We have staggered start dates for first-year associates throughout the fall, which are then followed by a formal orientation for new associates. This three-day orientation has evolved into an increasingly practical event that addresses the various needs of the new associates. Some presentations are general introductions to life at Simpson Thacher; others, which are part of the formal departmental training programs, focus on substantive topics relevant to our practice areas.
The entire class is brought together on day one for a Firm overview that ranges from the global (“The Business of the Firm”) to the granular (“Using Email: A Common Sense Approach”), from the applied (“Presentation Skills”) to the anecdotal (“Anatomy of a Deal”). There are also many opportunities for new associates to meet colleagues from other Simpson Thacher offices and departments, including social outings in the evening.
The first-year class is also divided into Corporate and Litigation for a number of intensive introductory practice-specific training programs. Associates from Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits, Exempt Organizations, Personal Planning, Real Estate and Tax attend a combination of sessions from both groups.
Litigation associates attend orientation programs introducing them to the life cycle of a litigation and demonstrating how junior associates contribute at each stage. New corporate associates will have the opportunity to do rotations in the department’s practice groups and participate in an orientation program designed for their first rotation—either Banking and Credit, Capital Markets, Mergers and Acquisitions, or Private Funds. These initial programs give associates an overview of what attorneys do in each group, and provide the first building blocks for their formal training at the Firm.