Associate Training & Development

At Simpson Thacher we embrace a culture of learning that we believe benefits our associates and produces the best results for our clients.  This culture of learning means continuously seeking, sharing and applying new knowledge and skills to improve individual and organizational performance.

Our culture of learning is furthered by formal and informal training programs which are designed by our Training Managers in collaboration with designated Training Partners.  Our Training Managers are all attorneys, adding practical experience and insights to associate training, and our Training Partners provide invaluable input on the skills associates should be developing to further advance their careers.  The overarching direction and strategy of the training and development program is overseen by the Firm's Attorney Development Committee, which includes partners from a cross-section of practice groups and offices as well as the Firm's Chief Legal Talent Officer. 

New lawyers at Simpson Thacher receive immediate hands-on experience—the best training ground in the Firm—and participate in both formal and informal training programs organized by each practice group.  Traditional classroom training begins at orientation and continues throughout the year with a series of courses and workshops taught by Simpson Thacher attorneys and outside experts. 

  • Junior corporate associates attend training programs for each rotation that review the primary laws, transactions and documentation relevant to each group's practice, as well as the commercial goals of our clients.  A sample of recent programs include:
    • Informal breakfasts for junior associates where more senior associates answer questions and discuss best practices
    • Leadership Training focused on delegation, supervision, motivation and feedback
    • Banking & Credit: Commitment Paper Workshop Series
    • Capital Markets: Current High Yield Issues
    • M&A Practice Price Adjustments: Dissecting the Net Working Capital Adjustment Provision
    • Funds Workshop: Drafting Waterfalls and Distribution Mechanics
  • Junior litigation associates attend an intensive series of training programs on the basics of the Firm's litigation practice. These courses are organized around stages of a case, including pleadings, discovery, motions, trials and appeals as well as fundamental aspects of investigations and antitrust work. By focusing on the practical aspects of being a new litigator these programs teach new litigators how to be advocates for their clients and add value to their cases.
The Firm holds more than 300 live classes a year, on topics ranging from overviews
of practice areas to detailed discussion of recent developments

Associates at all levels are encouraged to participate in the many courses and workshops we offer. Our litigation, corporate and specialty groups each regularly hold lunches where attorneys present to their colleagues on interesting cases and transactions, as well as relevant developments in the law. We also offer firm-wide training programs throughout the year to help associates improve their communication, negotiation and management skills. Some of our most popular classes include:

  • Communication skills workshops, offered several times a year, which give associates the opportunity to practice effective communication techniques and to receive feedback in individual coaching sessions or in a small, supportive group

  • Management skills workshops, also offered several times a year, which focus on teaching effective strategies for delegation, supervision, and feedback as well as more individually-tailored guidance through smaller group coaching sessions. A Supreme Court overview taught by a noted Constitutional Law professor

  • Cross-practice finance trainings emphasizing how attorneys use financial concepts in practice

  • We also have an online library containing most of our training programs available for viewing by attorneys at their convenience as well as short podcasts on discrete topics for certain practice areas. 
​The [trainings are] tailored to your level, so you don’t get information too early and forget it all!”
- Chambers quoting a Simpson Associate
Of course, formal “classroom-style” training is just one component of associate development. Partners at the Firm maintain an open-door policy to discuss work as well as work-life issues, at any time. This policy contributes greatly to our collegial atmosphere and encourages new associates to ask questions of more-experienced lawyers.  In addition, our Training Managers are available to provide individualized training and development assistance.