Continuing legal education is the responsibility of Hinshaw University, the firm's accredited in-house CLE provider. All new associates attend the firm's fall Basic Skills "Boot Camp," a weeklong program that emphasizes networking, professionalism and the nuts-and-bolts of representing clients. Taught by the firm's senior partners and select outside faculty, including clients, Basic Skills covers topics such as Client Communication; Negotiations; Pleadings and Motions; Timesheets and Billing; ADR; Ethics; Discovery; Business Development; Depositions (workshop); all preceded by an improv workshop conducted by actors from Chicago's storied Second City Theater group.
In addition to the Basic Skills course, Hinshaw University conducts a triennial weeklong, NITA-style Trial Advocacy program for senior associates. Held in a courtroom environment at a local law school, the associates go from morning plenary sessions into afternoon workshops where they practice opening statements, closing arguments and witness examinations with senior trial lawyers and sitting judges. The program culminates in day-long mock jury trials.
Hinshaw University also produces free, monthly, one-hour CLE programs (often at lunch) that are broadcast firmwide through videoconference, webcast and teleconference media. These provide opportunities for our lawyers to share experiences and advice and to invite clients for quick, casual conference room get-togethers. The topics are wide-ranging and feature everything from "Ethics in a Wireless World" to "Generational Differences in the Workplace" to substantive legal topics sponsored by the firm's Practice Groups. The programs often showcase the firm's newest partners and latest legal developments.