Manager of Associate Staffing & Career Development

New locations. New business ventures. New career opportunities. Working at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is a challenging and rewarding experience. Our firm is recognized as the leader in providing legal and business advice to technology and growth companies at all stages of development. Our broad spectrum of practices and entrepreneurial spirit allow our staff exceptional opportunities for professional growth and exploration.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR) is seeking a Manager of Associate Staffing & Career Development in our Palo Alto office. The Manager will lead all aspects of WSGR’s innovative and successful Launch program, the centralized work allocation process for junior corporate associates in Palo Alto. The Manager will oversee the onboarding, training, staffing, and career development of Launch associates, and then work with firm management and corporate partners to assign Launch graduates into corporate subgroups.

The Manager role provides a superb opportunity to engage in many aspects of attorney talent management, including recruiting, training, work allocation, performance analysis and feedback, career development, and retention. This role provides practice-wide visibility and a high level of interaction with firm management, corporate group leadership, and staff members across multiple functions, including recruiting, training & development, and HR.

Though the Launch program will be the Manager’s primary responsibility, the individual's role and reach can expand over time with demonstrated performance, interest, and initiative. For example, the founding Manager was able to expand her role and provide career coaching for associates firm-wide, work on associate communications and mentoring projects, and help manage the firm's diversity initiative. Similar opportunities may be available for the next Manager.

The ideal candidate is someone who (a) is passionate about the development of young professionals, (b) understands the business needs of a professional services firm, and (c) has the judgment and client-service orientation to balance the two effectively. We are looking for a team player who can independently determine needs, propose solutions, and make decisions under pressure with grace, discretion, and a can-do attitude.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Field staffing requests from partners and senior associates and assign junior associates to matters so as to meet the needs of clients and supervising attorneys while also balancing the workloads and professional development goals of junior associates.
  • Monitor and track junior associates’ utilization in order to maximize their exposure to a variety of work, to provide access to different partners and associates, and enable them to develop a broad set of skills early in their careers.
  • Regularly meet with junior associates to (a) discuss their recent work and desired future assignments, (b) counsel them on ways to improve their performance, develop their skills, and advance their careers, (c) build an in-depth understanding of their professional aspirations, strengths, development needs and relevant personal circumstances; exercising a high-level of discretion in all dealings.
  • Regularly meet with the partners who oversee Launch to discuss their experiences with assigned junior associates and collaborate to improve the function of the Launch program and respond to issues affecting morale, productivity and retention.
  • Collaborate with the HR department and Career Development Committee to manage the performance review process for Launch associates; participate in review meetings and identify training needs based on performance trends.
  • Consult with the professional development managers to develop and enhance training for Launch associates.
  • Consult periodically with the managers of law student and lateral attorney hiring regarding hiring needs.
  • Periodically report to firm management on the effectiveness of the junior corporate associate staffing process; recommend and implement improvements in the process.
  • Develop social and other programs to support the integration, morale, and retention of Launch associates.
  • Stay current on practice developments and client service best practices.


  • At least three years’ experience managing the client, matter or project staffing process in a professional services firm, or at least three years’ experience practicing corporate and securities law.
  • Client service and problem-solving orientation.
  • Strong interpersonal, organizational and communications skills.
  • Ability to build strong work relationships with attorneys and staff at all levels of seniority.
  • Pragmatic, self-motivated, flexible, and good team worker.
  • Ability to design, develop, deploy, and continuously improve new processes and tools.

This is a full-time exempt position.

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