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Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLP

At a Glance


“I get to litigate and try cases with—not for—incredibly talented attorneys, on high-stakes matters, in a collegial and collaborative environment.”

“The flexibility, opportunities to be substantively engaged on cases, and the quality of lawyering at the firm.”


“It's easy to take on too much work and hard to dig out when that happens.”

“The hours, compensation, and sometimes a lack of guidance.”

About Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLP

Litigation boutique Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell is known for going to trial nationwide and winning on behalf of its Fortune 500 clientele. The high-profile clients who have received WTO's much sought-after litigation expertise come from a wide range of industries—such as manufacturing, telecommunications, energy, and services—and include Whirlpool, General Electric, Michelin, Lumen Technologies, DISH Network, Ford, Xcel Energy, Chipotle, Beazley Group, McKesson, Electrolux, Volvo, IBM, and Vail Resorts, among others.

A Denver Firm

WTO was founded on February 1, 1998 by a group of five trial lawyers—including Mal Wheeler, Jack Trigg, and Mike O'Donnell—who left a full-service firm in Denver to build a nationwide practice dedicated to complex civil litigation. Still a relatively young firm, WTO has wasted no time making a name for itself. The firm has been named a Top Firm for Client Service and a “Litigation Leader” multiple times in recent years—including 2021—by BTI Consulting. In 2018 and 2019, WTO was one of seven finalists for The American Lawyer’s National Boutique/Specialty Litigation Department of the Year Award. The firm and its attorneys have been recognized by the likes of U.S. News—Best Lawyers, Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America, and The National Law Journal.

Full Spectrum Advocacy

WTO is known for its litigation chops, and for good reason. The firm’s attorneys have collectively taken more than 1,100 trials and arbitrations to verdict or award and hundreds of appeals to opinion. This litigation boutique specializes in civil trials and appeals in such areas as antitrust, class actions, complex commercial litigation, employment, intellectual property, investigations, mass torts, professional liability, and more. With a firm foundation as trial attorneys, WTO has also been busy building its overall advocacy power, bringing on former Colorado Solicitor General Fred Yarger in 2020 to help grow the firm’s appellate practice.

As a part of its focus on advocacy for clients throughout the stages of litigation, WTO has historically had a strong contingent of former clerks in their ranks. Over half of the associates at the firm have completed a state appellate or federal judicial clerkship, and the firm offers one-time bonuses upon hire immediately following clerkships—though the firm has recently expanded its hiring through its summer program as well.

WTO Foundation

WTO's volunteer efforts go beyond pro bono work. The firm founded the WTO Foundation, its own nonprofit charitable foundation, in September of 2005. Through the Foundation, the firm and its personnel have donated more than $3 million and volunteered thousands of hours to over 100 nonprofits. Firm members have participated in Foundation work benefitting organizations such as Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado, American Civil Liberties Union, Denver Kids, Inc., Denver Urban Debate League, and Denver Dumb Friends League.

COVID-19 Update

WTO takes COVID safety seriously and works to deliver a comfortable interview experience for candidates at all levels. Our firm is a designated vaccinated facility by the City and County of Denver, and as such finalist candidates invited on-site must share their proof of vaccination ahead of their interview. Zoom is a tool we regularly utilize and can easily pivot to in the facilitation of interviews, for candidates who cannot or do not wish to share vaccination proof.

Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLP

370 Seventeenth Street
Suite 4500
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: (303) 244-1800

Firm Stats

Chair: Michael O’Donnell
Co-Managing Partners: Carolyn Fairless & Michael Williams
Recruiting Chair: Drew Unthank
Total No. Attorneys (2022):
100 - 150
No. of Partners Named 2022:

Base Salary

1st year: $200,000

Employment Contact

Chloe Mercado
Attorney Recruiting Manager
(303) 244-1855
General Recruiting Email:

No. of U.S. Offices: 2

No. of International Offices: 0

Major Office Locations

Denver, CO
St. Louis, MO

Major Departments

Antitrust & Competition
Class Actions
Commercial Litigation
Employment Litigation
Environmental Litigation
Intellectual Property
Investigations & Compliance
Mass Torts
Medical Devices & Pharmaceuticals
Oil & Gas
Personal Injury Defense
Product Liability
Professional Liability
Toxic Torts
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.