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This profile was last updated on 1/25/11  and contains information from public web pages.

Brenda Joy Fingold

Wrong Brenda Joy Fingold?
 
Background

Employment History

  • Partner Responsible for Training and Professional Development
    Hale
  • Trial Lawyer and Training Partner
    Hale
  • Nourishment Cleanse Teacher
    Hale
  • Teacher
    Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health
21 Total References
Web References
Law Firm Management :: Training and Development of Practice Group Managers: An Interview with Brenda Fingold :: Law Firm Management
www.theedgeclub.com, 25 Jan 2011 [cached]
Training and Development of Practice Group Managers: An Interview with Brenda Fingold Law Firm Management :: Training and Development of Practice Group Managers: An Interview with Brenda Fingold :: Law Firm Management
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Home > Client Resources > Governance > Practice Group Management > Articles > Training and Development of Practice Group Managers: An Interview with Brenda Fingold
Training and Development of Practice Group Managers: An Interview with Brenda Fingold
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No clients, no book of business; Brenda Fingold, the firm's Partner Responsible for Training and Professional Development, is instead taken up 100% with the chore of practice management at all levels: firmwide, departmental, practice group, individual.
For Fingold, that means a professional life at least as hectic as that of most active practitioners. The routine she describes seems a formidable one indeed, because she's not just drawing up lesson plans and grading papers. True practice management involves pedagogy at intensely personalized levels, as well as addressing a host of related fundamental issues: work allocation, lawyer evaluation, team building.
One theme that Fingold often returns to is the crucial need for such a manager/pedagogue to be someone intimately familiar with the firm and who, in turn, is perceived by firm members as a permanent part of the institutional family. Such a person would ideally be an attorney as well, particularly one who's established himself or herself as a credible practitioner before presuming to give lessons to others on how to practice law. Fingold is quick to note, however, that she has many terrific colleagues in the training field who came to their roles from academia or senior administrative positions.
Fingold joined Hale and Dorr right out of New York University School of Law and was a litigator at the firm for seven years. In fact, when she was promoted to partner in 1989, she had no thought of taking her career on the unusual path it was about to take.
Yet, in 1990, she would give up private practice altogether to devote herself to training. At the time, she was one of only a handful of full-time training professionals at U.S. law firms, and certainly one of an even smaller number of partners functioning as full-time trainers.
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We asked Brenda Fingold to share some of the specifics of that program, and her vision of why it works.
Edge: A law firm seems to be dealing from strength when it designates a partner to spend all of his or her time training colleagues. How did the firm pick you for the job, and why did you accept it?
Fingold: In 1990, John Hamilton, our Managing Partner, and John Burgess, who was then one of our assistant managing partners (and is now vice chair of our corporate department), were looking at the whole area of training: What our next step ought to be, and how we could expand on what we were offering.
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Fingold: A few.
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Fingold: Hale and Dorr has nine departments and two dozen or so practice groups, and I work with all of them as needs arise.
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Fingold: I take a very broad approach to practice management and see it as covering people management skills (delegation, supervision, training and providing feedback); time and paper management; client relations; marketing; managing technology and internal resources; leadership; and team-building.
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Fingold: I do work more closely with associates.
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Fingold: The team-building programs that I have conducted focus on helping the members of a team to better understand the behaviors that can either enhance or impede superior team performance.
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I think it would give us a good sense of the breadth, as well as the ebb and flow, of your work if you would describe the last few days of Brenda Fingold's week.
Fingold: I'll touch on just a few things...I'm setting up a mediation program, and I've been working with an outside mediator to design a workshop that will involve teams of associates mediating a mock dispute.
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Fingold: My experience as a member of an association called the Professional Development Consortium belies that general criticism of the profession.
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Fingold: No.
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Fingold: I am a litigator, and I have a natural capacity to relate to the learning needs and learning habits of our litigation group.
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Fingold: I think that's true.
