The growth and advancement of the firm's associates is the mission of its Attorney Life, Evaluations and Mentoring Committees. The Attorney Life Committee is at the heart of this effort. Its development of a core competency matrix ensures that every associate understands their practice group's performance expectations and that Practice Group Leaders provide opportunities essential to skill-building and steady, predictable advancement within the firm. Evaluations are based on annual self-assessments and partner appraisals and the interim achievement of core competency benchmarks. Assigned mentors provide every associate with guidance and help along the way, and share responsibility with practice group leaders during the evaluation process.