Vault and Firsthand have combined platforms! Learn more

cross

Overview

Introduction

 

If you are seeking a large firm—we’re talking more than 1,000 lawyers across 21 offices—that boasts a welcoming, respectful atmosphere, McGuireWoods may be the place for you. Teamwork is key at this full-service firm, which also highly values pro bono work. McGuireWoods regularly serves clients in the automotive, banking and financial services, chemical, energy resources, food processing, general manufacturing, government, health care, insurance, real estate, technology and telecom, and transportation indu...

Firm Stats


More

Total No. Attorneys (2021)


More

No. of Partners Named (2021)


More

Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100...


More

No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)



More

No. of Summer Associates (2021)



More

Base Salary

All Offices:...

Vault Verdict

When it comes to landing a spot at McGuireWoods, leave your ego at the door. The firm seeks personable team players who are polished enough to be client-ready from the start. The firm is a welcoming place, and there is a sense that people care about each other and their lives outside of work. Partners are respectful of associates and are generous in providing feedback. Associates agree that the firm’s billable-hours requirement is reasonable, but associates have different experiences in terms of workload. Some associates don’t feel work is evenly distributed, while others believe their groups allocate hours appropriately. Further, some associates note they are inundated with work, while others wish they had more hours. Workload aside, associates rave about the responsibilities the...

About the Firm

 

McGuireWoods’ roots reach back to 1834 in Charlottesville, Virginia, when Egbert R. Watson began his law practice. The firm now boasts 21 offices and more than 1,100 attorneys worldwide.

McGuireWoods’ Mergers

Thirty-six years after Watson launched his firm, he formed a partnership with George Perkins. It was the firm’s first merger, but not its last. The firm continued to grow, strategically expanding as far south as Florida and Texas, west to Chicago and California, north as far as Pennsylvania and New York, and overseas to London and Shanghai—much of this growth via merger. Among the firms McGuireWoods has joined with in the past decade are North Carolina firm Helms Mullins & Wicker, U.K. firm Grundberg Mocatta Rakison, Texas-based Nickens Keeton Lawl...

