Core Competencies That Drive Associate Advancement

In 2007, MLA replaced the traditional lock-step model for associate advancement and compensation in favor of a core competency approach that places associates in one of four competency levels. This approach rewards and compensates associates based upon the competencies that they demonstrate during the review year irrespective of years out of law school. Associates are evaluated in five competency areas which contain a detailed road map for the skills necessary to provide superior client service and obtain extraordinary results for our clients:  skills (writing, research, negotiation, oral advocacy), client service, work management, interpersonal skills and firm citizenship. The associate's billable rate is tied directly to the types of skills he/she is able to provide and not tied to the associate's years out of law school. Thus, the billable rate reflects the value generated by that associate's work on the client matter.