Section 5: ATTORNEY COMPETENCIES

A. GENERAL

Identification of the core competencies required for successful performance is the first step in effective career planning. This plan identifies the core competencies required for success. The suggested means for obtaining these core competencies is addressed in the Master Training Plan (Annex E).

B. CORE COMPETENCIES OF ALL ATTORNEYS
  1. Skill in written communication.
  2. Skill in oral communication.
  3. Ability to work effectively with senior officials as clients.
  4. Skill in identifying issues.
  5. Skill in legal research.
  6. Ability to craft creative solutions to complex problems.
  7. Customer/mission focus.
  8. Skill in negotiation.
  9. Knowledge of conflict and early dispute resolution processes.
  10. Knowledge of applicable rules of professional responsibility and ethics.
C. SPECIALIZED LEGAL COMPETENCIES

Annex B lists those specialized legal competencies found within the Army legal community in the most common legal specialties and practice areas. This listing will evolve as the Army's legal practice evolves and not every specialized practice area may currently be listed, but they will be added as they are defined.

Attorneys can develop these specialized competencies through various paths. Formal education, training, professional development, and experience can all contribute to specialized legal competency development and no one path is prescribed. The Master Training Plan (Annex E) provides much greater detail as to how competencies can be developed.

D. SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE COMPETENCIES

Annex C contains the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) needed to succeed in the Senior Executive Service (SES). The ECQs assess executive experience and potential and not technical expertise. They measure whether an individual has the broad executive skills needed to succeed in a variety of SES positions. Although not a desire of every covered attorney, one goal of this ACTEDS plan is to provide opportunities for those interested in developing their ECQs for possible SES position consideration.

E. THE 3-YEAR INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN (3yIDP)

Attorneys enter the legal career field at various levels. They bring with them varying degrees of preparation, competency, and potential for growth. Supervisors and employees must work together to develop realistic plans for career development.

The individual's supervisor is responsible for creating a career development plan and for initiating actions that will carry out the plan and attain defined individual career goals. To optimize current and future contributions by these attorneys, supervisors and managers must stay actively involved in developing, reviewing, and maintaining the attorney's career plans. That includes periodically assessing each attorney's knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience, and sharing their assessments with them to guide development of attorneys' 3-Year Individual Development Plans (3yIDP). The purpose of the 3yIDP is to specify work assignments, professional development, education, and training that help to support goals of both the attorney and the Army.

The 3yIDP process emphasizes discussion and joint decisions by the attorney and the supervisor to focus on the specific developmental experiences necessary to support the mutual goals of individual career development and organizational enhancement over three-year increments. Each 3yIDP is uniquely tailored to the needs of the individual and the organization. For example, one attorney might identify essential lawyering skill training, and another might emphasize instruction in a more specific practice area. There is no set pattern - the term "individual" is basic to the concept - especially as it applies to an attorney's willingness and capacity to learn and grow.