Winston’s Midwestern roots 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. Winston & Strawn has grown to a global law firm of nearly 1,000 attorneys across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Winston is particularly known for its work in middle-market private equity, IP, labor and employment, renewable energy, sports law, an...

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2021)

750 - 1K


No. of Partners Named (2021)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)



No. of Summer Associates (2021)

94 total (75 2Ls; 19 1Ls)


Base Salary

1st year: $205,000

Vault Verdict

Winston looks for candidates who demonstrate grit, intelligence, and leadership. The firm is social and supportive, and it has maintained this culture virtually with frequent check-ins and colleagues who genuinely care. Partners treat associates with respect and foster relationships through ongoing mentorship and feedback. The firm is transparent when it comes to firm performance, financials, and the annual review process, and it is making strides to improve clarity as to how promotions work. The firm’s mentorship program allows associates to ask questions and gain insights they might not on the day-to-day. There is some frustration with inconsistent workflow, but associates appreciate the flexibility they have, and the firm is ramping up efforts to ensure more even work distribut...

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, 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 189...

Associate Reviews

  • "The firm culture is generally very positive and collegial. Most attorneys are friendly, and typically there are weekly happy hours and quarterly social events. These have been suspended during the pandemic, but there are still some virtual events."
  • "While the pandemic has made it more difficult, Winston has still made efforts to organize social events for us, and these are still well attended.  We're looking forward to being able to get back together in person soon. In general, Winston is the kind of place where your coworkers are likely to be your friends, as well, and we regularly choose to spend time with each other outside of work."
  • “The general cultural atmosphere of the firm is one of collegiality, collaboration, and honest concern for each other. Team calls usually always start with personal check-ins and are light-hearted until we get down to the business at hand. The firm does sponsor social events that attorneys can attend if they choose.”
  • “With the caveat that I have only been an associate during the COVID-19 pandemic, I really appreciate Winston's culture. It seems to me that everyone here gets along, takes an interest in their coworkers lives beyond the job, and tries to take all unnecessary stress out of the profession. Winston encourages young associates to have a voice and opinion on projects, and partners treat me with respect. The firm also encourages associates and partners to enjoy themselves when they aren't working, and there is a culture of picking up the slack for others when someone is on vacation or dealing with other personal matters. It's a great place to work.”

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 hires most associates from Northwestern and U Chicago, with Illinois and Michigan providing the next most associates. The firm appears to focus on hiring hard workers, but does not have a specific preference for those on journal or with clerkship experience.”
  • “The firm is looking for candidates with grit, intelligence, leadership skills, and personability. We frequently hire and try to hire from top-ranked law schools, but we will also go outside of those top schools, particularly in the region of our offices. The firm provides some guidance and training to interviewers. We also value diversity in our candidates.”
  • “Winston seems to be really competitive. I have participated in the recruiting process and have interviewed over 20 individuals over the last two-plus years, while also going to recruiting events at my law school. Winston looks for individuals with a record of high academic achievement in undergrad and law school. Winston seems to hire from the same schools—mostly T14, but some schools just outside the T14 as well. Personality is also very important and ‘fit’ is something we are supposed to assess when we interview law students.”

Perks & Benefits