How many hours is an associate expected to bill?
We have no formal expectation regarding billable hours. Our Firm understands that, especially for new associates, it may be difficult to meet a certain defined minimum billable hour requirement. As a result, when evaluating performance, our Firm places significant value on an attorney’s ability to produce high-quality work product and service to our clients.
How long before I am considered for election to shareholder?
An associate is considered for invitation to become a shareholder seven years after beginning with the Firm. Associates who join the Firm after completing a federal judicial clerkship are often given credit for each year spent as a judicial clerk. Lawyers entering with experience at other employers are evaluated based on their individual facts and circumstances.
Does the firm encourage pro bono activities?
Making a difference in our community and assisting those in need is important to GableGotwals. We encourage our attorneys to participate in the traditional pro bono opportunities afforded by Legal Services of Eastern Oklahoma and other worthy organizations. Hours spent on approved pro bono projects are credited as billable hours. In addition to the projects law students typically think of as “pro bono” projects, we also have a strong commitment to pro bono professional and community service activities. Members of our firm have always been very active in the county bar associations, the Oklahoma Bar Association, American Bar Association and the Oklahoma Bar Association – Young Lawyers Division. In addition to bar association participation, our lawyers are active in virtually all community groups that further the public good. Many of our attorneys and staff are active in the community including, but not limited to United Way, Habitat for Humanity, educational tutoring and mentoring programs.
What are the benefits currently available to a new associate?
Our lawyers and staff are our most valuable assets. GableGotwals recognizes the challenge of balancing our professional lives with our home and families, therefore, we are continually striving to offer to our attorneys a comprehensive plan of benefits. Among other benefits, we currently provide individual and family medical, dental, vision, life and disability insurance as well as an employer-funded profit sharing plan for all employees. Associates are eligible to participate in a 401(k) plan and flexible spending plans (after one year of employment) for health care and child care costs.
Registration fees and dues for bar and professional associations, as well as continuing legal education costs and other professional development expenses are paid by the Firm. New Associates are reimbursed for bar review tuition and registration fees for bar examination and admission in Oklahoma.
Does the firm permit flexible work arrangements?
We currently have shareholders and associates who work less than a full time schedule to permit additional time with families. The Firm leadership encourages work-life balance for all attorneys as we want healthy, happy attorneys and staff.
Am I assigned to a practice area?
GableGotwals does not have formal practice areas, although we do have practice groups. Our firm is organized along two functional lines – litigation and transactional work. Within these two functional areas, some lawyers have a more specific practice area, while others are more generalists. Associates are asked to choose between these two functional areas upon starting with the firm. However, no choice is ever final and, in the event you want to try the other area, that opportunity exists.