Reinhart looks to our summer associate program when seeking to hire new attorneys. We also supplement our associate hiring by actively recruiting third-year law students and lateral attorneys on an as-needed basis for specific departments. In fact, we have had top-level partners and associates from every major Milwaukee law firm and several from Chicago and New York join us after comparing the opportunities available at Reinhart with their prior firm.
Ahead of the curve
More than 50 years ago, Reinhart launched its recruiting program at a time when most law school graduates found jobs by knocking on doors. Only the most established and largest firms had the time and resources to travel across the country to campuses and recruit. But that didn’t stop Reinhart. Reinhart knew it had to offer something different, something more than tradition to set itself apart from the giants of the legal profession. So the firm, led by five young attorneys, sold promise.
Today the promise is realized and our entrepreneurial spirit remains. With Reinhart, you will find great opportunities and the chance to be instrumental in our growth and evolution. We attract lawyers who want to be part of a thriving, challenging legal practice, who want more than a job in a big firm. As we’ve grown, we’ve evolved – we’ve changed the firm’s name, opened new office locations and expanded into new practice areas. But, our core values remain the same.
Entrepreneurial Client Base
Historically, the core of our client base has been sophisticated, growing, midlevel companies across a broad range of service, technology and manufacturing industries, complemented by larger, multinational organizations. This client base generates a wide variety of high-level, challenging and rewarding legal work. It also gives our newer associates the type of client interaction typically reserved (at other firms) for senior associates and new shareholders.
At Reinhart we develop close personal relationships with entrepreneurs and companies’ top decision makers, people who grow their business investments the way Reinhart has grown – starting with a few shareholders and expanding to multi-million dollar entities. We offer our larger clients the same personal service and values that we give our closely held clients. As Reinhart evolves along with its client base, dedication to our role as trusted business advisor remains a core value. We partner with our clients and care about their prosperity in the same way we care about our own.
Culture of Independence
Our entrepreneurial client base inspires a culture of independence at Reinhart. Reinhart selects and trains its attorneys with the expectation that they can and will generate business through expertise and relationship building. At our firm, we encourage, guide and support your efforts to develop contacts, foster your own business relationships, and grow your reputation and develop an area of expertise and expand your knowledge base. A Reinhart attorney team, whether constructed for high stakes litigation or a complex business matter, gives you the chance to influence decisions and contribute to client counseling and case management. This culture encourages associates to take control of their careers. You have the ability to become a recognized expert in a chosen area or niche and develop your own client base. Our management style, technology, training and staff help you to grow your individual practice. You are the driver and we help you navigate.
Culture of Support
As our firm history demonstrates, we understand the importance of supporting and keeping associates in the loop about firm goals and expectations beginning early in their careers. We’ve established communication channels across all levels throughout the firm. For example, we host regular town hall meetings, an open forum for associates to raise questions and discuss firm issues and opportunities. In addition, our Associate Committee, which includes shareholders and associates from a cross-section of firm practice areas, raises issues and brainstorms ideas that enhance the quality of what we do and how we do it. Associates have the opportunity to learn about law firm management by joining shareholders on firm committees and participating in practice area meetings.
But Reinhart’s supportive culture reaches far beyond organized meetings and committees. You can see it every day in and across every practice and staff area. From something as small as a New Year’s Eve afternoon champagne toast led by the CEO or a firm-wide lunch served up by the Board of Directors, to something as important as shareholders and associates working side by side at all stages of a client marketing program, Reinhart creates an engaging and sociable community for associates. We take a team approach to working projects and give you as much responsibility as you can handle. Through constant, day-to-day interaction, shareholders and associates develop natural mentoring relationships that make associates better lawyers faster while offering great job satisfaction. As a member of the Reinhart team, you will join us for client and community events. We enjoy a team approach that doesn’t overemphasize hierarchy.
Reinhart partners in your success with its many, well-established attorney development initiatives. Through a continuous, goal-driven process, our attorneys receive the guidance, tools and leeway they need to advance their personal professional goals while adding value to our clients and practice group teams. Key elements of our professional development program include:
- Associate Training Program (ATP)
- Structured goal setting and review process
- Associate skills grids
- Reinhart University
Associate Training Program (ATP)
The Associate Training Program (ATP) is one of the earliest programs of its kind in the U.S. ATP gives our attorneys a jumpstart on developing best lawyering practices and habits and an understanding of the firm’s culture and values. New associates meet regularly as a group in their first year to learn practice skills in the context of Reinhart’s culture and procedures. In ATP, associates rapidly increase their confidence and competence as Reinhart lawyers in a comfortable peer environment. ATP guests include attorneys from around the firm and even firm clients. Among its benefits, ATP provides a cross-practice group bonding experience for new associates as together they navigate their important first year at Reinhart.
