Winston’s Midwestern roots—though it’s grown to ten domestic and six international offices—are reflected in its top-to-bottom friendly culture. Strong mentorship allows junior associates to quickly develop skills on high-profile matters, and robust wellness and diversity programs round out the Winston experience. Those hoping to find a strong pro bono commitment in a law firm will be pleased with Winston, as the firm ranks high in number of dedicated attorneys and attorney hours.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2022)

750 - 1K


No. of Partners Named (2022)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2022)



No. of Summer Associates (2022)

100 total (75 2Ls; 25 1Ls)


Base Salary

1st year: $215,000

Vault Verdict

Winston & Strawn has been around for a while—since 1853, to be exact—and still is a premier firm in Chicago (as well as in 15 other cities). Each office tends to recruit and hire from prestigious law schools geographically nearby, and across the board the firm looks at grades, experience, and clerkships. Candidates must be balanced and able to assimilate easily into the firm’s laidback and personable culture. Winston associates recognize the abundance of social events and firmwide support, and appreciate that partners treat them well and value their opinions. Further, partners guide younger attorneys by allowing them to get valuable hands-on experience and by checking in on them frequently. Lateral hires are integrated nicely as well. Winston’s more formal training focuses...

About the Firm

From its 19th century Chicago roots, Winston & Strawn has grown to a global law firm of nearly 1,000 attorneys across the United States, South America, Europe, and Asia. Winston is particularly known for its work in middle-market private equity, IP, labor and employment, renewable energy, sports law, and white collar.

Diversifying with the Times

The firm that became Winston & Strawn opened its doors in the Windy City in 1853 under the leadership of Harvard grad Frederick Hampden Winston, who played a vital role in Chicago’s emergence as a powerful business and financial center. Winston left the practice in the hands of his son Frederick Seymour Winston in 1885 to become the American Minister to Persia under Grover Cleveland. Silas Strawn joined the firm in 1892 and prac...

Associate Reviews


  • “The culture is inviting and collaborative. I walked away from my interview feeling really comfortable, and since starting as an associate that feeling has not wavered. The people are respectful and kind, in addition to being highly skilled attorneys. The people make the firm.”
  • “Winston has a very collegial atmosphere. Partners treat associates with respect and value the work that we do. All attorneys treat staff with respect.”
  • “One of Winston's greatest strengths is the firm culture. Everyone here is bright, intelligent and—most importantly—deeply cares about the members of its teams. Winston is defined by its commitment to doing cutting-edge work while building strong connections. Despite being a few months in, I have already met lifelong friends and mentors.”

Why Work Here

At Winston, you will work with world-class attorneys on important matters for significant clients. We litigate cases and we close transactions. We are shrewd advisers, and our clients view us as trusted business partners.

We are proud of our culture of collaboration, collegiality, and learning. At Winston, you will learn from outstanding attorneys who genuinely care about your professional growth and happiness. You will participate in a comprehensive onboarding and integration program and receive best-in-class, holistic training through Winston University.

Winston’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion starts at the top and is included in our strategic plan. We have awarded $1 million in diversity scholarships to 50+ law students and earned a 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for 13 straight years. 

Diversity at Winston & Strawn LLP

"Global Diversity & Inclusion are core values and strategic business goals at Winston & Strawn. Our formal diversity program began 18 years ago and in 2017, the Executive Committee unveiled a five-year strategic plan, which includes ten key business goals to guide the firm's strategic development and operations for the next five years. Achieving greater diversity and inclusion is one of the ten key business goals, and the firm established concrete metrics to evaluate when the goal has been met. The metrics include benchmarks for the..."

Getting Hired Here

  • “The firm puts an emphasis on grades and experience, particularly clerkships. The firm also looks for people with good personalities who don’t take themselves too seriously.”
  • “Each office has particular schools it likes to draw from. It goes for candidates with very academic credentials with social skills. While it is not a directive provided by the firm, we do not tend to hire extremely brainy types who are introverted/cannot hold a conversation.”
  • “Winston is looking for candidates who demonstrate leadership and interpersonal skills. While we previously had a focus on top law schools, we have resumed hiring from local schools, as well, which is great. There are trainings and guidelines offered to those who interview candidates, but there aren't strict rules in place for interviewers.”