Cooley

Together helps Cooley connect their global law firm through mentorship

The Challenge

Cooley is a global law firm with 1,500 lawyers across 17 offices in the United States, Asia and Europe. Cooley focuses on complicated litigation and legal work, so teams need to be the best and brightest to serve their clients. 

To prepare their employees for such complex work, they needed a scalable way to onboard new employees and get them up to speed quickly. The best way to do this is by connecting new hires with more experienced individuals

Mentorship is essential to the onboarding process because it gives new hires a support system to understand their role and responsibilities much faster than they would on their own. Mentors provide key insight to help them become competent in their roles faster. It’s also a great way to quickly introduce new hires to the culture and help them build connections with their new colleagues.

Cooley wanted an efficient way to connect their global workforce, onboard new hires, and support their high-performing teams. They chose to do so through formal mentorship programs.

The Solution

When exploring how to introduce formal mentoring programs into their organization, Cooley learned about Together’s mentoring platform. Leveraging our easy-to-use software, Cooley quickly paired up new employees with more senior associates for mentorship. They called it Cooley Academy Mentoring Program (CAMP).

Cooley Academy Mentoring Program (CAMP)

Cooley’s onboarding program brought together SAA graduates to be mentors to MLA graduates for structured sessions. They’d discuss goal setting, delegation, career development, and more. 

Leveraging our easy-to-use software, Cooley quickly paired new employees with more senior associates for mentorship.

Each session included agendas to guide pairs through the mentoring process, taking the guesswork out of the logistics and allowing them to focus on genuine connection and career growth. 

For mentees, they could:

  • Get outside support from senior staff and ask questions from someone other than their work friends and manager.
  • Expand their professional network and meet others from diverse groups.
  • Learn by example from the real stories of leaders who have built their careers and achieved ambitious goals.
  • Find others from like-minded groups and foster relationships at your organization.

Likewise, senior associates who acted as mentors had the opportunity to reflect on their career path and pay it forward. Mentors could:

  • Share their journey and the steps they took to build their career.
  • Provide feedback to their mentee and use their expertise to guide and support their goals.
  • Grow their professional network by meeting others from different parts of their organization.
Cooley Mentoring Competition

An interesting way Cooley customized their mentorship program was to kickstart a competitive ‘mentoring madness’ challenge where attorneys had three weeks to ‘compete’ to be the best mentoring duo in the office by completing weekly challenges. Attorneys gained points for accomplishing small mentoring milestones such as:

  • Talk to your mentor about your personal brand.
  • Give your mentee advice on internal networking.
  • Arrange a shadowing opportunity for your mentee.
  • Share your thoughts on what work /life balance means to you.

A leaderboard was shared each week, tracking the top mentorship pairings. The program was a fun way to strengthen existing mentoring relationships and build new connections with colleagues.

Gaining insight into mentorship’s impact with robust reporting tools

With hundreds of employees participating in Cooley’s mentoring programs, it would be challenging to understand how each mentoring relationship progresses without a tool to help. 

Together’s software provides insights to program managers at a glance. They can see the program’s performance from a high level or zoom in on individual mentor-mentee pairings.

With Together’s suite of reporting tools, Cooley was able to gain insight into:

  • The registration process
  • How mentors and mentees feel about their match
  • Session feedback
  • The goals of mentors and mentees for the program

Together’s software provides insights to program managers at a glance. They can see the program’s performance from a high level or zoom in on individual mentor-mentee pairings. 

Without Together’s software, program managers would have to reach out to participants and interview them individually. Doing so is time-consuming and would likely happen after the relationship has concluded. Instead, real-time reporting can flag relationships with lower feedback ratings so program managers can step in.

The Results

Cooley’s mentorship programs have had an incredible impact across their organizations. On a scale out of 4, the average rating mentors and mentees gave was 3.9.

For new employees going through onboarding, it can be a daunting experience to join a new company. Having a buddy mentor to guide them through joining a large law firm made the transition more supportive and a shorter ramp-up time. Cooley’s onboarding mentoring program quickly got off the ground and provided the benefits of mentorship to all their new hires.

Cooley’s onboarding mentoring program quickly got off the ground and provided the benefits of mentorship to all their new hires.

Additionally, the mentoring challenge that Cooley launched to help employees connect was a creative way to help employees connect with one another. The relationships that were formed throughout the program undoubtedly continued after it culminated. There’s a reason why 95% of employees at Cooley say it is a great place to work compared to 59% of employees at a typical U.S.-based company. 

There’s a reason why 95% of employees at Cooley say it is a great place to work.

Moving forward, Cooley plans to start a DE&I mentorship program specifically for employees from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Diverse employees will have the opportunity to join their mentoring program as mentees to be mentored by a more senior associate. They will launch this program and continue to scale mentoring programs across their organization. 

We’re proud to be a part of Cooley’s mentorship journey.

Overview

Cooley LLP is an American international law firm, headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with offices worldwide.

Industry
Legal
Year founded
1920
Number of employees
Medium (1,000 - 10,000 employees)
Technology used
Workday
GSuite
Office 365

Program Overview

Geography
USA
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"Cooley’s mentorship programs have been spectacular. They have been creative, customizing their meeting agendas and making each mentoring program unique. Seeing their program grow and the feedback that mentors and mentees have shared speaks to their commitment to building a strong workforce by supporting each employee’s growth."
Matthew Sicoly
Director of Customer Success
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