Rather than promote associates based on law school graduation year, we employ our “level system.” Associates at Gilbert fall into one of six levels of progression, with Level 1 associates being at or near entry-level and Level 6 associates being closest to partner-level roles and responsibilities.
The Evaluation Committee promotes associates to the next level by assessing whether they have completed a certain quantity of work and demonstrated satisfaction of the criteria expected of associates in a particular level. The criteria change from level to level, touching on skills ranging from effectively performing multiple overlapping assignments to organizing and directing teams in the day-to-day management of a matter.
Our level system provides meaningful benefits for the firm, its associates, and our clients. For the firm, it helps ensure that associates are meaningfully growing their skill set and knowledge base. For associates, the level system provides transparency on the evaluation process by identifying what criteria are necessary for promotion, and it serves as a shared goalpost for both the firm and its associates. For clients, the level system helps ensure that clients pay rates justified by an associate’s added knowledge and skill-level.