When it comes to the art of the deal, clients trust Shearman & Sterling to deliver. Known as the “go-to” law firm for mission-critical transactions, we’ve been involved in high-profile deals and matters for some of the most recognized names in the world since 1873. Clients tell us they choose Shearman & Sterling time and again for our ability to strategically leverage the knowledge and experience of our legal teams to lead them successfully through their complex, time-sensitive business transactions. When we are building teams to address the specific needs of our clients worldwide, we’re also bringing together our lawyers’ unique ideas, experiences, cultures, and backgrounds.

Our success is based on attracting talented lawyers and developing them into the industrys finest professionals. When our lawyers succeed, our clients do too. We’ve developed numerous programs and initiatives to support associate professional development. Our resources help all of our lawyers stay competitive and grow professionally, intellectually and personally.


Our culture is inclusive, collaborative and forward thinking. Whether it’s joining an Inclusion Network or a sports team, or getting involved in a pro bono project, lawyers at the firm have many opportunities to make connections with people from a variety of backgrounds. Our Inclusion Networks are associate-led and open to all summer associates and associates at the firm, regardless of self-identification. We are committed to fostering a culture that appreciates success and provides real time actionable feedback. We recently implemented an online global platform to provide lawyers with the opportunity to request and give feedback and build development objectives on an ongoing basis.

Professional Development 

We believe the key to being a successful lawyer in todays global economy is to continually hone your skills. At Shearman & Sterling, we pride ourselves on providing extensive, thoughtfully-designed programs so our lawyers grow professionally and stay competitive. At our firm, learning is a lifetime commitment.

Our Professional Development programs offer ongoing specialized instruction in areas such as communication, leadership, business development, negotiation, accounting, legal writing, and ethics. Practice group-specific programs offer specialized training to strengthen your legal skills and expand your base of knowledge.

At each level of your career there are programs that will enhance your skills and encourage personal and professional growth. Youll be invited to lunchtime seminars, class-year conferences, talks by distinguished alumni, and much more. Over the past year alone, the firm has offered over 250 training programs to our lawyers.

In addition to many other offerings, below are some of the programs that we regularly offer our lawyers.

First-Year Associate Development Series

This series is designed to help our first-year associates transition to our firm. By offering periodic seminars on skills such as negotiation, legal writing, and managing up, we provide new associates with tools to succeed in the law firm environment. The First-Year Associate Development Series is an opportunity for first-year associates to continue to deepen their skills while simultaneously networking with colleagues from different practice groups.

Business Development

These programs are designed to help our associates enhance their business development perspective and skill set. Program topics have included Bringing Home the Business, Honing Your Message, and The Economics of Firm Relationships.

Global Conferences

Global Conferences include the First-Year Conference, the Mid-Level Conference for fourth-year associates, and the Associate Leadership Academy for a select group of senior associates. In addition to being able to travel and learning rich content from the programs, these conferences provide opportunities for our associates to meet and build relationships with colleagues around the world.

Summer Associate University

This series is designed to introduce summer associates to the firms practices and the legal and professional skills fundamental to being an effective lawyer.

Firm Practices Series

This series is designed to provide our associates with deeper insight into our firms diverse practices and capabilities. Over casual lunches, partners from different practice groups give informal presentations about their groups work.

All-Lawyer Social Events

We hold several social events throughout the year so that our lawyers in the New York office can get to know each other in a casual setting.

Class-Year Gatherings

Periodically, members of a specific associate class are invited to get together as a group, without a formal agenda. These gatherings provide opportunities to meet lateral associates, network, and generally catch up with fellow classmates.

Oasis Events

Three afternoons a week, the largest meeting space in the New York office converts into the Oasis coffee bar. In addition to providing a fun and informal environment for associates to catch up and grab complimentary coffee and snacks, we also use this venue to host a variety of themed events, including gatherings to celebrate the Super Bowl, the Oscars, the arrival of summer, and more.

Lean In

This initiative emphasizes empowerment and equality for women. The firm is one of many leading organizations that act as a Platform Partner to support Lean In efforts. One of the many ways the firm supports Lean In is through regular Education Circle Meetings on different leadership topics.

Rosetta Stone Foreign Language Program

In order to provide greater service to our global client base, we have partnered with the leader in foreign language instruction to provide our lawyers with an opportunity to further develop their language skills.


Mentoring is one of the many valued associate development initiatives at Shearman & Sterling. Rather than having one overarching program, we have several mentorship programs to meet the changing needs of lawyers as they grow and develop during their careers at the firm.

Summer Associate Advisor Program

Each summer associate is assigned a senior advisor and a junior advisor for each of their practice group (or office) rotations during the summer. An attempt is made to match the summer associates with advisors based on compatibilities in a variety of areas, such as schools attended, hobbies and interests. The main objective of this mentoring program is to help the summer associates integrate into the firm.

First Year Advisor Program

Entry-level associates are assigned a partner advisor and one or more associate advisors based on their practice group assignment. New associates are matched to their advisors based on particular practice area interests, special requests and similar professional interests. The main objective of the program is to provide career development and guidance to entry-level associates.

Lateral/Transfer Advisor Program

Each junior lateral hire and transferring associate is assigned a partner advisor and an associate advisor based on their practice group assignment. Participants are matched to advisors based on practice area interests, special requests and similar professional interests. The main objective of the program is to help integrate laterals and transfers into the firm.

Associate Mentoring Initiative

The Associate Mentoring Initiative facilitates ongoing mentoring among our lawyers in North America. It is unlike any other mentoring program at the firm in that it provides personalized matching to enhance the effectiveness of mentoring relationships. The Associate Mentoring Initiative affords associates the opportunity to create mentoring relationships with lawyers across practice groups and offices with different levels of experience.

Associates Committee 

The Associates Committee is comprised of nine associates in the New York office representing multiple practice groups and class years, including junior, midlevel and senior associates. The Associates Committee works with the firms Associate Development Partners (ADP) Committee to respond to ideas and issues on associates minds. Matters discussed may include training and development, social and educational opportunities, morale, career development, and support services, among others.

Diversity & Inclusion 

Diversity is not simply a philosophy at our firm; it informs who we are and how we do business with our clients and with each other. We strongly believe that diversity in our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences enhances the quality of our work and augments our lives, and we are resolute in our mission to continue to weave difference into the fabric of the firm.

Read more about our Diversity & Inclusion initiatives.

Women’s Initiatives 

Shearman & Sterling’s Women’s Initiatives is a program dedicated to fostering new and strengthened relationships with colleagues, clients, alumni and other professional women to promote a more inclusive culture and a genuinely collaborative work environment. The program’s women-oriented initiatives provide opportunities for professional development and networking within the larger legal and business communities, benefiting both the firm’s lawyers and its clients.

Read more about our Women’s Initiatives program.

Pro Bono Commitment 

Making a difference matters to us. Shearman & Sterling believes pro bono work is an essential part of every lawyers practice – its where our work and our communities meet. Our lawyers devote time to serving the needs of individuals and nonprofit organizations with limited access to legal services. Our multi-jurisdictional practice qualifies us to address pro bono matters around the world, whether at a San Francisco legal clinic or in Tanzania at the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Shearman & Sterling also contributed to the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) to develop 10 village bank micro-lending programs in Afghanistan.

Collectively, our lawyers worldwide contribute roughly 50,000 pro bono hours annually to global projects and local issues – an ongoing dedication that is a hallmark of our culture.

Read more about our Pro Bono initiatives.