The founders of the firm, and those that have joined them since, have held to the philosophy that intelligent, creative, self-starters, who genuinely enjoy working together, will band together, roll up their sleeves, and provide a level of professional service that, we believe, is second to none. We also believe that these same characteristics lead to a professional environment that enables and encourages the development of personal and community commitments as well. These founding principles drive both the firm’s hiring practices and a lawyer’s professional development at the firm.
Ashby & Geddes has never set any billable hour requirements or targets for its lawyers. The firm's experience has been that its relatively selective hiring process has made such requirements unnecessary. The lawyers here all know when a particular case or matter requires one to work long hours, and they willingly do so because they also know that the firm encourages the use of the same professional judgment in setting priorities for family, friends and community. If you interview with us, please ask our associates about the firm's approach to balancing work with other priorities.
Associates at Ashby & Geddes work closely with the firm’s seasoned practitioners. In their first few years at the firm, associates generally receive assignments from all of the firm’s practice areas. Eventually, however, an associate’s true interests and talents become both clearer and more developed, and an associate will find that he or she works more and more with one practice group in a natural progression on a self-selected basis. Because the director-to-associate ratio is roughly 1:1, many matters are staffed by one or two directors and a single associate. That dynamic means that even the newest associates have day-to-day interaction with directors, co-counsel, and clients.
The directors of the firm take it as a personal responsibility to the profession to coach the firm’s associates in all areas of their professional development. Mentoring occurs in all of the associate’s daily interactions--whether in an impromptu office conference discussing case strategy, a review of an assignment completed by an associate, or at the “A&G table” at a local restaurant. Finally, Ashby & Geddes purposefully hires only a small number of associates each year because, as a matter of policy, the firm extends offers only to those candidates believed to have the potential to become a director and shareholder of the firm.
Given the firm's desire to hire from among the best and brightest, Ashby & Geddes has committed to paying its associates a salary that is competitive region-wide (if not nationwide). The current starting salary for a first year associate is $145,000. That salary is typically augmented by a merit-based bonus at the end of the year. The firm also provides a number of other benefits at no cost to its associates, including comprehensive health and dental insurance (individual or family coverage as needed), participation in a 401(k) retirement plan with a substantial matching contribution by the firm, and all costs associated with the Delaware bar examination and professional fees.
Ashby & Geddes hires largely, but not exclusively, from a pool of candidates who have spent a summer at the firm. Because the firm is engaged in sophisticated litigation matters, we look to hire promising law students who we believe will fit well into the Ashby & Geddes family and philosophy. Typically, the firm hires rising 3-L summer associates that exhibit a keen intellect, superior writing skills, and the sense of drive so important to our practice. In addition, of course, we look for a multi-dimensional character with hobbies or interests outside of work that will give balance to their lives.
As a summer associate, you will experience life as any relatively new associate at the firm. You will be given the same assignments typically given to first or second year associates and will have the opportunity to observe all facets of the litigation practice in Delaware—whether in the District Court, the Bankruptcy Court, or the Court of Chancery. There is also ample opportunity to get to know all of the firm’s lawyers on a social level at outings that are tailored each summer to the interests of the current summer associates. A summer associate’s compensation is based on the salary of a first-year associate.
Ashby & Geddes conducts on campus interviews at a number of law schools each year. In addition we welcome applications from any law student, judicial clerk, or lateral-hire applicant that believes he or she would enjoy and contribute to the firm’s practice and working environment. Interested candidates should send their resume to:
Richard D. Heins, Esquire
Ashby & Geddes, P.A.
500 Delaware Avenue
P.O. Box 1150
Wilmington, Delaware 19899