In November, Sidley Austin got the legal industry talking when it announced a new approach to associate development, complete with “MBA-level” executive training and new titles intended to recognize the additional skills and responsibilities attorneys take on as they rise up in a firm.

Law firms have long clung to the traditional associate-partner model, and while Sidley’s update makes room for “managing” and “senior managing” associates, it isn’t exactly a revolutionary shift. What it is, however, is an indication that the experience of the past two years is driving firms to think differently about talent, just as the past two years have driven young lawyers to think differently about their careers. In the process, new ideas are beginning to circulate for how firms can get the most—and make the most—out of their people.