The year 2014 brought significant changes to our firm. We amended our processes and criteria for assessing the performance of our professionals. This change was crucial to our goal of continuing to perform at a high level. Our employee performance evaluation system, Career Development Dialogues, was upgraded, streamlined and adjusted to meet the needs of the firm.
Except for partners, for whom there is a different evaluation framework, all other Mattos Filho professionals, totaling approximately 730 located in our São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia offices, were evaluated in 2014 using this new tool, and the overall experience was positive. One of the purposes of this ployee evaluation is to e the practice of providing feedback. This is an essential tool in Mattos Filho’s organizational culture and the challenge from now on is to ensure that the dialogue prompted by the new system echoes throughout the firm’s management.
In 2011, the firm launched Mattos Filho Academy. The Academy serves as a hub for training and knowledge sharing. Many of the courses are taught by the firm’s partners, most of whom are professors at the most reputable universities in Brazil. The Academy provides training that contributes to enhancing both the legal and life skills of our professionals.
Throughout 2014, a total of 210 hours of classes in various topics were taught through the Academy. One of the highlights was a week-long pro bono advocacy course taught by professors from Fundação Getulio vargas – São Paulo (FGv), which included online training. The Academy offers more than 150 different courses in its web-based platform, all in line with the strategic guidelines of the firm.
Mattos Filho also provides financial support for our professionals who wish to continue their education in areas specific to the work they do at the firm. In 2014, 157 professionals were enrolled in different programs: including 23% of them in postgraduate programs, 14% in graduate programs, 14% in short- term professional improvement courses and 35% of them in language courses.
These investments in the education of our professionals have showed us that we are moving in the right direction. In 2014, the number of new partners increased by 14.8%, associates by 14.6%, and law students by 30.5%. Last year, 92% of the legal interns working in the firm were offered and accepted positions with the firm, and over the last three years (2012, 2013 and 2014), 40 new trainees were hired by Mattos Filho.
Mattos Filho pioneered a Trainee Program in Brazil in 2012. This solid program focuses on job rotation and covers the most traditional practices of the firm: Corporate, Litigation and Arbitration and Tax. After this rotation, the trainee has the opportunity of working in another practice of his or her choice. The Program allows young professionals to have a global view of a law firm and to learn about different activities undertaken by a corporate attorney. With the support of their mentors, trainees are guided through the Program’s activities to learn new skills, and at the end of each cycle they go through a systematic evaluation.
The health of our professionals is also of great importance to us. Our Wellness Program encourages a series of initiatives and provides support to three soccer teams and to runners trained by a running coaching firm called Run&Fun Fitness Center. The firm sponsorship includes payment of fees for runners participating in local road races. Altogether, 280 professionals from the São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia offices participated in these sporting activities.
In 2014, Mattos Filho sponsored the Health Circuit in partnership with Qualicorp, Run&Fun and BioM Nutrição. The Health Circuit is a preventive health program launched last year. Following a detailed mapping of the body, each of the 458 participants of the Health Circuit received a brief analysis that included body mass index tests, as well as nutritional advice and sport specific guidance.
Another important initiative by the firm last year was the strengthening of the Pink October campaign. The second edition of the Mattos Filho Pink Friday organized to promote breast cancer awareness and prevention. After a special breakfast held simultaneously in the São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia offices, participants attended a lecture by the blogger Deborah Aquino, author of the blog Debs, where she addresses issues related to healthy eating and physical activity. Debs, as Deborah is known, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Since then, she has emphasized the importance of preventive screening at selective events and on her webpage. To illustrate our commitment to the campaign, our São Paulo office building was floodlit in pink light throughout the campaign.
In 2014, Mattos Filho Alumni platform was launched to re-establish contact with former professionals of the firm and to provide opportunities to its users to share experiences and develop new businesses. A LinkedIn group was also created. In 2015, the firm’s Alumni will be able to receive, on a regular basis, institutional news, invitations to events, newsletters from areas of interest, and exciting firm openings delivered through the Alumni platform.