Training & Career Development
We are committed to developing the careers of our legal staff and inspiring them to be their best.
Legal staff in all our services are given early responsibility and immediate client contact, but there is also a great amount of Principal support and accessibility.
Group Leader system
We have a unique Group Leader system to ensure that all legal staff receive performance feedback and a clear career development path. Legal staff members are assigned a Principal Group Leader to act as a mentor and provide work evaluations. Group Leaders give semiannual reviews and constant professional development advice.
Each year we host a firm-wide Fall Orientation designed to help transition junior legal staff who are new to the firm. This two-day program helps orient and integrate legal staff through interactive presentations by firm management in an effort to give a complete overview of the firm and the functions of our individual practice groups and departments.
We have developed in-house training programs to give all legal staff the opportunity to receive hands-on, ongoing education. Our Patent Boot Camp is a series of intensive two-day seminars taught by our Principals on practical skills. The Boot Camp combines lectures and hands-on exercises designed to familiarize Junior Associates and Technology Specialists with the major milestones in patent prosecution, and to help them become proficient at the best practices for handling prosecution tasks.
Our litigation training programs blend instruction using the time test NITA learning-by-doing method with more traditional lecture series given by both in-house and outside experts. NITA’s most experienced instructors have been consistently highly rated over their years of instruction. We also utilize Fish principals on the faculty which enhances the instruction process into practical insights and tips focused directly on our practice and unique client needs. Our in-house NITA programs exceed the experience that many public courses can offer.
The Fish Litigation University program is a monthly videoconference training series for all litigators. Topics deal with all phases of litigation. For each phase a module focuses on best practices, providing models and forms, and promoting efficient skills. The goal of the series is to arm litigation associates with the ability to provide efficient and high quality work product. The programs are taught by principals recognized for their expertise in the particular litigation skill.
The Thursday Forum is a long-standing, firm-wide program designed to bring legal staff together for the purposes of sharing information, developing collegial relationships, and keeping staff abreast of new developments in the firm’s practice groups. On the first Thursday of each month, each office holds a luncheon to provide an opportunity for the legal staff to come together and socialize. On the second Thursday of each month, there is a firmwide videoconference with a substantive presentation. Topics are diverse and usually cover different legal issues and industry trends. On the last Thursday of each month, each office hosts a social for all local employees to provide an opportunity for all members of a Fish office to come together and socialize at month’s end.
There is an amazing capacity here to gain and share expertise. These training and mentoring programs help ensure that all legal staff members have an equal footing upon which to build successful legal careers.
We value an employee-friendly atmosphere and provide a wide selection of benefits to help protect your and your family’s health, wealth, and well-being.
Health and welfare
- Health and dental insurance, including domestic partner coverage
- 401(k) plan for Associates (immediate eligibility)
- 401(k) profit-sharing plan with a firm contribution (for non-Associates)
- 18 weeks paid parental leave for primary caregivers; 8 weeks for secondary caregivers (legal)
- Parental Leave Phased Hours Program, offering reduced billable goal for prior to/following parental leave (legal)
- Reduced goal work arrangements
- Flexible spending accounts for medical and dependent care
- Transportation expense plan for parking and transit
- Term life and AD&D insurance
- Voluntary dependent life insurance
- Short-term disability insurance (non-legal)
- Long-term disability insurance
- Leaves of absence: paid maternity/paternity, personal, and family medical leave
- Employee assistance program
- Vacation and sick leave (non-legal)
- 12 paid holidays a year
- Backup child care
- Health care advocacy
- Worldwide emergency travel assistance
Policies for new legal staff
State bar membership
We allow lateral hires paid time off and billable goal reductions to take the bar exams for their local jurisdictions after they have started work. We also cover the cost of the exam, the cost of one review course, and state bar fees.
We pay mandatory state bar fees in the jurisdiction in which the attorney resides and works for our firm. We also pay Virginia bar dues for attorneys in our Washington, DC, office who practice on behalf of our firm on a regular basis in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
State bar exam for law school graduates
New law school graduates receive reimbursement for one bar review course and bar registration fees for the bar in the state in which the graduate will reside and work for our firm. These graduates are also eligible for a $10,000 salary advance to assist with expenses while studying for the bar exam.
Certain positions at the firm require attorneys to take the USPTO Patent Agent examination. We allow paid time off for employees who are required by the firm to take the USPTO Patent Agent exam after they have started work.
Moving expense reimbursement
We pay for relocation expenses for new attorneys from outside the areas in which they will practice, including a house-hunting trip, subject to our relocation policy.
Please contact the local office Legal Recruiting Administrator for questions related to the above policies.