HCMP selects lawyers from top law schools across the country. We look for people with excellent academic records and other experiences promising success in creative and practical problem solving. Our use of teamwork in handling client matters allows new associates to assume significant responsibilities early in their careers.
The firm does not have formal departments or a rigidly hierarchical structure. Because each entering associate is expected to become a principal, lawyers take part in decision making after their first year through service on firm committees and, at all times, through open communication about firm business. Our goal is to instill in all lawyers a sense of participation in a common enterprise.
Each new associate at HCMP is assigned to a practice group. Work assignments for new associates come primarily from that practice group. Rather than the departmental fiefdoms and rigid hierarchies found in many firms, HCMP provides associates with opportunities to work with attorneys in other practice groups. Keeping in mind the needs of the firm and its clients, we attempt to match each new associate with the practice group of his or her primary interest.
HCMP uses a combination of formal and informal training for new associates. The formal training consists of a series of seminars that cover the nuts and bolts of practice, firm culture and professional development, and writing techniques. Because of our size and informal atmosphere, most training at the firm takes place on the job, at the elbow of one or more seasoned attorneys.
The firm assigns a supervising attorney to each new associate. The supervising attorney is a principal in the associate's practice group and helps to monitor the associate's work load, acts as a sounding board for questions during the associate's early years at the firm, and plays a primary role in the associate evaluation process.
HCMP associates are formally evaluated once a year by all of the principals. However, new associates are given ongoing feedback by their supervising attorneys and by the other attorneys with whom they work. HCMP has an "open door" policy, and attorneys at the firm are always willing to give feedback on an associate's work and to answer questions about any other aspect of the firm.
Associates are encouraged to participate in the management of the firm through membership on firm committees, including the hiring committee, program committee, attorney development committee, and business development committee.
The firm has always paid competitive salaries to its associates. The firm also offers a generous package of benefits, including medical, dental, life and disability insurance; three weeks' vacation for associates; and parental leave for attorneys who have been with the firm for at least two years. All employees with more than two years' employment also participate in the firm's pension and profit-sharing plans. After one year, associates may also participate in the firm's 401(k) plan, which is funded by payroll deductions. The benefits package may be changed from time to time.