Associate Reviews


  • “Everyone is professional and respectful towards each other. Due to the COVID pandemic, it is hard to socialize in person, but I've stayed connected relatively well to my colleagues through electronic means.”
  • “I love the people I work with! Everyone is warm and cares about my career and life as a whole, rather than just my work product—partners and firm management included. It's a very rare culture in a big firm.”
  • “Very friendly and collaborative environment. Partners legitimately care about your growth and your work-life balance and will step in to assist you when you feel overwhelmed. Lot of social events are planned throughout the year formally, as well as very frequent informal social events. I consider a lot of the people I work with friends.”
  • “My experience has been wonderful. Everyone was very welcoming. My group specifically is very supportive, and the attorneys socialize at firm-sponsored events and outside of work.”
  • “In my experience, the partners at our firm are tremendous mentors who provide significant opportunities to associates from the start of their careers. I lateraled from a V10 firm and feel that the mentorship and real opportunities for growth at McGuireWoods are far superior. The partners here take a long-term view with the associates and are invested in training them and providing them with opportunities to build their skills. Reviews are once per year in March/April, and include your supervisor, department chair, and another partner in your department.”
  • “The relationships between partners and associates are one of the best part of my firm.  I feel mentored by multiple partners who express interest in my growth as an associate and lawyer and also care about my life outside of work. The people are the best part of working here. It really feels like a supportive team.”
  • “The partners in my group have always treated me well as an associate. I have never been minimized in my role within the firm. I have at times made mistakes in my work as an associate and partners have approached me with feedback. The feedback has always been constructive and never demeaning.”
  • “I've always been treated with respect. The partners show leadership and interest in associates and maintain professional relationships.”
  • “The billable-hours requirement is reasonable.”
  • “This depends on the group. Smaller groups tend to be better about distributing work evenly. Larger groups it is more difficult, and there can be wide ranges in hours between similarly situated folks based on which partners you have a stronger relationship with.”
  • “There is a lot of work, but we are well compensated, and at the end of the day, it is far easier to stomach the long hours when you like your colleagues as much as I do. You may go to a law firm for the salary, but you stay because of the people.”
  • “This firm recently agreed to pay all offices at the same level, which was a decision applauded by associates.”
  • “The firm offers bonuses for those who clerk before joining the firm. The firm also offers meritorious bonuses for exceeding the billable hour requirement. The firm allows you to count up to 50 hours of pro bono work towards your billable-hour requirement and the first tier of meritorious bonuses. The compensation is very fair.”
  • “I think they can improve on the bonuses compared to what other firms are doing.”
  • “… Productivity bonuses are awarded only if associates bill 2,050 hours. These bonuses are tiered based on your year (e.g., 1-2 years, 3-5, 6+). Additional, money is awarded if associates bill over 2,150 or 2,250 hours. … The firm does also award merit based bonuses that are entirely discretionary, so it is unclear how many associates receive these and how much they get. …”
  • “Most of my work is substantive work for significant clients of the firm. I have also been given a couple of smaller matters to handle largely on my own so I have an opportunity to run my own matters, with supervisions and guidance from our partners.”
  • “As a junior associate my work tends to gravitate towards deal process and drafting of ancillary documents. More recently, I have been given larger tasks as I continue to progress in my experience as an attorney and within the firm.”
  • “I spend a lot of time drafting motions, discovery, defending depositions, and conducting other high-level litigation assistance to lead attorneys on many of my cases.”
  • “Most of my work consists of research and initial drafting of motions, stipulations, agreements, discovery requests, and deposition outlines. I believe this type of work is appropriate for my level and has provided me with substantial growth since starting at the firm 6 months ago.”
  • “The firm has 24 hour IT service, and we have easily adapted to working from home during the pandemic.”
  • “The technology and tech support is great. I have the Help Desk on speed dial, and they never let me down.”
  • “The firm's use of technology has always been top-notch, such that transitioning to a full-time remote work environment was seamless and easy. All our employees have firm-issued laptops that can be brought home and logged in to the firm server remotely. Most of us have the same setup at home with monitors and laptop docks that we do at the office. We have several forms of communication (email, office phone system integrated with our cell phones, instant messaging, etc.) that enable smooth and consistent communication. Thus, the firm didn't have to do much to adapt to working remotely and the transition was a smooth one.”
  • “The firm offers a variety of counseling, exercise programs, etc. through our benefits.  The firm has also adapted and offered programs specifically related to the pandemic, for instance tutoring for employees' children and how to balance work, teaching, and being a parent during a pandemic.”
  • “Through the firm's health insurance, we are provided Peerfit credits to use at gyms.”
  • “Beyond a good social environment, I'm not sure what the firm does to benefit wellness. That said, the people individually care for each other, which might alleviate a lot of the need for management-derived wellness efforts.”
  • “Other than initial training, there is not a lot of formal training. Senior associates are great mentors and resources.”
  • “The firm assigns a first-year mentor who is meant to be a boots on the ground resource in addition to a supervisor. There are also ample learning opportunities [from] CLEs.”
  • “Most of the training is on the job, working cases and matters for clients, rather than formal training. The process works well for my practice.  … Mentoring is also great. The firm sets you up with an associate mentor from the start, and that person is very helpful in navigating not only how to work within your practice, but just law firm life in general.”
  • “As a lateral, I have not had much exposure to our formal training program, but cannot say enough positive things about the effort that goes into training lawyers informally through mentorship and hands-on opportunities in our department. I have regular, meaningful, substantive contact with clients and the government, and—when we serve as co-counsel with other firms—McGuireWoods is often the only firm that will bring an associate to important client and government meetings.”
  • “Of counsel and non-partnership opportunities are available. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the firm is not an ‘up-or-out’ environment, and the firm fosters different work arrangements that encourage flexibility, sustainability, and longer careers at the firm.”
  • “Partnership appears to be very realistic for those that work hard. Counsel is a non-partner path and there are several attorneys working part-time or reduced schedules.”
  • “The opportunities to make partner seem to be there if you are willing to work very hard for them. Counsel track opportunities abound if that is a desired approach.”
  • “I have been extremely impressed with the pro bono committees at the firm. Fifty pro bono hours count as billable hours at our firm. I have assisted in asylum matters and currently represent a plaintiff who was scammed into securing a lien on her property.”
  • “I recently briefed and argued an appeal in the Supreme Court of Virginia that challenged the constitutionality of Virginia's former regime for automatically suspending the licenses of criminal defendants who couldn't pay court-imposed fees or costs. It took a significant amount of time to brief the case and prepare for oral argument, but the firm was behind me every step of the way.”
  • “I think it's pretty heavily promoted. [There are] opportunity for many different pro bono projects. … I've worked on SIJS projects (immigration-related custody proceedings) and am a regular volunteer for the local Council for Children's Rights (advocating for children in high conflict family law proceedings). [I] also work each year on a Wills for Warriors clinic.”
  • “… I have assisted on a death penalty appeal and prisoner civil rights cases.”
  • “The firm has made efforts to promote diversity including hosting town halls to discuss and instituting a committee to incorporate certain diversity initiatives.”
  • “I recently took parental leave (the entire 16 weeks) and do not feel as though I was treated any differently before or after. I have received quality work since I've returned, and am busier than I was before (for better or worse!).”
  • “They are very receptive to all of these and effectively implementing initiatives to be one of the top firms for diverse lawyers. However, there is still work to be done to retain diverse racially or ethnically diverse associates.”

