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Professional Development

At WilmerHale, we take great pride in a culture that expects and teaches its lawyers to practice law at the highest level. We believe that superb legal skills can be developed through a combination of broad work experiences, strong mentoring relationships and sound formal training by experienced practitioners. The firm’s comprehensive lawyer development and training programs offer competency-based approaches to evaluation, promotion, compensation, and overall professional development; a robust mentoring program; supportive training; and flexible career paths.

Mentoring and Training at WilmerHale

The firm offers a robust mentoring program in which each lawyer has a mentor who takes real ownership for his or her mentee’s career development. The Career Advancement Program (CAP) mentor is responsible for the mentee’s evaluations, informal feedback and coaching, individual development plan, and practice-specific benchmarks.

Lawyer Training

The firm offers training programs in both substantive law and practical lawyering skills. Our practical lawyering skills curriculum addresses topics such as oral communication, legal research and writing, practice management, leadership, mediation, negotiation, client development, advocacy (including trials and oral arguments), and depositions and interviews. The firm also hosts orientations for lawyers as they transition from one role to another. Members of the Professional Development & Training team are also a resource for attorneys on all aspects of professional and career development.


The firm is committed to the development and advancement of our attorneys. We provide structured guidance through programs like the Career Advancement Program and the upward evaluations so that our attorneys have the opportunity to become the best lawyers they can be and have meaningful and successful careers. More generally, the group’s members are resources for attorneys on all aspects of professional and career development.

Career Advancement Program

The Career Advancement Program (CAP) brings together the evaluation and mentoring programs to support and guide the development of our associates and counsel. At its heart is each lawyer’s connection with a mentor—a partner in his or her practice group or department (or, in smaller offices, his or her office)—who has overall responsibility for providing that support and guidance. In addition to being available for advice, mentors deliver the lawyer’s semi-annual evaluations; review the lawyer’s work experience and the skills he or she has developed; discuss the lawyer’s professional goals and steps for achieving their goals; and involve others to support the achievement of those goals when it would be useful to do so.


The firm’s eight competencies (Commitment, Confidence, Matter Management, Oral Communications, Problem Solving, Relationship Building, Teamwork, and Writing) form the foundation for our various development programs and offer a common language upon which to evaluate and train our lawyers. Competencies outline clear expectations for performance and allow our attorneys the opportunity to receive more robust and meaningful feedback. Additionally, the competencies shape our training curriculum so that these programs best support our attorneys in developing, building and improving their skill sets.