Critical Skills Institute  

The Critical Skills Institute is Dechert's core competency training program and focuses on developing our lawyers to become better at the Critical Skills of Leadership, Management, Communication and Client Relations. These are the skills that all Dechert lawyers must develop in order to advance and succeed. All associates and counsel are encouraged to attend these programs. 

Some of out recent courses have included:

Goal setting

This program helps new associates think through their professional and development goals. Associates spend time considering their strengths and areas of development and how to work on time management, goal setting and integration planning.

Writing 101

This is a legal writing workshop aimed towards junior associates in all practice areas. In this interactive workshop, associates learn how to incorporate advanced writing skills that distinguish the best lawyers’ work product. Associates also receive an Attorney Toolkit with custom models, checklists and answers to common writing questions.

Self-management and productivity 101: building efficient habits

This program focuses on how to improve focus, how to manage and set priorities and how to work more efficiently and implement changes in personal work styles.

Communicate with confidence and poise: life rafts for meetings, calls and impromptu speaking 

Participants learn how to quickly prepare for an unexpected meeting or call, communicate with poise in everyday stressful situations and respond to unexpected questions confidently.  

Twelve years of turbulence: the role of lawyers during times of crisis

This program focuses on the role of lawyers and the legal issues they encounter during times of crisis and turmoil. This session will offer inspiration for developing your leadership, strategic thinking and effective decision making skills.

Strategic business planning and development workshop

An interactive workshop for senior associates on active career management, strategic thinking, effective business planning, the overall business development process and the key attributes needed to become a successful leader. Attendees also get practical guidance on how to create a realistic individual development plan.

Trusted adviser 

In this program associates learn how to develop relationships, create business and be a trusted adviser to clients. Attendees learn how to establish and develop long-term business relationships and attract potential clients as well as examine the behaviors of trusted advisers. 

The art of delegation: simple steps to successful delegation

Delegation can be one of the hardest tasks to master. Learn from our partner panel the steps to successful delegation, including how and to whom to delegate. This program also includes a discussion on why follow-up and feedback are important when delegating.

Building and enhancing resilience: a lawyer’s guide to successfully navigating your career and life

Recent research has shown that resiliency is a skill that can be learned and cultivated by anyone. This program is for associates of all levels who wish to build or sustain resiliency in their practice. The program identifies and discusses the beliefs and behaviors of those who have successfully incorporated resilience into their lives and why this attribute is critical to a successful and effective legal career, specifically identifying aspects of legal practice where the need for resiliency is the most predictable and crucial. The program offers specific and practical strategies for lawyers to employ in order to become more resilient.