Raising the bar: Law firm success includes developing talent, not just hiring the best

Roberta Fields, co-chair of McAfee & Taft’s Recruiting Committee, was interviewed by The Journal Record for an article about how successful law firms attract, recruit and develop young talent.

When reviewing applications, she said she looks for the best and brightest. “We get so many applications, so we’re going to look for the people who have exhibited intellectual capacity,” said Fields.

Once a new associate is hired, though, the firm’s focus shifts to developing their skills and talents.  This includes giving young attorneys the freedom to explore a broad range of practice areas and fields of law. “McAfee’s big enough to allow someone the opportunity to change areas of interest,” she said.  There’s a pretty good support framework for lawyers that come in as associates to develop and be able to ask questions to figure out what they want to do. I don’t think most firms have that capability.”