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Warner Norcross + Judd LLP

Our Survey Says


Michigan-based Warner Norcross often recruits from local schools as well as across the Midwest. Attorneys rave about the firm’s collaborative, friendly culture, which encourages attorneys to socialize regularly. Associates work at or above their level, and while there is some formal training, associates mostly learn by doing. Partners are respectful and happy to help associates grow in their careers, with few exceptions. The firm is very flexible in how hours are put in, and compensation is completely lockstep by year. Partnership is realistic, but the firm also offers senior counsel and part-time positions if that’s what associates prefer as they grow in their careers. Exit opportunities are promising, and the firm is willing to work with associates who decide to transition elsewhere.



Hiring Process & Interview Questions

  • “The firm typically looks at in-state (Michigan) and Midwestern law schools. I believe my firm looks for someone who is serious about committing to long-term employment with the firm; fits within the [collegial] culture; [and] has superior grades, [a] friendly personality, and [the] willingness to work both individually and as a team.”
  • “The interview process has changed significantly since I was an associate in an attempt to make the process more fair.”
  • “The questions were diverse and asked over a three-hour period by six different interviewers in half-hour increments.”


Firm Culture

  • “The firm's culture is unlike any other I have heard of. The lawyers are great friends, socialize together, and are a close-knit group. The firm puts on annual parties, golf outings, and retreats for the attorneys that are well attended.”
  • “Very collaborative. Not what you would expect at a large firm. The firm organizes a lot of social outings and opportunities for attorneys and staff to mingle.”
  • “Weekly events for lawyers to socialize after work at the office—food and drinks [are] provided.”
  • “The firm is a very social place with a lot of social opportunities. The famous WNJ tradition though is the Christmas skit party.”

Associate/Partner Relations

  • “The partners treat all of the associates—and the staff [for] that matter—with respect. … The firm is also very transparent with everyone involved in the process of keeping the firm up and running.”
  • “Partners are very respectful and inclusive.  My experience has been fantastic.”
  • “… Reviews are conducted once yearly and twice as associates approach partnership. Referring timekeepers are solicited for feedback and the review is approved by the professional staff committee and the associate's practice group.

Hours & Compensation

  • “There is flexibility in where and when you work. There are no "set hours" to be at the firm. You can also work from home or in one of the 9 offices around the state of MI. I work in litigation, so my workload always fluctuates, but I feel I am given the appropriate amount of work.”
  • “Sometimes the workload can be intense, but that is expected as an associate at a large firm.”
  • “The firm has a reduced hours policy for associates that allows them to remain on a partnership track.”
  • “Compensation and bonuses are on a fixed system and very transparent. Every third year, for example, makes the same amount, and the bonuses are equal assuming you meet your hour requirement. This reduces the competition among associates and really fosters a collaborative work environment.”

Quality of Work, Training, & Mentoring

  • “I spend the vast majority of my time on substantive legal work. It is appropriate for my level of experience—even if at times it can be daunting to be given a new task to learn on the fly. I have never felt that I have been given work that is beneath my skill set, and have been involved by partners on substantive work from day one. Partners listen to associates and value their input.”
  • “As a third year, I am given a lot of substantive legal work—motion drafting, appearing in court, research, etc.”
  • “We are all given a mentor hand-picked to suit our interest and personality. The firm will also cover any training or conference we would like to attend.”
  • “Recently, associate training—at least for litigators—has improved, but most training is informal, on-the-job training.”

Career Outlook

  • “Partnership is totally attainable here for those who stick around and do good work.  There are also senior counsel positions, from which attorneys may eventually be promoted to partner.  However, the majority of associates who make it that far become partners, rather than senior counsel.”
  • “Partnership is realistic, and a number of people go the senior counsel route. There are good exit opportunities, as a number of associates have left recently for good jobs. The firm is well positioned in the market.”
  • “Promotion to partnership [is] very realistic and expectations are clearly outlined. There are several non-partner roles to which senior associates have the ability to transition. The firm also promotes part-time work if that is better for the associate. The firm encourages internal dialogue between an associate thinking of leaving and the recruiting coordinator to openly discuss exit options should the associate feel that is the best route.”
Warner Norcross + Judd LLP

900 Fifth Third Center
111 Lyon Street N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 752-2000

Firm Stats

Managing Partner: Douglas E. Wagner
Hiring Partner: Laura Morris
Total No. Attorneys (2020):
150 - 250

Base Salary

1st year: $100,000
Summer associate: $2,115/week

Employment Contact

Carin L. Ojala
Director of Professional Development
(616) 752-2173

No. of U.S. Offices: 9

No. of International Offices: 0

Major Office Locations

Bloomfield Hills, MI
Clinton Township, MI
Grand Rapids, MI (HQ)
Holland, MI
Kalamazoo, MI
Lansing, MI
Midland, MI
Muskegon, MI
Southfield, MI

Major Departments

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy
Data Analytics/eDiscovery
Economic Incentives
Employee Benefits
Family Law
Government Affairs and Contracting
Health Care
Information Technology
Intellectual Property
International Services
Labor & Employment
Real Estate
Restructuring and Insolvency
Trusts & Estates
*See firm website for additional departments and specific practice areas and industries.