At Finnegan, you will receive all the resources and training you need to assist you in becoming an exceptional attorney providing superior service to our clients. In addition to in-house roundtable programs, ad hoc meetings about updates to changes in IP law, and monthly practice group and section meetings, Finnegan offers the following formal training programs:

Finnegan’s LEAP Program
Finnegan believes that training and ongoing education are essential to developing the best attorneys and advocates for our clients. In 2012 the firm introduced the LEAP (Learn-Enrich-Achieve-Progress) training program. With multiple training and education components, LEAP is designed to enhance the firm’s existing training and mentoring activities that occur throughout the year. The LEAP calendar includes the following programs:

  • Litigation training
  • Advanced legal writing
  • Advanced patent prosecution
  • Advanced technical and legal research
  • Business development
  • Billing and timekeeping
  • Law firm economics
  • Presentation skills
  • Management and delegation
Patent Prosecution Training
For those new to patent prosecution, Finnegan offers a “nuts-and-bolts” introduction to the practice of patent prosecution. Each session of the training covers the laws, rules, and procedures of patent prosecution.

Legal Writing
Persuasive, precise, and compelling writing is something we strive for at Finnegan. Ed Good, our writer-in-residence and former faculty member at the University of Virginia School of Law, hones the legal writing skills of our attorneys with a four-session course.

An Advanced Legal Writing Course is new to Finnegan’s writing curriculum, and is attended by partners, associates, and student associates alike. Additional one-on-one training with confidential feedback makes this one of our most popular and indispensible educational programs and continues to benefit our attorneys long after the class is over.

Litigation Mentor Program
Our unique and highly acclaimed Litigation Mentor Program in the firm’s Washington office provides our attorneys with real-world courtroom experience. Attorneys handle criminal and civil cases in DC courts with the support and supervision of the firm’s full-time litigation mentor, Barbara Butterworth. Participants in this program have found that the intensive exposure to trial advocacy training imparts invaluable trial skills.

The Litigation Mentor Program in our Reston office allows our attorneys to handle pro bono criminal cases in conjunction with the Federal Public Defender’s office. Jonathan Shapiro, a renowned trial attorney, serves as the Reston office’s litigation mentor.

Senior Associate Business Development Training and Coaching
In 2012, Finnegan introduced a business development training and coaching program for senior associates seeking to improve their practices and attract clients. The six-month program includes a preliminary assessment; group training sessions; individual coaching sessions; and related business development and marketing activities.

Informal and Outside CLE Training
Training begins as soon as associates join the firm. All new legal professionals participate in two weeks of training and orientation to familiarize them with Finnegan procedures and support resources. Every fall all new associates visit our Washington office for New Attorney Training Week, an intensive series of programs designed to give new associates a solid foundation in the fundamentals of intellectual property law as they begin their careers as attorneys.

On the job training occurs through Finnegan’s ‘Second Attorney Review’ policy. No work product—not even routine correspondence—leaves the firm until at least two attorneys have reviewed it for format and substance. This one-on-one training under the guidance of supervisory attorneys is one of the best ways to develop our attorneys’ legal skills and ensure the highest quality of every aspect of our work.

While we are fortunate to have many talented professionals in-house who are committed to training and coaching our attorneys, the firm also encourages our attorneys to attend outside professional meetings and educational seminars in order to enhance their legal skills. On an annual basis, Finnegan sends a group of attorneys to NITA’s deposition skills training program and UVA Trial Advocacy College to further develop their litigation skills. Many of our attorneys also serve as faculty members for outside CLE programs.

Performance Reviews
Attorneys who have been with the firm less than two years receive a formal evaluation from their advisor in the spring and the fall. Those who have been with the firm for more than two years receive a review on an annual basis in the fall. Advisors and advisees meet to discuss evaluations submitted by attorneys with whom the advisee has worked, developmental goals and objectives, improving skills, and becoming a well-rounded professional.

Attorneys in their fourth year meet with their Advisor and Practice Group Leader for an enhanced review. They discuss the associate’s progress on the path to partnership and areas for continued development.

Attorneys within two years of partnership consideration are given a ‘senior special review’ to thoroughly evaluate their legal, interpersonal, and business development skills.

Finnegan is committed to ensuring that training and career development remain an integral and vital part of our culture.