We strive to hire entry-level associates from our summer associate program. However, many lawyers with varying degrees of experience have joined us from other firms and government employment.
An associate candidate is given an employment offer to work in a specific department, depending on the firm's hiring needs and the associate's interests. While most associates work primarily within their respective practice areas, they often have the opportunity to enhance their experiences by working in related areas. Over the course of their development, associates usually develop their own specialties, although the Firm's attorneys historically have maintained broad skills applicable to a range of services that clients require.
Christian & Barton's size and culture provide our associates a unique practice experience. The firm is large enough to offer its associates sophisticated and challenging work in a variety of legal disciplines and state-of-the-art technological resources. Yet, we are small enough to recognize individual talents and to offer our associates the opportunity to take a high degree of responsibility from the early stages of their careers. As a result, our young associates learn the practice of law by arguing motions, conducting closings, taking depositions, interacting with clients, judges and opposing counsel, and trying cases. They do so in a relaxed atmosphere that emphasizes cooperation and neither encourages nor tolerates internal competition.
Christian & Barton utilizes a three-tier associate compensation system that is designed to parallel the associate's expected professional development within his or her practice area. Tier progression, accompanied by a salary increase, occurs when the associate demonstrates proficiency in a set of substantive criteria that are specifically tailored to the practice area. Each associate receives regular feedback from supervising attorneys, as well as a comprehensive annual evaluation. The progression through the three tiers is designed to carry qualified associates to consideration for partnership after seven years with the Firm.
In addition to the base salary, each associate is eligible for the firm's fee participation program, through which the associate receives a percentage of revenues the firm receives from clients that the associate attracts to the firm, regardless of whether the associate does any of the work for those clients.
The firm considers requests for part-time employment on a case-by-case basis depending on the firm's needs.
We place a great emphasis on our summer program, as we believe it is our best source of recruiting talented new associates. Our goal is to offer permanent employment to every summer associate who produces a good work product and with whom we develop a good working relationship, and when the firm has a hiring need. Therefore, we are very selective in the summer associate recruiting process, and we are conservative in the number of summer associates who join us each summer.
Our summer associate program is reserved for students who have completed their second year of law school. We do allow students to split their summer with another firm or organization. However, we ask that students who choose to split their summer spend at least the first several weeks of the summer with us.
Our summer associates are assigned projects that give broad exposure to the firm's practice areas and provide an opportunity to work with as many of our lawyers as possible. In addition to engaging in the "traditional" areas of legal research and writing, summer associates also are encouraged to attend depositions, conferences, trials, hearings, appellate arguments, closings, negotiations and other activities that may be of interest to them. We also plan a variety of social events to allow our summer associates to get to know us in an informal setting, and showcase the recreational and cultural opportunities of the Richmond metropolitan area. We believe that personal attention is an important element of the summer associate experience. Accordingly, each of our summer associates is assigned a "mentor" and a "reader" to help throughout the summer. The mentor is generally a young associate with whom the summer associate can feel comfortable discussing any questions or concerns in a candid manner. The reader is usually a more senior attorney whose task is to give the summer associate constructive feedback regarding his or her written work. Additionally, summer associates receive direct feedback from the assigning lawyer with whom they work on projects.
Applying for a position in our summer program: We hire our summer associates from on-campus interviewing and reviewing cover letters and resumes students send directly to us.
We are scheduled to conduct the following on-campus interviews in the Fall:
We accept resumes from any law student who contacts us directly. All inquiries may be addressed to:
Christian & Barton, L.L.P.
909 East Main Street, Suite 1200
Richmond, VA 23219-3095
Feel free to contact the following lawyers for more information about our program.