The Professional Development Manager (PDM) reports to the Senior Manager of Professional Development, works within the Legal Recruiting and Professional Development department (LRPD) and belongs to the Professional Development team. The PDM actively provides support to Practice Group Leaders (PGLs) in their efforts to develop and retain exceptional legal talent. The PDM collaborates regularly with firm management, shareholders, practitioners, and business professionals. Working in a fast-paced environment, the PDM will be involved in all facets of associate and technology specialist professional development, including career development, workflow allocation, the annual performance evaluation process, and management and analysis of productivity, utilization, and engagement reports and related metrics. The PDM will also be responsible for managing a variety of other projects and processes related to Legal Recruiting and Professional Development and firm-related initiatives.
- Collaborates with PGLs and workflow shareholders to manage the work allocation process, ensuring equitable and developmental staffing.
- Works closely with assigned practitioners to monitor workloads, identify learning opportunities, facilitate areas of interest, and achieve individual professional development goals while supporting client needs.
- Ensures that practitioner benchmarks and core competencies are aligned with the firm’s practices and client needs.
- Meets individually with practitioners on a regular basis to become a trusted advisor on individual career development and goals, along with their professional aspirations, experiences, strengths, development needs and relevant personal circumstances.
- Works closely with key leaders to effectively facilitate the formal and informal evaluation processes throughout the year to ensure frequent, substantive, and constructive feedback and guidance; coordinate/attend practitioner check-in and evaluation meetings; document practitioner strengths and skill gaps to drive professional development and growth; reinforce real-time feedback practices; provide coaching on feedback messaging and delivery, as needed.
- Synthesizes practice group information for PGLs, including regular updates of assigned groups’ workload distribution and other performance-related metrics; prepares reports, as requested, on practitioner productivity, engagement, and other matters; processes docket updates and other system changes to reflect client and team staffing.
- Partners with LRPD team members to assess firm and department needs; proposes, designs, introduces, and supports new initiatives as needed; drives existing programs and implements program plans, operational goals, and outcomes; communicates regularly with team to align individual and practice group needs with firm-wide training, mentoring, onboarding, and recruiting initiatives.
- Collaborates with HR on personnel matters and policies; with Legal Recruiting on recruiting needs, practitioner integration efforts, the summer program, and the mentoring program; with the Learning & Development team to identify training needs/suggest program ideas for training curriculums related to legal, technical, and professional skills; with Finance to ensure practitioner data accuracy and streamline the sharing of information across departments; with Client Services on practitioner business development goals; and with the Diversity & Inclusion Manager on initiatives for practitioner advancement, in addition to initiatives that foster a diverse and inclusive culture and promote overall engagement.
- Utilizes strong business acumen including the ability to apply sound creative thinking as well as the use of discretion and appropriate judgment depending on situation.
- Bachelor’s degree required; Juris Doctor preferred.
- 5+ years of experience in professional or career development, preferably in the intellectual property or litigation space, or in a management capacity, within a legal or partnership setting; a minimum of 2 years prior experience in workflow allocation and staffing is also strongly preferred.
- Established proficiency in the use of computer programs including Microsoft Office, with solid foundational skills in Excel; knowledge of electronic databases, such as viDesktop and EPICOR, are a plus.
- Strong analytical and quantitative skills; comfortable working with numerical data and formulas.
- Innovative thinker; creative problem solver; works effectively and collaboratively at all levels.
- Demonstrates sound judgment and discretion while maintaining highly confidential and sensitive information.
- Ability to anticipate and address problems and challenging issues, and respond calmly, efficiently, and effectively in all situations.
- Strong client service focus with ability to influence and guide others, develop and forge positive, collaborative, and trusting working relationships with different levels of constituencies.
- Excellent organizational and time management skills with the ability to manage multiple complex projects at once, realign priorities, and work independently to drive projects to completion.
- Exceptional oral and written communication skills, and interpersonal and team communication skills.
- Responds quickly and positively to shifting demands and opportunities.
- Understands details and processes within a larger context and how complex systems are interrelated.
Location: Boston, MA or New York, NY
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Physical Demands: The firm will strive to provide reasonable accommodations, as requested, to enable an employee with a disability to successfully perform this position in our office setting. Frequent communication is an essential aspect of this position and employees must be able to exchange timely and accurate information in a variety of situations. This position may also encompass maintaining a stationary position for long periods of time (at least up to 50% of the workday) with occasional movement, as well as lifting and/or moving objects that weigh up to 25 pounds. Other essential functions may apply and employees working remotely have the same or similar requirements.
Work Environment: The office work environment of the firm is characteristic of the environment the job holder will encounter. In this typical office setting, an employee will encounter standard office equipment and any noise associated with that equipment. The noise level is usually quiet to moderate. The office setting of Wolf Greenfield requires the ability to manage multiple work priorities along with frequent interruptions.