The firm is divided into litigation and business sections. Associates may expect exposure to a wide variety of practice areas within each section. Most litigators handle a range of commercial disputes, including antitrust, banking, construction, corporate, intellectual property, oil and gas, securities, tax and toxic tort. A number of attorneys, however, concentrate their practices in specific areas, such as bankruptcy and creditors' rights, employment law, environmental law and public utility regulation. In addition, we have increasingly been called on to handle the defense of class actions, including mass tort and product liability claims. Our transactional lawyers concentrate their practices in real estate and finance, corporate and securities, health law, tax, trusts and estates, employee benefits and employment law, environmental and energy, and intellectual property.
In both sections, our attorneys typically work in teams, composed on a matter-by-matter basis, to bring different levels and types of experience to a matter so that our clients are served efficiently and effectively.
Many of our lawyers have served as judicial clerks in federal and state courts, and three have become federal judges. A number of lawyers in the firm hold adjunct faculty positions at the law schools of Tulane University, Loyola University and Louisiana State University. We encourage participation in professional and civic activities, and many of our attorneys have served in leadership positions or are otherwise active in bar associations, the Pro Bono Project, Young Leadership Council and other organizations. The firm is enriched by the involvement of our associates in these activities.
Associates at Stone Pigman are professionals and are treated as such. They are expected to bill 1,900 hours annually. There is no fixed policy regarding associate vacations, but each associate is encouraged to take time off as his or her workload allows. Associates are evaluated at least annually, and each associate is provided feedback from the information gleaned in the review process. Associates are eligible for election to the membership following their seventh year of practice.
Stone Pigman recognizes that alternative work methods may facilitate attorney effectiveness in some circumstances. The firm has accommodated part-time, non-partnership track, and remote arrangements in the past, and will consider such arrangements on a case-by-case basis. Of course, most such decisions must be based on the firm's ability to meet the needs of our clients. Attorneys have been allowed to take unpaid leave to write, teach and accommodate family needs.