences in order to hone their professional skills and expand their external networks.

These efforts have yielded impressive results. Each year, the number of female in the Firm’s partnership and counsel ranks continues to grow. Not only are Simpson Thacher’s female lawyers advancing within the profession, but they are also making tremendous strides within the Firm’s leadership and management.

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Simpson Thacher Honored With Inaugural SABANY Partners in Diversity Award