Starting Jan. 1, Sidley Austin will begin a new associate development regimen, complete with “MBA-level” executive training programs at top schools such as Harvard University and Northwestern University as well as new titles for associates to better reflect their roles within the firm.

The changes, said Sidley management committee chair-elect Yvette Ostolaza, take a page from other professional service firms which, unlike law firms, have more dimension to their hierarchy and regularly invest in training opportunities for their earlier-stage employees.