Talent Development & the Path to Partnership in an Unloyal World

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 50 minutes
Recorded Date: February 05, 2020
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  • Cultural shifts that are influencing the associate model
  • New ways firms are training and staffing associates
  • How do you develop future lawyers and keep talent interested in the work
  • What the path to partnership looks like and what new paths are emerging
  • Lateral integration techniques
Runtime: 50 minutes
Recorded: February 5, 2020


Historically new law firm associates have followed similar career trajectories ultimately leading to a partnership at the firm. The time and financial investment in these associates paid off for the firm as the next generation of leaders rose within the ranks. Today, we often hear about tactics for training and developing talent but this isn’t always resulting in loyal employees. In fact, for many young lawyers becoming a partner has lost its allure as they do not feel their firms are invested in them and that they are tightening the reins on partnerships.

This program was recorded as part of the Legal Business Strategy Forum at's Legalweek Conference on February 5th, 2020.

Provided By



Frank D'Amore

Attorney Career Catalysts

Our Founder, Frank Michael D’Amore, has a rather unique vantage point that is invaluable to our candidates and clients. This has been derived from his experience as a government agency law clerk, a Partner in a major law firm, serving as a General Counsel in privately-held and publicly-traded companies, becoming a Partner in an international legal recruiting firm, and successfully running the Attorney Career Catalysts’ recruiting, law firm M&A, and consulting firm for the past fourteen years.

Frank’s knowledge of the law firm sector began as a litigation Associate for a mid-size Philadelphia firm. As a junior associate, he became national outside counsel for one of the leading pharmaceutical and medical device companies in the U.S. Frank ultimately became a Partner in an Am Law 200 firm, where he tried cases and built a sizable practice. His recruiting and consulting skills also took root there, as Frank ran his firm’s Summer Program and was an active member of its Hiring and Business Development Committees.

The siren call of in house sounded for Frank, as he joined the Fort Worth, Texas legal department of long-time client, Alcon Laboratories, in 1994. Frank expanded beyond litigation, as he learned other facets of practice. He also became active in the American Corporate Counsel Association (now known as the Association of Corporate Counsel), where Frank served as Co-Chair of the Law Department Management Committee.

Frank first became a General Counsel with Graphic Controls, a $250MM medical device and industrial products manufacturer based in Buffalo, New York. He became enmeshed in all aspects of the company’s business and also dove much deeper into the transactional and regulatory sides of the law. The work that Frank now does in the law firm M&A sector traces its origin to his stint at Graphic Controls, as Frank was an integral member of the team that led his company through its sale to Tyco International. Frank was intimately involved in that deal, which included working with some of New York’s top law firms and investment banking leaders, such as Chase and Morgan Stanley.

Frank’s in house experiences triggered a strong interest in running a business in the legal industry. He realized that objective in 2001, when Frank opened the Philadelphia office of Major, Hagen & Africa (now known as Major, Lindsey & Africa), an international legal recruiting firm. Despite opening in the midst of an economic downturn, and against heavily entrenched competition, Frank put his office on the map. He became a Partner in the firm, chaired its in house recruiting department, and demonstrated an innate ability to master Partner recruiting.

In 2005, Frank achieved the dream of putting his imprimatur on his own firm. Frank could better capitalize on his nationwide contacts and burgeoning interest in law firm M&A, which have blossomed in Attorney Career Catalysts. Frank has consummated numerous law firm mergers since starting the firm, has developed a renowned and sophisticated partner/group recruiting practice, and has continued to do selected in house searches. Although based in suburban Philadelphia, Frank has worked with partners, firms, and companies throughout the U.S. (and abroad).

Frank writes a popular column, “The Business of Law,” which appears in The Legal Intelligencer and is often picked up by other publications around the world that are part of the ALM family. His articles and comments have also frequently appeared a broad range of publications, including Law360, The Philadelphia Business Journal, The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, and a growing number of blogs.

Frank is a Philadelphia native who graduated, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Boston College in 1981. He received his law degree from the George Washington University National Law Center in 1984, during which time he clerked in the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Mark S. Goldstein

Reed Smith LLP

Mark is a partner in the New York office of Reed Smith and a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Group.

Mark’s practice is focused on helping companies in New York and around the world manage their workplace needs. To that end, Mark counsels clients on a variety of day-to-day and also big-picture workplace issues. These issues include policy and handbook development; risk assessment and litigation avoidance; compliance with and overseeing anti-discrimination/harassment and other equal employment opportunity laws; wage and hour compliance; conducting internal investigations of sexual harassment and other allegations; hiring, discipline, discharge, reduction-in-force, and restructuring decisions; providing workplace training to managers and human resource professionals; enforcement of non-competes and other restrictive covenants; drafting employment, independent contractor, separation, confidentiality, and other workplace-related agreements; government audits and investigations; and a wide variety of other employment issues.

Mark also defends employers in a wide range of employment litigation matters. He has experience in both federal and state court, as well as before a multitude of government agencies, and has defended both single-plaintiff and class action claims involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations, leaves of absence, misappropriation of trade secrets, and other torts and contract disputes arising out of the employment relationship. Mark has also represented clients in litigation involving covenants not to compete. Mark works with clients at every step of the litigation process to determine which cases should be litigated, which should be resolved in an alternative forum, and which can and should be settled.

Mark also advises clients on all aspects of employment-related issues in corporate transactions. This includes conducting due diligence in connection with proposed asset and stock purchases; reviewing and editing purchase agreements; preparing employment, retention, and separation agreements in connection with business mergers/restructurings; advising clients as to how best to onboard employees of predecessor companies; and assisting in the implementation of separation/mass layoff programs resulting from corporate transactions.

Mark is passionate about mental health issues in the legal industry. He frequently speaks about mental health-related topics, including through webinars, bar association events, and other programs/events.

Jill Backer

Assistant Dean, Career & Professional Development
Pace Law School

Jill Backer was a criminal defense attorney in Chicago before going into legal sales. Upon return to her native NY in 2002, she took a job at Brooklyn Law School where she built one of the first employer outreach programs in the nation at a law school. Jill spent 12 years at Brooklyn Law School. She has been the Chair of the NALP employer outreach section. Jill has been the Assistant Dean at Pace Law School’s office of Career and Professional Development since 2014.

Jill is a graduate of Marquette University and Quinnipiac University School of Law.

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