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August 12, 2021

How Crisis Inspires Associate Training: Barnes & Thornburg Case Study

One of the most resounding lessons from the COVID-19 global pandemic is the importance of adaptability. Universally, law firms faced unprecedented challenges, which pressured them to revamp existing strategies, explore new ways to solve problems, and reconsider current practices. For example, nationally-ranked Am Law 100 firm Barnes & Thornburg made the most of this challenging time investing its resources in non-billable “to-do” list items, including resolving its pressing need for an enhanced associate training program.

In response to requests for more feedback and training from associates, Barnes & Thornburg partnered with AltaClaro to resolve its pressing need for a training program that would help the nationally-recognized law firm reach its business objectives. According to Partner and Chair of the Private Equity Team at Barnes & Thornburg, Joshua P. Hollingsworth, the firm’s transactional lawyer training program needed improvement.

“We had no formal training program but put material and presentations together from time to time,” said Hollingsworth, “There was very little consistency, no measurement, no feedback, and no follow-up.”

AltaClaro's flexible, guided training program helped resolve all of these issues. 

Consistency and Associate Satisfaction

Based on education science, our unique, experiential framework includes mock exercises, expert feedback, and easy to digest segments that provide associates with the expertise, tools, and confidence to hit the ground running. Moreover, the structure of our program is designed to keep associates engaged and motivated throughout the entire training course.

“The biggest difference we've seen since partnering with AltaClaro so far is associate satisfaction,” said Hollingsworth, “It was universally well received by associates."


Our platform's personalized and group learning dashboards provide the team at Barnes & Thornburg with the ability to effortlessly track its associates' learning retention and performance. We also formulate mid-term and post-term reports for our clients, allowing Barnes & Thornburg management to evaluate the program’s effectiveness and illustrate its impact.  

"We developed some relationships which will keep us coming back. I'm excited to partner with AltaClaro as they expand their capabilities and frankly, the need for training will not diminish."


Joshua P. Hollingsworth, Partner, Chair of the Private Equity Team

Feedback and Follow-up

Before teaming up with AltaClaro, the quality and consistency of Barnes & Thornburg’s training program was highly dependent on its partners’ particular workload at any given time. Implementing AltaClaro’s training program at Barnes & Thornburg enabled the firm’s partners to concentrate on their work and clients, while its associates gain full access to coaching and feedback from our experienced professionals.

Simple and Straightforward Set-up

One of the reasons companies hesitate before introducing external associate training programs are their concerns over bureaucracy and organizational issues. However, according to Hollingsworth, his biggest surprise about AltaClaro was how easy our training program was implement from an administrative perspective. If you choose AltaClaro as your training partner, you need only sign a contract and send us information on the participants. Our dedicated learning success management team will take care of the rest.

Inspired to learn more?

Firms such as K&L Gates, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, Barnes & Thornburg, and Husch Blackwell have all turned to AltaClaro for the most effective training programs on the market.

Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of our experts to learn how to  develop your personalized associate training program and empower your associates to hit the ground running.

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Learn from practicing attorneys using a unique experiential framework based on education science, with mock transactions and live feedback.
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