Why Work at Winston
When you join Winston, you join a client-driven, collegial and civic-minded firm. We provide our clients with creative solutions to their business problems. With 15 offices in key financial centers around the world, we bring an understanding of the global and industry-specific legal and business issues our clients face in transactions, disputes, and regulatory/enforcement-related matters.
Winston has one of the fastest growing corporate and transactional practices among the Am Law 100. While we are renowned as a litigation powerhouse, Winston’s corporate and transactional department is also a key driver of the firm’s growth—generating half of the firm’s total revenue. So whether you are an aspiring litigator or a deal lawyer, Winston is a great place to begin your career.
We are proud of our inclusive culture of collaboration and collegiality. At Winston, you will learn from world-class attorneys who are sincerely interested in your career growth and care about your happiness. Our formal mentoring program helps entry-level attorneys integrate into the firm, learn about our culture, and gain valuable skills and knowledge. We also provide formal opportunities for you to give feedback and have an open dialogue. You can hear Winston’s Director of Attorney Recruiting & Development Lisa McLafferty describe Winston’s formal mentoring program below.
All of our people—whether they stay at Winston or go on to other distinguished legal careers—remain part of the Winston family. Our alumni program offers access to professional development and community service opportunities, and to social events.
Assignments & Staffing
We are deeply invested in ensuring our associates receive the opportunities they deserve to work with a wide range of partners and clients. We staff our client matters leanly, which means you will have substantive and challenging work that fosters your professional development from day one. Each office has an assignment attorney to distribute work and ensure you work on meaningful assignments that allow you to explore your interests. You will also receive real-time feedback and formal reviews to maximize your learning and growth.
Learning, Development & Well-Being
Winston’s best-in-class training programs and resources are designed to support your growth and success as you advance through your career.
Winston University delivers practice-specific courses and holistic training programs—available live and on-demand—to help you develop the core competencies needed at every stage of your career. All new associates begin with our week-long Jumpstart Orientation program, which covers professional skills and includes participating in a business simulation exercise.
First- and second-year associates then attend either a Litigation or Corporate Jumpstart Bootcamp, which covers practice-specific content and legal skills.
Winston’s MiniMBA program helps both corporate and litigation associates develop business acumen and learn about legal trends.
All Winston attorneys have access to one-on-one coaching with our director of coaching and well-being, who provides career and business coaching as well as well-being coaching. Winston also regularly hosts well-being workshops on topics ranging from well-being best practices and learned optimism to time mastery and peaceful parenting.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Embedding diversity and inclusion into the fabric of our firm is a high priority at Winston. This commitment starts at the top, with our strategic business plan that guides firmwide development and operations.
Our vision is to cultivate a culture where all talented contributors can have and can see a path to long-term success. And we are proud of the fact that Winston has earned a 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for 13 straight years. We have also achieved Mansfield Certification Plus status every year since its inception.
The recruitment and development of diverse law students is a centerpiece of Winston’s efforts to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion at our firm and in the legal profession.
Since 2004, Winston has awarded more than $1 million in Diversity Scholarships to 50+ diverse law students. Scholarship recipients participate in our 2L summer associate program and receive $25,000 to help offset the expense of their legal education.
Winston hires several 1L law students each year through the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity (LCLD) Scholars program and offers those students the opportunity to gain “real world” experience by spending part of their time in our summer program working directly with one of our clients.
Diverse law students who summer with Winston have multiple opportunities to interact with our firmwide affinity groups for Black, Latinx, AAPI, LGBTQ and women attorneys. These groups play a critical role the hiring, advancement, retention, and promotion of diverse lawyers throughout the firm.
Winston’s Diversity and Inclusion Associate Sponsorship Program pairs high-potential women, minority, and LGBTQ associates with a sponsor from the firm’s Executive Committee.
Pro Bono Opportunities
Active engagement in pro bono is a hallmark of the firm. Winston’s robust pro bono practice is managed by a dedicated team of four attorneys and two staff members.
Being in the top 15 U.S. law firms on The American Lawyer Pro Bono Scorecard is a key goal in our firm’s strategic plan and 2021 was the third consecutive year that Winston achieved this status. The firm encourages all attorneys to devote 35 hours annually to pro bono matters—15 hours more than the industry standard—and provides credit for 100 hours of pro bono work toward associates’ annual billable-hours target.
Watch Winston’s Senior Pro Bono Counsel Greg McConnell discuss Winston’s strong pro bono culture below.
Incoming first-year associates have the opportunity to participate in Winston & Strawn’s Public Interest Law Fellowship Program during the period following graduation and prior to their official start date. Participants agree to work a minimum of 300 hours at a local public interest law organization and receive a $10,000 stipend in addition to gaining hands-on legal experience and providing much-needed service to public interest law organizations. Winston & Strawn Pro Bono Fellows have contributed more than 30,000 hours since 2013.
Winston & Strawn created the Pro Bono Racial Justice & Equity CEASE Initiative in 2020, recognizing the special role that lawyers play in serving critical needs in their communities. The CEASE mission pledges significant financial assistance and 100,000 hours of dedicated pro bono legal and policy resources over five years, to support the fight for justice and equity for persons of color, with specific attention to causes impacting Black people.
You can find additional information about working at Winston and our Summer Associate Program here.