people-campaign

Practice Group Training

Learn About Our Training Programs  

Training, both formal and informal, is a critical part of an associate’s growth. We are committed to providing training so you are able to take on responsibility at an early stage in your career. Our junior associates often find themselves involved in cases and deals where they have similar responsibilities to those held by more senior associates on the other side. Our commitment to training enables this level of early responsibility. In addition to the training that associates gain from working closely with partners, each major department and practice group conducts its own series of training programs. 

Corporate and Securities

Entry-level associates in our Corporate and Securities Group participate in a formal program, consisting of lectures, discussion sessions and workshops involving practical exercises. This program is designed to introduce associates to the intricacies of our transactional practice and the resources available to assist them in their work.

Partners, senior associates and outside professionals, such as investment bankers and accountants, give presentations on various aspects of public and private company mergers, acquisitions and dispositions; securities transactions and venture capital investment; bank financing; and bankruptcy matters. Speakers from related areas discuss the special issues of transactional practice associated with environmental and antitrust regulation, intellectual property and employee benefits. Associates learn about the structure of complex corporate transactions and are introduced to fundamental business attorney skills, such as performing due diligence, drafting transaction documents and preparing for and conducting closings.

Finance

Dechert’s global finance associates participate in a number of professional development programs, including formal weekly training sessions, monthly discussion programs and focused workshops. Our programs feature Dechert partners, lawyers from affiliated practice areas, and outside professionals as presenters and cover a wide range of areas, including commercial mortgage finance, commercial mortgage-backed securitization, mezzanine lending, collateralized loan obligations, asset-backed securitization, real estate joint ventures, general and limited partnerships, and regulatory issues affecting our industry.

The weekly training sessions cover a variety of topics and are designed for all lawyers to keep them apprised of industry changes. The monthly discussion programs provide further training and analysis of current issues and practice guidance. Hands-on learning is a daily event, as our junior associates work closely with senior associates and partners to sharpen their skills. 

Financial Services

Dechert’s financial services associates participate in an in-depth training program that includes semi-monthly sessions concerning the regulation of investment companies and investment advisers, on both a theoretical and a practical level.  The program includes topics such as the composition, role and responsibilities of a registered fund’s board of directors; restrictions on fund investments; distribution of mutual fund shares; valuation issues; affiliated transactions; regulation of closed-end investment companies; and the structuring and operation of unregistered, private hedge funds.  The program covers the development and application of laws and regulations, as well as industry business practices.  Associates also participate in sessions covering other areas of law that impact financial services clients; such as tax, employee benefits and securities litigation and enforcement.  The program is organized and taught by a number of Dechert partners, counsel and senior associates with a wide range of financial services experience.

The Financial Services Group also holds weekly meetings where colleagues discuss current topics of interest. These sessions focus on legal, regulatory and industry developments and are designed to help keep attorneys apprised of issues that effect financial services clients.

Most of the training programs are offered internationally, with participation from partners, counsel and associates from multiple offices. There are programs focusing on private funds and ETFs that highlight regulations, strategies and current events across multiple jurisdictions.  The vast training opportunities demonstrate the group's commitment to continued professional development and enhanced client service.

Litigation and IP Litigation

Litigation and IP litigation associates participate in numerous training workshops covering the nuts and bolts of litigation practice.  These workshops are designed for associates at all levels of professional development.

First-year litigation associates participate in a comprehensive training curriculum.  The program encompasses approximately 30 training sessions which cover the life cycle of a typical fully-litigated case (pleadings through trial and appellate issues) as well as additional topics such as brief-writing, deposition skills, e-Discovery, written discovery, trial preparation, negotiation skills, and specialized litigation practice areas.  These training sessions are designed to introduce new associates to the realities of practicing law at Dechert.  The associates are taught to “think through” every aspect of litigation in a careful and thorough manner, and the fundamentals of practice.

Mid-level litigation associates participate in an intensive in-house deposition training program that provides associates the practical experience necessary to further develop their deposition skills. The program is led jointly with another law firm and professional actors are hired to play the witnesses while firm partners provide feedback.  The workshop includes three stand-alone lectures and two full-day sessions of simulated depositions.  The program generally follows the “learn by doing” model developed by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA).  It provides a framework for the associates to develop basic deposition skills and techniques.  In addition, the program introduces them to ethical concerns, such as the limits of witness coaching, that they may confront in witness preparation sessions and depositions.

Senior-level litigation associates participate in an intensive four-day in-house trial advocacy program that is designed to enhance the trial skills of the litigation associates.  The program covers basic trial procedure and rules, but focuses mostly on technique, e.g., how to formulate questions, use language, use your voice and your gestures, engage the jury, and use exhibits and demonstratives.  Participants deliver opening statements and closing arguments as well as conduct direct and cross examinations of fact and expert witnesses which are played by professional actors.  The faculty, senior Dechert trial lawyers and others, critique and instruct the associates throughout the program.

In addition to the litigation team-wide trainings described above, individual practice groups provide specialized programming for attorneys within their practice to further their skill set and professional development.