Why Work Here


At McGuireWoods, our attorneys and staff can expect to be part of a diverse culture built on respect, unwavering client service and a collective desire for professional excellence. With an exciting work environment that features new and innovative technologies, career advancement training, top-of-the-line benefits options, and the opportunity to engage with our many communities across the U.S. and overseas, our employees gain the experience they need to excel as part of one of the world’s most sought-after law firms. 

An evolving career is a strong career, and we encourage our employees to take advantage of the professional development services offered to them, including training and advancement opportunities designed to encourage leadership, promote collaboration and teach better use of technology. McGuireWoods employees benefit from on-the-job training, in-house seminars, courses in continuing legal education and an array of career development programs through Practising Law Institute. 

Diversity at McGuireWoods

"McGuireWoods has a history of hiring, developing, promoting and retaining lawyers of color, women and LGBTQ lawyers, and veterans. Diversity & Inclusion is a core value of our firm and a cornerstone of our strategic plan. As we continually establish new initiatives and enhance existing efforts, we focus on meaningful support for our diverse lawyers in their careers. Through our diverse lawyer networks, we assist our attorneys in building positive, close-knit communities within the firm that empower, support and encourage all of..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “Most important metric from my experience is whether we would feel comfortable putting you in front of a client day one. We often give young associates the opportunity to speak on client calls, so it helps to have a polished demeanor and professionalism about you.”
  • “The biggest factor in our hiring is personality. We love team players and hard workers. We do not like gunners or overly competitive people. We also like people who enjoy work and life. The whole person matters in hiring for us. We love people who are passionate about work as an attorney and equally passionate about their other interests.”
  • “Smart, former clerk, without a big ego who is personable and a team player.  …”
  • “You could be top of your class from a T14 with a journal and a clerkship, but if you don't have the right personality you will not get an offer. This firm prides itself on its people.”
  • “I still remember the first question I was asked when I first interviewed at McGuireWoods: ‘You've been doing extremely well at law school. Why do you think you've done so well?’”
  • “Interview questions depends greatly on the person doing the interviewing, but all questions lead back to your interest in the firm and area, your client-readiness, and your ability to adapt and learn.”
  • “What are you grateful for?”
  • “My MW interviews were all about my past experiences. I worked and lived overseas for a few years, so everyone asked about those experiences based on my resume.”
  • “I was immediately thrown into substantive work, and well integrated into my team.”
  • “The firm has been kind in making me feel welcome. It was slower at the start (in part due to the pandemic), but I was incorporated into project teams and other work flow about three months in and I have been busy since then.”
  • “Certain offices appear to do better at this.”

Perks & Benefits