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Associate Development

Finn Dixon & Herling is committed to the professional development of its associates, and devotes significant resources to ensuring that associate development happens consistently and effectively.

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Associate
Development

Through a combination of extensive personal partner attention and intentionally efficient staffing on deals, our partners put associates in positions of responsibility with accelerated opportunities for learning and development. In addition to day-to-day organic growth, FDH has implemented several additional initiatives to help associates develop personally and professionally throughout their careers at FDH. These programs include:  

ACDC

The Associate Career Development Committee is a partner-led committee responsible for the firm’s formal feedback and development of associates. The ACDC oversees annual and mid-year reviews, and helps develop personal annual written development plans for each associate. Each associate’s development plan lays out a path for the upcoming year for the specific associate, with personalized objectives and opportunities for growth. The ACDC also organizes the firm’s periodic in-house meetings. These meetings, which are typically held weekly, offer professional training from internal and third-party speakers on a variety of topics.

FORMAL MENTORING

FDH has also implemented a thoughtful mentoring program whereby it pairs each associate with another attorney at the firm to act as formal mentor. In an effort to make this program as meaningful as possible for each associate, FDH seeks to pair each associate with an attorney that is best positioned to understand the issues the relevant associate may be experiencing. Junior associates are typically mentored by more senior associates, and senior associates are typically mentored by a junior partner. Because FDH is committed to the personal and professional development of each associate at the firm, FDH also encourages and supports informal mentoring on a day-to-day basis by senior attorneys at the firm.

SUPPER CLUB

The firm’s supper clubs, which rotate periodically, match two partners with a handful of associates for occasional social gatherings. Those gatherings are chosen by the members of each ‘supper club,’ and have included dinners, pickleball, Yankees games, or whatever else the group decides on. The clubs promote social connections within the firm while giving associates meaningful exposure to partners outside their practice groups.

ASSOCIATES COMMITTEE

The associates committee offers a forum for associates to discuss ideas and issues of interest at the firm. The associates committee has the opportunity to make suggestions, raise ideas and formulate proposals, and to have material input in the daily life of the firm. In addition, the associates committee hosts a meeting with the firm’s management committee and all associates on a quarterly basis over lunch, discussing issues and answering questions raised at the lunch or submitted anonymously beforehand.

OTHER COMMITTEES

Associates also have opportunities to participate in several of the firm’s other committees, which are the lifeblood of FDH. Associates play an important role in the Business Development Committee, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, and the Hiring Committee, among others.

Quotes from Associates

FDH is invested in associate growth and success. From day one, associates are encouraged to become experts in their field and provided with the support, training and opportunity to do so.

Claire Stevens
Partner

If you show the ability and willingness to take on new challenges, you will be rewarded with the opportunity to run with it regardless of your class level, and you will have full support from the firm.  

Tarek Chatila
Associate

The sheer breadth and depth of my deal work and the freedom with which I’ve charted my own path has been incredibly rewarding.

Joanna Plerpa
Associate

CAREER Q&A

chatila

Tarek Chatila

Associate
What has surprised you about working here?

The level of commitment and camaraderie between all the members of the firm. My colleagues push me to succeed and are always available to help answer questions or think through a complicated problem, even if they are not a member of my deal team.

What are the most important things for a candidate to know about Finn Dixon & Herling?

FDH provides you with a great opportunity for professional growth. Like most firms, FDH provides you with the requisite training to excel; however, the firm also provides you with an opportunity to take ownership of your career under the guidance and mentorship of the partners.

Describe your involvement in the firm and broader community.

I am a member of the firm’s Hiring and Quality of Life committees and joined each as a junior associate. It is rare for any firm to allow a junior associate to join a hiring committee or have a Quality of Life committee at all. The partners have a genuine interest in protecting the work/life balance of the associates, preventing burnout, and maintaining the firm’s unique culture. 

stevens

Claire Stevens

Partner
Describe your involvement in firm and broader community.

Throughout my career, FDH has provided me with opportunities to give back in the broader community and supported my work in doing so. Working with Connecticut Veterans Legal Center has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career to date. 

What are the most important things for a candidate to know about Finn Dixon & Herling?

FDH is invested in associate growth and success. From day one, associates are encouraged to become experts in their field and provided with the support, training and opportunity to do so.

Briefly discuss the meaningful connections developed at the firm and how they’ve contributed to your professional growth.

I have met lifelong mentors and friends at FDH. The firm provides a unique framework to cultivate these relationships which has been extremely valuable to my professional growth.

Plerpa

Joanna Plerpa

Associate
What has surprised you about working here?

Having been a summer associate, I expected substantive work early on, but the sheer breadth and depth of my deal work and the freedom with which I’ve charted my own path has been incredibly rewarding. For example, during my first year I was participating in firm committees and helping to plan client events. My deal work has involved both buy-side and sell-side M&A, SAFE rounds, and other deals for our VC and PE clients. 

What makes FDH’s associate training unique?

From day one of my summer associate program, partner investment in associate training has been unparalleled. The most important training I’ve received has come from the “open-door” approach of senior associates, counsel, and partners who offer to walk through a document or talk through a legal concept even without my prompting. As a member of the Associates Committee, I can personally attest that the attorneys at all levels of the firm are invested in each associate’s growth.