Orrick University

CivPro and Criminal law may be a distant memory, but continual learning and adaptation are essential to being the best at what we do. To prepare our lawyers to be commercial advisors, we teach skills – and coach and develop instincts – that go well beyond the law school curriculum. Orrick University is our learning center, for both our teams and our clients’ teams. Our curriculum covers practice developments in the law, and the business, practice management and teamship skills that are essential to advancing our clients’ goals.

From Boot Camp to Board Room

We believe that the art of "adding value" can be taught. Much of this learning occurs in the context of one-on-one mentoring and coaching – one of the most important responsibilities of our partners. More formal training occurs through Orrick University. Last year alone, Orrick University offered 400 courses. And we’re always adding new ones to the mix.

At each promotion point in our associate talent model, we take our lawyers out of the office for intensive academies that focus on gaining business acumen and developing project management and teamship skills. When our team members become senior associates, they attend a weeklong mini-MBA. The case study-style format immerses our lawyers in everything from balance sheets to the art of negotiation – not only through the lens of the law, but also from a business perspective. This prepares our teams to spot commercial opportunities and challenges for our clients.

As part of our trial culture, our litigation and IP associates attend three boot camps. Designed by one of the nation’s leading trial instructors, the interactive sessions teach deposition and trial skills, and provide on-the-ground feedback from seasoned trial lawyers.

  • Teamship and Other Lessons from the Field

    Every aspect of what we do as lawyers requires us to be good at working in groups and collaborating – what we call teamship. To take our teamship skills to the next level, we partner with one of the winningest coaches in collegiate sports to teach us lessons from the field. For firm leadership, he teaches the principles of being a player/coach. For our lawyers and staff, he teaches concrete teamship and communication skills.

    With five generations in the workplace, we take an intentional approach to tapping into the best thinking of each generation. This includes a seminar series about working across generations.

    Client Learning

    Our annual In-House Counsel Academy – held in the Bay Area and New York – is a signature event tailored to the needs of our in-house clients. We ask our clients what they want to learn, and then we host a day’s worth of panel discussions addressing these topics. This year’s academies included panels on forward-looking issues in employment law, government investigations and enforcement, dealmaking, protecting IP, navigating "big data" and security, and ethics. The events attracted more than 200 in-house counsel.

    We also offer a comprehensive curriculum of CLEs for our clients – delivered at Orrick, on-site at our clients’ offices or via webinar. Last year we delivered 95 seminars. Topics ranged from impact investing to a review of the U.S. Supreme Court cases of the coming term to preparing for the upcoming EU data privacy regulations. We regularly collaborate with our clients to design curricula focused on their teams’ interests.