NALP Releases New Resource Guide on Nontraditional-Track Lawyer Career Paths for Law Firms and Law Schools

May 21, 2014

Download this press release as a PDF


NALP is pleased to announce publication of The Emergence of Nontraditional-Track Lawyer Career Paths: A Resource Guide for Law Firms and Law Schools. This 95-page guide is now available as a free, downloadable PDF.

Client demands for efficiency and added value, as well as the changing legal landscape, dictate that law firms can no longer compete effectively in the marketplace with teams of lawyers made up solely of partnership-track associates and partners. Alternate staffing models, including the use of nontraditional lawyer tracks, is one significant way in which legal employers are responding to these challenges. NALP’s new resource guide, researched and written by the NALP New Career Models Task Force, provides an essential and comprehensive tool for law firms that are just in the early stages of implementing a nontraditional lawyer track, and also for firms looking to enhance existing programs by focusing on career progression or the implementation of a competency framework for their nonequity-track lawyers.

The guide is also a critical resource for law schools as they assist graduates for whom these nontraditional lawyer tracks may open up new career paths.

The guide begins with content addressed to employers on recruiting, integration, professional development, and the review process as they relate to lawyers in nontraditional-track positions. Numerous sidebars offer real-world examples of the ways law firms are handling nontraditional tracks. The guide then discusses opportunities and strategies for law school career offices related to these emerging lawyer career paths.

For many law firms and law schools, the appendix of this guide may be one of its most valuable components. Divided into seven sections, the appendix offers examples of nontraditional track models, sample job descriptions and job postings, a mentor fact sheet used by one firm for mentors of nontraditional-track attorneys, sample core competencies, sample evaluation forms, and profiles of 11 attorneys in a variety of nontraditional-track positions. Law schools will find the attorney profiles section particularly useful, providing concrete examples of the types of jobs that recent law school graduates are finding in today’s legal market.

“This is a resource,” said NALP Executive Director James Leipold, “that will be of enormous value to every law firm that is working to find the right mix of lawyers for moving forward strategically and competitively as the business model and market for the delivery of legal services continues to change. It will also enable law school career offices to understand more fully the new career paths emerging in this changing legal landscape.”

Read or download the complete guide here.


About NALP: NALP® (the National Association for Law Placement®) is an association of over 2,500 legal career professionals who advise law students, lawyers, law offices, and law schools in North America and beyond. What brings NALP members together is a common belief in three fundamental things. First, all law students and lawyers should benefit from a fair and ethical hiring process. Second, law students and lawyers are more successful when supported by professional development and legal career professionals. Third, a diverse and inclusive legal profession best serves clients and our communities. That’s why NALP members work together every day to collect and publish accurate legal employment data and information, and champion education and standards for recruiting, professional and career development, and diversity and inclusion. For more than 40 years, NALP has played an essential role in the success of our members and the lawyers and law students they serve.

NALP maintains an online archive of press releases at www.nalp.org/pressreleases. For information about NALP’s research-related press releases, contact Judith Collins (jcollins@nalp.org), Director of Research, or James G. Leipold (jleipold@nalp.org), Executive Director, at 202-835-1001. Mailing address: National Association for Law Placement, 1220 19th Street NW, Suite 401, Washington, DC 20036-2405.

National Association for Law Placement, Inc.® (NALP®), 1220 19th Street NW, Suite 401, Washington, DC 20036-2405, (202) 835-1001 info@nalp.org, © Copyright 2019 NALP

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