Frequently Asked Questions - Associates and Laterals
Are associates assigned to specific departments?
A: Dinsmore & Shohl is organized in four departments:
Litigation – which includes areas such as environmental, highly complex mass tort, product liability and workers' compensation
Corporate – which includes securities, tax, employee benefits, bankruptcy, real estate and probate
Labor & Employment – which includes all aspects of employment litigation, affirmative action counsel and traditional labor law practices
Intellectual Property - which includes internet and e-commerce, patent litigation and prosecution and trademarks
Offers for associate positions are generally made with a particular department assignment in light of the firm's needs and the candidate's strengths and interests as expressed during the summer associate program or during interviews.
Does Dinsmore & Shohl have a policy to rotate associates through practice areas?
A: The firm does not maintain a formal system of rotating new lawyers through each department. However, the opportunity does exist for associates to move from one practice area to another, consistent with the needs of the firm and clients.
How quickly can associates have client contact and assume responsibility for cases?
A: Associates are encouraged to assume substantial responsibility and to engage in significant client contact as quickly as possible. Work assignments become more complex and encompassing, offering broader responsibility, as the individual associate demonstrates the maturity and ability to handle more important assignments. Although legal research is fundamental to the professional development of every attorney, Dinsmore & Shohl believes that other aspects of the practice of law, including client relations and work management, are equally important and should be experienced by associates at an early stage in their careers.
Are associates involved with community activities or invited to join firm committees?
A: Dinsmore & Shohl has a long tradition of public service. Associates are encouraged to get involved in community and civic organizations and to serve on various committees of the firm. Representatives from each office comprise the members of the Professional Development Committee, which coordinates the firm’s outreach program. Dinsmore & Shohl focuses its corporate community efforts on youth activities, including education and assistance programs for homeless and disadvantaged children. A number of charities in each of our locations receive gifts of both resources and time from the firm throughout the year.
Does Dinsmore & Shohl encourage pro bono activities?
A: Pro bono involvement is strongly encouraged. We accept referrals from Legal Aid, the Public Defender's office and local bar associations such as Volunteer Lawyers for the Poor.
How many years of employment before an associate is considered for partnership?
A: There is no fixed or standard period of time for achieving partnership in Dinsmore & Shohl. Under normal circumstances and under the firm's current policy, an associate who joins Dinsmore & Shohl upon graduation from law school should be in a position to be first considered for partnership seven years after graduation. This period is believed to be consistent with the firm's general philosophy and is comparable to the policies on partnership consideration of other similar firms in the region. Progression toward partnership, however, is not an automatic advancement by classes or by years of association with the firm. Each individual's progress will be judged independently. It is not unusual for members of a given class to be admitted to partnership at different times.