Personal help from seasoned professionals is important at every stage of your career and particularly when you are getting started. As part of ATP, we help new associates to identify an attorney mentor. Your mentor offers professional support and guidance, helps you to understand Reinhart at a deeper level and encourages your success. Within practice groups, mentors can participate in an associate’s goal setting and review processes as well as offering ad hoc lifelines for dealing with practice challenges. Sometimes mentoring matches can cross practice group lines, helping make early connections with Reinhart’s multidisciplinary client service teams.
Goal Setting and Reviews
In keeping with our culture of independence and support, Reinhart structures associate goal setting and reviews as a collaborative process. Against the backdrop of client and practice group needs, our associates figure out their development goals with the support of practice group leaders, review coordinators and mentors. At regular formal and informal reviews, we use feedback from attorneys directly involved with each associate’s work along with practice group expectations to evaluate and help associates to refresh their goals. It’s a progressive and supportive approach that complements the feedback you receive day to day from the attorneys who work with you. After the formal review, associates work with their practice groups to set revised goals that underpin the next cycle in their individual professional development plans.
To help associates design and achieve their professional development goals year by year, each practice group maintains an associate skills grid listing the key skills practice group associates are expected to develop at specified times in their careers. The skills grid is a tool for tracking an associate’s experience level to better develop skills through targeted training and assignments. For each skill area, the grid identifies resources, activities and benchmarks by which attorneys can develop specific skills and measure their progress.
Reinhart University is the firm’s platform for in-house legal training. Under the motto “Better Lawyers Faster,” Reinhart University helps practice groups deliver practical tools and information that attorneys need to develop necessary to keep them on the leading edge. Reinhart University courses are a key element of associate skills grids in many of our practice groups. Most Reinhart University courses are open to all attorneys in the firm, giving them the opportunity to expand their knowledge beyond their practice groups in areas that match their individual practices or interests. Reinhart University also provides firm attorneys an easy alternative for satisfying CLE requirements.
Becoming a Shareholder
At Reinhart, full partnership is a realistically attainable goal. With hard work and development, each of our associates can become an owner in our organization. We view each individual attorney as a long–term contributor to the firm’s future. Reinhart demonstrates its commitment to these long-term relationships through its investment in the summer associate program and through selective lateral hiring. The firm has a partnership model, which allows us to spread opportunity among the largest possible group of people. We have multiple paths to partnership, each tied to the ability to develop and sustain valuable client relationships.
Across all levels in the firm, Reinhart aims to compensate its attorneys objectively and fairly. Associate compensation consists of a salary, primarily determined by seniority level, complemented by an annual bonus. The firm awards associate bonuses based on measures such as productivity, expertise development, work quality and business development efforts. Base salary is competitive with other large firms in the state. Total compensation also includes a variety of other benefits, such as a 401(k) plan, employer-subsidized health and dental insurance, employer-provided life insurance and the ability to pay for dependent care expenses and enclosed downtown parking on a pretax basis.
Shareholder compensation, guided by a predominantly objective formula, is based primarily on work performed and client account responsibility, and secondarily on subjective measures, such as leadership roles and successful business development efforts. Unlike many firms, Reinhart does not have a seniority compensation bias, allowing successful junior shareholders to be highly compensated for their efforts.
At Reinhart, we allow you to work flexibly as your projects demand. Each attorney and practice area is different—but the principle remains the same. Using current technology, adaptable scheduling, teamwork and creative case staffing, we empower our attorneys to pursue life beyond their careers while continuing to meet and exceed client expectations.
Reinhart has enjoyed sustained success through controlled growth and long-range planning. The firm ties every initiative back to its strategic plan and keeps its sights on long-term success. We opened our office in Waukesha, Wisconsin in 2002; our Rockford, Illinois office in 2005; our Phoenix, Arizona office in 2011; and our Chicago office in 2012. We self-assess and pinpoint our objectives to track growth opportunities and the results of our achievements.