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Associate Development

At Sheppard Mullin, we provide our associates with the resources to succeed at every level of their career.  This is done through practice group and level specific training, client contact on matters from the junior level, and the opportunity to network within the firm by serving on committees such as the Associates' Forum, the Pro Bono Committee and the Recruiting Committee.  Attorney Development at Sheppard Mullin encompasses the programs listed below.

Attorney Development Overview

Orientation & Integration

There is a robust orientation program offered for both entry level and lateral attorneys.  After joining, attorneys are integrated into the firm by regular one-on-one check-ins by our Managers of Integration.

Associate Training

We provide a systematic program of professional education, designed to provide knowledge of substantive law and practical suggestions as to day-to-day legal practice. Each practice group conducts regular trainings for their attorneys.  Our level-specific programs include these annual academies:

Sheppard Mullin also has firm-wide subscriptions to Practicing Law Institute, California Continuing Education of the Bar, and a video library of internal training programs allowing 24/7 access a wide variety of courses. 


Attorneys are offered the opportunity for individualized coaching, which allows them to work one-on-one with a coach in areas such as writing, professional skills and business development skills.  Our Career Advisory Program provides confidential counseling and a list of in-house opportunities to interested associates.


Every associate is assigned a Partner Mentor.  Associates are given the opportunity select their mentor which helps to foster a successful partnership.  Associates meet with their mentors informally as often as time allows, and formally at least once per quarter to review and refine their individual Professional Development and Business Plans.

Associates’ Forum

Sheppard Mullin’s Associates' Forum fosters open communication between associates and partners. The Forum consists of approximately 40 associate representatives and regularly engages with the Chief Human Resources Officer and the Talent Management Team.

Topics covered at Associates' Forum meetings have included performance evaluations, compensation, benefits, partnership selection criteria, work/life balance issues and office-specific issues. As a direct result of input received through the Associates' Forum, the firm has implemented several changes in policies and procedures.


The firm keeps its associates and staff informed of the financial condition of the firm and business developments affecting the firm through annual "State of the Firm" meetings. The Chair of the firm’s Executive Committee and the firm’s Chief Operating Officer visit all U.S. offices to make these presentations in person and to answer questions from attendees.

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