CAREERS - Lawyers
Denver is the number one U.S. city for attracting young workers ages 25 to 34, according to a 2011 Brookings Institution report. If you're a young lawyer with some litigation experience, we think you won't find a better law firm to be in Denver than Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell.
WTO offers lawyers with outstanding academic records, some litigation experience, and a passion for trial advocacy the opportunity to work one-on-one with some of the nation's most experienced trial lawyers – thereby developing their skills through hard work, a keen sense of purpose, and extensive on-the-job training.
From 2004 to 2012, WTO has been rated one of the Best Places to Work in Denver in a survey of employees conducted by the Denver Business Journal. In the 2008, 2010, and 2012 surveys, WTO was named the number one best place to work in its size category and was the highest ranked law firm in all size categories. Recognized for our collegial atmosphere, community-mindedness, and high standards of excellence, WTO is a desirable place to work.
Joining the Team
Because we fully expect that each associate we hire will eventually become a partner of the firm, we are highly selective at the outset. Ideal candidates for associate positions have the following attributes:
- a passion for litigation and a drive to become a top-notch trial lawyer;
- prior experience as a judicial clerk or litigation associate;
- a degree from a top 10 law school or class standing in the top 10% of a top regional law school; and
- well-rounded credentials and a demonstrated record of excellence.
WTO does not hire summer associates or law clerks.
We are willing to invest what it takes in professional development during an associate's tenure and we expect that new lawyers will take advantage of the many opportunities offered to develop their skills, their practices, and their careers.
There are no specific billable-hour requirements. Hours worked are dictated by the firm's volume of work, our ethical obligations to our clients, and our personal and collective determination to produce the finest legal work in the country. That said, the average annual associate billable hours since the firm's founding in 1998 have been around 2000 – although it is possible to be in good standing and eligible for a bonus with fewer hours.
Associates can be considered for admission to the partnership at any time. However, this is most likely to occur sometime between the seventh and eighth year of full-time practice.
In making decisions about partnership, our ultimate goal is to elect those attorneys who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the zealous representation of the firm's national roster of clients, to the pursuit of excellence in their own professional practice, to the strengthening and building of the firm, to the enhancement of the practices of their colleagues in the firm, and to the constant improvement of the firm as an organization in which collegiality, respect, and shared goals are of paramount importance.
The starting salary for a first-year associate at WTO is $135,000. Benefits for lawyer-employees include the following:
- One-time bonus for new hires immediately following completion of a judicial clerkship at $40,000 for a federal appellate court clerkship, $25,000 for a federal district or state supreme court clerkship, and $10,000 for a state appellate court clerkship.
- Pack-and-ship move expenses;
- Fees paid for the Colorado bar review course and bar exam for any attorney who is not admitted in Colorado;
- Annual bonus eligibility based on contributions to the success of the firm and its clients;
- Substantial continuing legal education allowance;
- Access to in-house presentations, training, and trial consultants;
- Mobile electronic devices;
- Three percent 401(k) contribution after three months of employment;
- Insurance coverage for health, dental, vision, life, travel, accident, disability, and malpractice;
- Wellness benefit of $350 per year;
- Employee-funded flexible benefits plan that permits payment with pre-tax dollars of certain expenses for child care, medical, health insurance, and transportation; and
- Twelve-week paid maternity leave for any lawyer-employee who gives birth after being at the firm for at least one year prior to the birth.
For more information about a legal career at Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell, contact Kara Rosenthal or Dave Schaller, Recruiting Committee Co-Chairs and Partners.