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Associate Director of Lawyer Professional Development - Trial/Global Disputes

King & Spalding
Atlanta, GA
United States

Earlier this year, King & Spalding created three new positions as part of an innovative and growing team that leads the firm’s lawyer talent development initiatives globally. Two of these positions have been filled and we are accepting one final round of applications for this last position.

It's an exciting time to join the firm - check out this article from American Lawyer this month:

The Associate Director will work primarily with the Trial Practice & Global Disputes practice group, a litigation/disputes group comprised of over 350 lawyers across 16 offices.

The Associate Director will be part of the firm’s Professional Development and Recruiting Department, and will work collaboratively with lawyers and senior staff (including the Professional Development Partner and Director of Lawyer Talent Development). The Associate Director will be a first point of contact for the professional development needs of the practice group’s lawyers.


These positions can be based in any U.S. King & Spalding office, with preference given to Atlanta, Houston, New York, or Washington, D.C.


Primary Responsibilities

Each Associate Director will be responsible for the effective execution of firm wide programs/initiatives as they intersect with the practice group and also the development of programs/initiatives that meet unique practice group needs. These programs and initiatives include:

• Lawyer on-boarding and integration, in collaboration with Human Resources and office leadership
• Substantive training (on legal practice areas, legal skills, business intelligence, etc.)
• Technology/Know-how development and use (e.g., working with firm Knowledge Management department and others to identify and deploy resources appropriate to practice group)
• Utilization/work assignment (working with staffing partners)
• Evaluations and performance management
• Associate career progression guidance
• Talent pipeline management (e.g., hiring needs, promotion candidates)
• Compensation setting (salary and bonus)
• Associate mentoring programs
• Professional Development and Business Development Resources
• Pro Bono and Community Affairs engagement appropriate to practice group
• Alumni initiatives specific to practice group
• Practice group level input on firm wide talent development initiatives (e.g., firm wide training programs)
• Summer associate work assignment/evaluations

Support will be provided to the Associate Directors through various staff, including a CLE specialist, administrative assistants, and the event planning team. The initial focus of the role will be on associates but could expand to include partners and other lawyers.


• Creative, curious, and innovative; takes initiative to identify and translate best practices from other firms and industries into viable firm initiatives
• Driven to excel and passionate about strengthening firm’s lawyer development initiatives
• Desire for increasingly challenging projects and heightened responsibility/visibility within a lean and flat organization
• Knowledge of law firm business model principles and legal industry trends and challenges
• Able to assimilate information quickly in order to grasp larger concepts and details, and apply it in other settings
• Able to grasp quickly the culture and organizational structure of the firm
• Excellent communications (written and oral) and interpersonal skills with lawyers, all levels of administrative staff, and contacts outside the firm
• Sophisticated analytical and quantitative abilities (e.g., able to collect and use data to make decisions, including ability to use tools such as Excel at a high level)
• Strong judgment and ability to respect, protect, and maintain highly confidential and sensitive information
• Excellent collaboration, facilitation, influencing, and organizational skills, with the ability to work proactively to obtain information and develop the consensus needed to make decisions
• Strong attention to detail combined with ability to develop big-picture goals
• Able to work both independently and collaboratively with professionals at all levels
• Able to prioritize and manage multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously without frequent prompting
• Able to work under tight deadlines and maintain poise under pressure
• Knowledge of CLE rules as they affect accreditation for programs the Associate Director develops (or ability to quickly gain the knowledge).


The ideal candidate will have a J.D. and at least 3+ years of experience in a professional development/talent development role in a law firm or other professional services environment. Candidates without a J.D. will also be considered if they have an undergraduate degree and at least 3 years’ experience in a similar role in a professional services firm.