Associate Development & Training


  • Vault Rankings 2019
    • 1 for formal training
    • 3 for firm culture
    • 6 for pro bono
    • 6 for LGBT
    • 8 for best law firm to work for
    • 8 for overall diversity
  • Named one of eight Law Firms with the Best Associates, BTI Consulting Group client survey (2017)
  • Named one of the top 10 “Best Law Firms for Women,” by Law360 (2017, 2018)
  • Named to Law360’s “Ceiling Smashers” list of large firms with the highest percentage of female equity partners
  • Received 10 consecutive 100 percent scores on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, earning designation as a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality”

What to Expect: Innovative Investment in Associates and Their Professional Growth

Ropes & Gray associates are treated to a first-class training experience ranked number 1 in the most recent Vault survey of the top 100 U.S. law firms. Our associates are our greatest asset. Helping associates reach their full potential and develop into world-class attorneys is a key part of our culture of excellence. 

Our associate training and development program recognizes that a attorney's development advances in many ways. It is designed to fulfill the needs of associates at all levels, and to develop distinctively well-rounded talent. We offer our associates, including summer associates and new associates:

  • A variety of challenging and interesting work assignments 
  • A first-class training experience consisting of formal and informal training programs
  • Constructive feedback and evaluations to help with career development
  • A supportive culture with mentoring and guidance from partners and other attorneys
  • Department- and practice group-specific trainings
  • Soft skills trainings
  • Tailored staffing
  • Career counseling to assist associates with taking charge of their careers, set career goals and navigate their career paths at the firm

The Work

Work and learning are integrated at Ropes & Gray. We enrich the associate experience mainly through challenging and interesting work. This work is guided by experienced attorneys who have acquired the excellent judgment and legal skills underpinning superb client service. 

Our work assignment process reflects our tailored and holistic approach. Incoming associates join one of the firm’s departments—corporate, litigation, IP litigation, tax & benefits, labor & employment, business restructuring or private client group. Those joining the corporate department will request two practice areas of interest within the department, from which they will get the majority of their assignments. Associate development managers, many of who are formerly practicing attorneys, coordinate work assignments in consultation with department heads or practice group partners. The associate development managers calibrate work assignments around each associate’s workload, current opportunities, individual preferences, career goals and developmental needs. 


With hundreds of training programs every year, Ropes & Gray fosters a learning environment for our lawyers. To complement on-the-job learning, we offer both skills training and department-focused training. Ropes & Gray offers a wide array of core skills training. This includes training in writing, effective communication, leadership and management, business development, negotiation skills, legal research and matter management. Mastering these skills is fundamental to becoming a successful lawyer. Ropes & Gray also holds a firm-wide retreat for third-year associates and for sixth-year associates, including sessions on firm strategy, management and leadership skills, business development and the firm’s business model.

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