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Fingold: It certainly requires a different approach tailored to their practice, but we're making progress at Hale and Dorr. We've designed some interactive materials that Hale and Dorr has used to train associates on due diligence and negotiating and drafting acquisition agreements. I think these programs have great potential if they are structured and implemented in the right way.
Edge: I'd imagine that when you're trying to be innovative with a practice group, your relationship with the practice group leader could be decisive, especially if you're introducing something the group may not be naturally predisposed to.
Fingold: Of course, and I do generally work closely with the practice group leaders.
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Fingold: Not, you can be sure, by just sending a memo around.
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Fingold: Not officially, but I have created and am involved in mentor programs that have an impact on work allocation decisions. For example, the litigation department has a Benchmark Program in which all associates are assigned a senior partner mentor. The role of the mentor is to review regularly with his or her mentee a set of benchmarks that define the types of experiences associates should ideally have by various points in their career. For example, by the end of their second year, associates should have had a significant role in witness preparation, drafted various pleadings, taken a minor deposition, etc. By the end of an associate's fourth or fifth year, he or she should have had primary responsibility for client contact and day-to-day case management, made court appearances, and conducted a trial or major evidentiary hearing in a smaller case.
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Fingold: If firm management has an initiative it wants a practice group to pursue, I'll do everything I can to encourage the group to do its best with it.
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Fingold: Definitely. The groups that are already very motivated and very successful were the ones that were most enthusiastic, because their whole mind set is to continue to be aggressive in looking for ways to improve.
Edge: Is there anything on your wish list that outside consultants or CLE providers could put on the market that isn't there now?
Fingold: I suppose something that addresses the day-to-day issues of supervision, delegation, and feedback in a very sophisticated way.
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Fingold: Yes.
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Fingold: First of all, I have no plans to leave. I am confident, however, that the firm is committed to retaining an established practitioner in this position.
Edge: As an ombudsman, do you find that you're always having to change approach or even your own personality to accommodate the different groups?
Fingold: No more so than any number of other professionals.
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Fingold: The most important piece of advice I would give is to be flexible.
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Training and Development of Practice Group Managers: An Interview with Brenda Fingold
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Managing Practice Groups Within Your Firm: An Interview with Brenda Fingold Be a Cheerleader for Downsizing
Law Firm Management :: Articles :: Law Firm Management
www.theedgeclub.com, 25 Jan 2011 [cached]
Training and Development of Practice Group Managers: An Interview with Brenda Fingold Brenda Fingold is the Partner Responsible for Training and Professional Development at Hale and Dorr in Boston, Massachusetts. We asked Brenda to share some of the specifics of that program, and her vision of why it works. Here Brenda explains the important role that training and development has in developing leadership qualities among practice group managers.
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Managing Practice Groups Within Your Firm: An Interview with Brenda Fingold Brenda Fingold is from Hale and Dorr in Boston, Massachusettes. She is a very capable and powerful lawyer who makes leadership programs work; who stimulates action throughout the firm. Here she shares with us how she how she accomplishes that so successfully.
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Training and Development of Practice Group Managers: An Interview with Brenda Fingold
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Managing Practice Groups Within Your Firm: An Interview with Brenda Fingold Be a Cheerleader for Downsizing
emerson umbrella :: classes and programs
www.emersonumbrella.org, 15 Feb 2006 [cached]
Brenda Joy Fingold
Brenda Joy Fingold is a Holistic Health Educator who is devoted to helping people restore a sense of balance and well-being in their bodies and lives.For 17 years, Brenda was a trial lawyer and then Training Partner at the Boston law firm Hale and Dorr.In 2001 Brenda left law to study and teach how to use mind-body techniques for health and healing.She is a certified SpiritSong teacher trained by Shawna Carol, author of The Way of Song: A Guide to Freeing the Voice and Sounding the Spirit.Brenda is also certified as a Kripalu yoga teacher and a nourishment consultant trained by Hale Sofia Schatz, author of If the Buddha Came to Dinner: How to Nourish Your Body to Awaken Your Spirit.
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health - Programs : Just for Women
www.kripalu.org, 23 Sept 2008 [cached]
Brenda Joy Fingold
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