The following best practices and considerations were created with the help of ChIP’s Next Gen Committee members as well as from input from Stacy Quan (Microsoft), Andrew Trask (Google), Stefani Shanberg (Wilson), Steve Susman and audience members at the various panel discussions on Next Gen initiatives.  If you would like to contribute to this section, please email [email protected].


  1. ​​Corporate counsel would appreciate some assurance that if a junior person arguing needs assistance, that assistance can be freely given by more experienced counsel. Though some judge will clearly allow this, “codifying” this through court orders would better communicate this to all parties.
  2. Corporate counsel are concerned that junior counsel might be put at an unfair advantage if arguing against more experienced counsel. This concern can be ameliorated by (1) (above); having parties pre-negotiate who will argue a given motion (or take/defend a given witness) so that no junior advocate will be opposing a much more experienced lawyer; and judicial awareness of such imbalance and practices such as judges “checking in” with more junior lawyer to determine if they have a response to a more experienced lawyers argument (if they are being polite and not speaking up).
  3. Mid-level lawyers (lawyers who are not senior enough to have had ample stand-up opportunities and not junior enough to qualify as junior lawyers under certain court orders) are concerned that this Next Gen effort will leave a gap of lawyers without opportunities. One way to remedy this issue is to include in court orders not only opportunities for lawyers with fewer than a certain number of years of experience but also lawyers who have had fewer than a certain number of arguments/witnesses/stand-up opportunities.
  4. Though some Judges issue Next Gen related language in case-specific orders, moving that language to standing orders (instead of or in addition to case-specific orders) will benefit this initiative as it will allow junior lawyers, partners trying to help junior lawyers and/or parties to better identify opportunities, for staffing and for other purposes.
  5. One proposed practice for parties before Judges who do not have Court Orders is open up a discussion on this topic as part of the case management conference and meet and confers and filings related to the same. Judges could also initiate a conversation early in the case.
  6. Any policies that allow or encourage arguments to be “split,” will allow counsel and parties more opportunities for less experienced lawyers.
  7. If junior lawyers will play more meaningful, court- and jury-facing roles on cases, corporate counsel will have an incentive to interview and get to know junior lawyers as part of the pitch process and throughout the case.
  8. To emphasize the importance of junior lawyers on their cases, corporate counsel could insist on meeting all the lawyers on their cases (and could directly ask them questions in pitches and meetings).
  9. Law firms can create shadow programs that would allow junior lawyers to bill time to a training number for attending hearings, speaking engagements, etc. even for cases in which they are not involved.
  10. Corporate counsel can offer training across their firms and could ensure that junior lawyers are encouraged to participate.
  11. Law firm counsel could send a notice in advance of a hearing advising the judge that a junior lawyers is prepared to argue part or all of a given motion and in that notice could request that the Judge allow more senior counsel to assist if the need arises.  Such notice would allow the court to make its decisions on time allocation and whether to rule on the papers in view of the opportunity the firm and client are providing to the junior lawyer.
  12. Law firms could aggressively teach junior lawyers business development skills as there is no better way to get opportunities than having your own clients.
  13. Law firms could track metrics on opportunities given to junior lawyers and corporate counsel could require the reporting of such metrics.
  14. Experienced trial counsel could volunteer their time to “second chair” trials for junior lawyers including ones at other firms.
  15. Parties could allow junior lawyers to present the case at mediations or to otherwise play “stand-up” roles during meditations.
  16. For more tips read the American Association Article “Views from the Bench: Tips for Young Lawyers on How to Make a Good Impression