Careers

Are you ready to develop a dynamic national litigation practice in a thriving and livable metropolitan area with the Rocky Mountains in view of your office and your backyard? Then Denver-based Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell is where you want to be.

With its national litigation practice, WTO offers lawyers with outstanding academic records, experience, and a passion for trial advocacy the opportunity to work one-on-one with some of the nation's most tested trial lawyers – thereby developing their skills and experience through hard work, a keen sense of purpose, and extensive on-the-job training. If you meet these criteria and seek this level of trial practice, we think you won't find a better law firm to join than WTO.

We also believe you won't find a better city to live in than Denver. In 2016, Forbes ranked Denver the #1 Best Place for Business and Careers for the second year in a row. Also in 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked Denver number one on its inaugural Best Places to Live list. The magazine analyzed 100 cities "based on quality of life, job market, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there." In 2014, Business Insider ranked Colorado the top-performing state economy in the nation.

To top it off, WTO is consistently rated among the Best Places to Work in Denver in a survey of employees conducted by the Denver Business Journal. In 2016, WTO was ranked the #2 Best Place to Work in the extra-large company category and was the top-ranked law firm to work for in all size categories. WTO won third place in 2015 and first place by size in 2012, 2010, and 2008. Recognized for our collegial atmosphere, community-mindedness, and high standards of excellence, WTO is a highly desirable place to work.

Joining the Team
Because each associate we hire has the opportunity to become a partner of the firm eventually, we are highly selective at the outset. The following attributes are preferred, but not absolute, for our ideal candidates:

  • a passion for litigation and a drive to become a top-notch trial lawyer;
  • a degree from a top-tier law school or class standing in the top 10% of a ranked regional law school; and
  • well-rounded credentials and a demonstrated record of excellence.

Prior experience in litigation, especially as a judicial clerk or a litigation associate, is preferred, but not required.

WTO does not have a summer associate program and typically does not hire law clerks.

Expectations
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-hours 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. 

Associates can be considered for admission to the partnership at any time.  However, this is most likely to occur sometime between the seventh and ninth 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.

Compensation
Associates' salaries are set commensurate with experience, usually starting at $160,000 per year. All associates are eligible for a salary increase effective January 1 of each year. Benefits for lawyer-employees include the following:

  • One-time bonus for new hires immediately following completion of a judicial clerkship in the amount of $60,000 for a federal appellate court clerkship, $40,000 for a federal district court clerkship, $25,000 for a state supreme court clerkship, and $10,000 for a state appellate court clerkship; 
  • Annual bonus eligibility based on contributions to the success of the firm and its clients;
  • 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;
  • Substantial continuing legal education allowance;
  • Professional development through in-house presentations, training, and on-site trial/presentation consultants;
  • Mobile electronic devices;
  • Employer contribution to individual's 401(k) plan equal to 3% of base salary starting upon employment;
  • Insurance coverage for health, dental, vision, life, travel, accident, disability, and malpractice;
  • Employer contribution to health savings account of $300-$600 per year;
  • Wellness program and benefit of $350 per year;
  • Employee assistance program;
  • Employee-funded flexible benefits plan that permits payment with pre-tax dollars of certain expenses for child care and transportation;
  • Twelve weeks of paid maternity leave, consisting of eight weeks of childbearing leave and four weeks of parental leave, available to any associate or of counsel lawyer who gives birth after being at the firm for at least one year prior to the birth (prorated for lawyers who have been at the firm less than one year); and
  • Four weeks of paid parental leave available to be taken by an adoptive or non-childbearing parent within six months of the date of birth or adoption of the child by an associate or of counsel lawyer who has been with the firm for at least one year prior to the birth or adoption (prorated for lawyers who have been at the firm less than one year).

Recruiting Chair:
Drew Unthank

Click HERE to apply for a legal career at Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell. Email questions to fenn@wtotrial.com. Please address correspondence to Kasey Fenn, Attorney Recruiting & Development Manager.