When Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney Corporate Shareholder Craig Heryford recognized that the young attorneys he was recruiting could benefit from some training in “old-fashioned good manners,” he and the firm decided to do something about it.

“They haven’t been required to spend time to really sit down and figure out how to have conversations and how to really develop strong social skills,” Heryford said of the younger generation of attorneys. “And so much of [law] really involves social skills.”

In response, Heryford and Dani Kalafat, Buchanan’s director of professional development and diversity, partnered with Mother May I, a Pittsburgh-based firm that offers etiquette instruction. Heryford also sits on MMI’s board.

Rolling out the program first to its largest offices in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C./Alexandria, Buchanan and Mother May I hosted associates’ lunches in local restaurants so attorneys could practice what they were learning.

Kelly Ariosto, an associate in the firm’s Financial Services Section, found the experience particularly useful in determining when and how to use technology.

“Little things like checking your phone or even having it on the table can give the wrong message,” Ariosto said.