Professional Development

McGuireWoods’ comprehensive associate training and development plan is designed to provide lawyers at all levels with the knowledge, skills and abilities to achieve their clients’ objectives. We understand that your development strengthens the firm and continually improves the level of service we are able to provide to our clients. For that reason, we are deeply committed to the professional development of our lawyers.

We know that the best training occurs during real life experiences. Associates receive training through their on-the-job experiences and gain knowledge by working closely with the partners and associates within their practice group. A supervising partner is assigned to each associate to monitor work flow and oversee development. The firm recognizes that formal training and focused development programs are essential to your advancement. Therefore, on-the-job training is just the start.

Formal Training

Through in-house seminars and CLE courses, we educate lawyers on firm operations, skills development, and practice-specific topics. Operational topics include partnership track expectations, billing and collections, and firm finances. Skills development covers client development, client relations and service, negotiations, and writing analysis. Practice-specific topics include trial advocacy, credit and loan agreements, and M&A transactions issues. Our Privileged Membership with Practising Law Institute (PLI) offers you access to a wide array of programs. Associates also receive an annual professional development fund that they may use to select and attend external programs of their choice.


The firm offers retreats to associates and partners which promote collegiality and provide learning opportunities as they progress throughout their careers. The Junior Associate Retreat is held for associates in their second or third year of practice and covers topics such as risk management, the basics of business development and management skills. We also hold a Mid-Level Associate Retreat for associates in their fourth and fifth year to discuss the firm’s strategic plan, business development, and law firm economics (among other topics).


First-year associates are assigned mentors to facilitate transition into law-firm life. For lateral associates, the firm has an informal mentoring program designed to allow associates to select a mentor. Firm guidelines are provided for navigating these relationships, but the program is intentionally flexible so that you can shape your mentoring experience.


The firm encourages our lawyers to seek and provide informal feedback on a regular basis. Annual evaluations are held each spring for all associates. Individual meetings to discuss performance and goals for the upcoming year are scheduled with the associate’s supervising lawyer and the Associates Committee liaison for their practice group. The goal of these evaluations is to provide you with constructive feedback on how to further your career.

Associates Committee

The firm’s Associates Committee promotes associates’ continued satisfaction and professional growth. A partner liaison from each practice group oversees associate issues and ensures constant communication with the committee members. The committee hosts quarterly informational meetings via videoconference that update associates on topics such as productivity and profitability, training and development, mentoring and compensation.

The Associates Committee assists in recognizing outstanding lawyers through the McGuireWoods Excellence Award. This award recognizes lawyers who demonstrate and exemplify any of the McGuireWoods Core Values: Excellence, Client Service, Integrity, Collegiality, Community, and Diversity & Inclusion.

Professional Development Department

The Professional Development Department is dedicated to your professional growth. Whether it is a question about a specific training program or assisting with a practice group transfer, we are ready to assist.