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Overview

Introduction

Jackson Walker is a Texas-based law firm with a national presence and global reach. With more than 400 attorneys, we're the second-largest firm in Texas and provide comprehensive services in a broad range of practice areas. We pride ourselves on being the kind of attorneys that clients enjoy working with.

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2021)


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No. of Partners Named (2021)


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Featured Rankings

Best Law Firms for Transparency...


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No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)



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No. of Summer Associates (2021)



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Base Salary

1st year: $205,000...

Vault Verdict

As the biggest Texas-only law firm, it’s unsurprising that Jackson Walker does a lot of its hiring from Texas schools. Cultural fit is crucial to secure a position, as are grades and law school attended. Interviews are fairly standard, though candidates should expect questions about their lives outside of work, too. Laterals can expect a seamless transition to practice at Jackson Walker. Attorneys at the firm are pretty social, with in-office happy hours and a fair amount of socializing outside the office, as well. Attorneys rave about how well partners treat associates, as well as how transparent upper management is about firm business. The firm has a robust mentoring program, as well as CLEs and a NITA program for more formal offerings. Attorneys are thrilled with the sophistica...

About the Firm

Jackson Walker is the largest firm contained completely in Texas. The firm has more than 400 attorneys practicing in a broad range of practice areas in seven offices across the Lone Star State: Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Angelo, San Antonio, and Texarkana. Jackson Walker represents six of the Fortune 10, 23 of the Fortune 100, and 68 of the Fortune 500. Internationally, attorneys have represented clients in more than 85 countries and territories, and the firm is a founding member of Globalaw, a worldwide network of law firms with offices throughout the U.S. and in more than 85 countries worldwide.

Big Dallas Beginnings

Jackson Walker was established in 1887 when former schoolteacher W.J.J. Smith started his practice in Dallas. In the 1890s brothers John and George Roberts...

Associate Reviews


  • “The firm puts a large emphasis on culture and ensuring that lawyers and staff are fairly treated and have a good working environment.”
  • “Attorneys regularly interact and socialize throughout the workday at the coffee bar or over lunch. Every Thursday at 5 p.m., there's a firm happy hour in the office that is completely voluntary but well attended. People generally like each other here and enjoy being around one another.”
  • “We are a social bunch, although we work really hard and are busy. There are monthly happy hours and lunches, but attorneys also spend time together outside of work on a causal basis, getting lunch or dinner or drinks together regularly.”
  • “We are a very social firm, which is one of my favorite things. There are numerous social events, weekly happy hours, and everyone is very easy to get along with. People collaborate a lot.”
  • “The partners all work well with associates and I don't have issues with approaching partners for help. Partners generally give feedback on projects at the time of completion, but the firm has mid-year and annual reviews for general comments on overall performance.”
  • “Associates are treated very well. It is a collaborative environment where everyone is treated as part of the team. The firm's management committee is very open about finances, compensation, etc. It's as simple as asking the right questions as management is very approachable and open.”
  • “This is one of the key reasons that I chose to work here. The partners and firm leadership are very transparent and available. They make conscious efforts to solicit feedback and do it in a way where associates feel comfortable answering honestly.”
  • “Associates are definitely treated well, and they want to retain as many as possible. Management seems very transparent as far as being open to discuss matters with you, including certain finances and your production and what needs to get done. Performance reviews for associates are done every six months.”
  • “My work hours are fairly flexible but generally consist of 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. on any regular day. I can take on as much or as little work as I want. Work is evenly distributed among associates, but people tend to gravitate towards working groups with similar working styles, interests, and experiences.”
  • “It ebbs and flows. Sometimes I am too busy, but other times I have little to do. I am generally busy enough to fill my week though.”
  • “Good balance. Whether too much or too little, if we communicate to the partners, they are receptive and will work with us to increase or reallocate work.”
  • “[The requirement is] 1950 billable hours and 50 ‘nonbillable’ hours. Business Development, recruitment, CLE, pro bono all fall under the ‘nonbillable’ hours.”
  • “Compensation follows the lockstep method, but there is also a component that is individualized. I was awarded a bonus that was larger than what the pay chart showed. The firm rewards hard work and a good attitude.”
  • “Compensation is really transparent: A certain number of billable hours will earn you a raise, and then a certain [bonus]. Having an actual table to refer to makes things feel fair.” 
  • “Base salary is slightly below Cravath scale at higher class years, but the above-market bonuses make up for it.”
  • “Our compensation structure is very transparent, which I appreciate. If you hit your hours, you know exactly what you will get paid and our bonuses are incrementally aligned with additional hours above our yearly goal.”
  • “My work is extremely varied, which I enjoy. The firm is unmatched in terms of giving young associates substantive work and direct client contact, including with some of our biggest clients. You immediately become an indispensable member of the team here.”
  • “Most of my time is spent on substantive work. I handle everything from products liability to copyright infringement. I regularly take depositions and get plenty of client interaction.”
  • “Though document review and discovery [are] a necessary part of the job, I work extensively on substantive matters, often drafting first drafts of trial briefs, whether dispositive or non-dispositive.”
  • “High-quality work, often with Texas-based clients. Almost all of my work has been substantive. Drafting definitive agreements, managing clients, and orchestrating transactions.”
  • “The firm has a Vitality module that gives people bonuses against their health care premiums if they complete healthy tasks. Great program, encourages good sleep and regular exercise.”
  • “There is a program promoting attorney health and wellness in connection with the firm's health insurance provider.”
  • “Lots of lunch events on wellness.”
  • “Our firm participates in Vitality which is a wellness program that encompasses mind and body. It's optional, but there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the program (and a reduced health insurance premium if you participate at a certain level).”
  • “The firm puts a large emphasis on training you professionally as an attorney and preparing you for your future role as a partner. There are numerous CLE and other programs focused on both the practice and business of the law. We are also paired with individual mentors for both issues to ensure each associate has sufficient attention to them.”
  • “All associates are assigned formal mentors with whom they can meet with regularly (formally and informally). Many associates also naturally develop their own mentors within their various sections.”
  • “JW has an internal NITA program facilitated by a NITA instructor and a JW partner, and only JW associates attend.”
  • “We have CLEs at the Dallas office, which are run by attorneys from the firm and outsiders quite often. I've found many of them to be very helpful. Informally, almost any partner is willing to take time to train me.”
  • “I fully expect to make partner, and the firm has supported my efforts to be set up for success. For example, the firm provides a lot of support for bringing in your own clients. It's a great environment for entrepreneurial types.”
  • “Promotion to partnership is very realistic, especially given the small associate classes. My understanding is that senior counsel roles are also available. In terms of exit opportunities, the firm has previously helped its attorneys place in-house with the firm's corporate clients.”
  • “There is a clear path to partnership, and it's made known when you are eligible for promotion to partner.”
  • “Partnership is possible, but some people are electing to be senior counsel now. As a Texas firm, JW's reputation in Austin is strong enough that if I want to transition elsewhere, working here helps (both in boosting my resume and in connections I've made with clients and community members).”
  • “Pro bono is encouraged, and the firm does group pro bono activities that are enjoyable. However, unlike other firms, it does not count towards billable work or other incentives. Given all the other tasks associates have to juggle, I think change in this area would be helpful.”
  • “Associates do not get billable ‘credit’ for pro bono projects and therefore I think there is little emphasis put on these assignments at the associate level.”
  • “Pro Bono is encouraged.  Veteran's clinics and legal lines happen regularly.”
  • “Diversity and inclusion are not buzz phrases here. Our diversity committee has actively worked to make their efforts a natural part of everyday life here, and it shows.”
  • “Lots of women who have been here their whole careers with kids. Parental leave is encouraged and fair, and the JW Women's initiative is great!”
  • “My firm, especially the Houston office, continues to do a good job of making sure recruiting classes reflect the broader Houston community—as opposed to the more traditional demographics in BigLaw. I am grateful for a firm who puts action behind their words on this point.”
  • “Diversity is a huge focus of the firm, in all respects. Partners serve on boards of diversity-focused organizations and the commitment is well reflected in the firm's recruiting efforts, both from law schools and as to lateral partners and associates. It's a great testament to the firm, in my view.”

