In hiring associates, the Davis Brown Law Firm looks for individuals who have excellent personal and academic records and the creativity, integrity and motivation to become outstanding members of the firm and the Greater Des Moines community.
Each new associate is assigned a shareholder-mentor who serves as an informal sounding board and a formal advisor. Throughout their tenure, associates are given regular informal feedback from the members of the firm. In addition, the firm formally evaluates each associate annually to monitor progress and to focus on practice development. Newer associates are formally evaluated bi-annually.
Davis Brown is dedicated to providing significant associate training opportunities. As such, the firm assists associates with the cost of attending local and national continuing legal education programs and shareholders provide on-site formal and informal training at regularly-held meetings. Recent Litigation Division and Business Division meetings featured presentations on such topics as business development practices, insurance regulation, utilization of jury selection services, client development, technology for trial attorneys and strategies for working with in-house counsel.
It is our hope that every associate will develop the skills and qualities necessary to attain a position as one of the Firm's shareholders. To accomplish that goal, associates are provided a collegial working environment that emphasizes open communication between shareholders and associates. By encouraging open communication and providing significant training opportunities and challenging work, the Firm is able to allow associates to assume extensive responsibility for client matters quickly. Associates are eligible for consideration for the position of shareholder after six full calendar years.
A prime example of the open lines of communication at the firm is its governing structure. The Davis Brown Law Firm is a professional corporation governed by a board of directors. An associate representative, elected by the associates, attends quarterly board meetings and serves as a liaison between the board and the associate group. Associates also have access to a significant portion of firm information and are included in the annual strategic planning retreat.
The firm has and continues to invest in new technologies that assist attorneys with the delivery of quality legal services in an efficient manner, including the deployment of advanced document database and electronic document systems, on-line research systems and state-of-the-art communication tools. Incoming attorneys receive personal laptop computers along with a docking station at their desks and have access to firm IT personnel for ongoing education and support.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
Associate compensation compares favorably with that of other attorneys in the city of Des Moines and the state of Iowa.
The firm provides associates health insurance, life insurance, long-term disability insurance and retirement plans. In accordance with established policies, procedures and limitations, the firm reimburses associates for bar exam fees, bar dues, continuing legal education fees, client development expenses and other approved work-related expenses.
The firm recognizes the importance of a well-rounded life. First-year associates are required to bill 1825 hours and associates in their second through sixth years are required to bill 1850 hours. During an associates first two years with the firm, they are credited for up to 50 hours spent in approved training endeavors, either internally or externally, thereby reducing required client hours.