Michele Bendekovic ’89 became the first director of Recruiting and Professional Development for Steptoe & Johnson PLLC on August 4, 2008. Bendekovic will manage firm-wide, in-house professional development and training programs in addition to lateral attorney and graduate recruitment endeavors.
Steptoe & Johnson may be the first law firm in the region to create a position for a non-lawyer professional to lead continued educational programs that focus on the professional, intellectual, and personal development of attorneys. With an emphasis on the collaborative process of strengthening lawyers’ core competencies in each practice area, Bendekovic will also play a key role in energizing the firm’s diversity action plans.
Whereas other recruitment directors or human resource managers concentrate solely on the hiring of new legal talent, the difference at Steptoe & Johnson will be management’s dedication to lawyer professional development. As the leader of attorney recruiting and professional development, Bendekovic will work with lawyers to cultivate their career-long interests and goals through specialized instruction and coaching.
“Our curriculum will start with building substantive legal skills and then adding on the extras that are so important in a law career today, such as communication and presentation skills, client development skills, delegation, and managing the administrative side of a practice,” Bendekovic said.
“We look forward to working with Michele and are truly fortunate to have hired someone with her depth of experience,” replied Bob Steptoe, CEO of Steptoe & Johnson.
Bendekovic is a former manager of Professional Development and Legal Personnel director for two Pittsburgh law firms, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC and Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP. She earned a B.A. from IUP and an M.A. in Personnel Administration and Industrial Relations from Saint Francis University.
“The culture and environment at Steptoe & Johnson is so welcoming,” Bendekovic continued. “This firm wants to move to the next level and sees the opportunities and possibilities that this position will bring to the firm. I’m so thrilled to be a part of this firm,” she said.