Why Work Here


Grow and Lead Early On


Jackson Walker maintains a strong partner-to-associate ratio, and we take pride in staffing clients’ matters efficiently so our associates have the opportunity to take on a great deal of responsibility early on in their career. Plus, our broad range of clients allows our associates to handle a wide variety of high-value work.

Diversity at Jackson Walker

"Simply stated, we believe that diversity makes us better. Our commitment to recruiting, retaining, and advancing a diverse workforce enables us to better serve our clients while developing the Texas communities in which we live and work. We foster diversity by promoting a culture in which all individuals are afforded the opportunity to excel. Our Diversity & Inclusion Committee, which includes both lawyers and staff, develops and administers our diversity-related goals, and provides guidance and recommendations to ensure our entire..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “First and foremost, regardless of school or pedigree, is ‘fit.’ Our firm culture is strong and driven by congenial people who believe our informal motto: We take our work seriously, but not ourselves. The most common feeder school is Texas, but hiring is done from each law school in the cities where we have offices, as well as from top 20 schools elsewhere.”
  • “Reverse pyramid of partners [to] associates, so associate classes are smaller, and thereby more competitive since first- and second-year salaries are at market rates. [We] recruit nationwide, but most associates tend to come from top regional schools, with the exception of a few who have roots in Texas (we are a wholly based Texas firm).”
  • “All of the grade prerequisites, good law school, etc. are obviously a requirement to even get an interview. Beyond that, JW is looking for people with good personalities that fit the culture. We want people we like being around and who have the ability to bring in business.”
  • “Favorite law class, organizations with which the interviewee is involved, prior work experience if any is listed.”
  • “What they are looking for in a firm, what they want out of a summer associate and associate program, what type of law they are interested in and why.”
  • “The firm wants to know that you have a life outside of the law. You can expect to be asked a lot of questions about your personal interests, connections to the city where you're applying, and goals. This isn't a stuffy environment, so we want people who can be social and interesting.”
  • “Why Jackson Walker?”
  • “Everyone was wonderful at helping me get integrated into the firm. Between welcome breakfasts and lunches with firm leadership, it was a seamless transition.”
  • “I've been assigned an extra mentor as a lateral, and there's a budget for a few lunches with other attorneys I should get to know. My practice group budgeted visits to other offices for me too, so that has been really helpful in getting to know people outside of Austin.”
  • “I feel like I was incorporated into the group dynamic quickly and folks paid attention to my integration.”
  • “After my hiring, there was a welcome breakfast and a series of lunches with other associates to help with integration.”

Perks & Benefits