McGuireWoods is a global law firm with approximately 900 lawyers and 20 strategically located offices worldwide. Sharply focused on our clients, McGuireWoods ensures that all of the firm's actions are based on what will best benefit our clients. Tracing the firm's roots back to 1834, McGuireWoods has a long history of growth through mergers with predecessor firms in existing markets, as well as client-centered expansion into new markets. Working with clients to develop these strategies, we are able to keep pace with their changing needs – helping them meet their goals. This has been our philosophy for more than 175 years, and it continues to direct our endeavors as we look toward the future.
As a McGuireWoods lawyer, you’ll reap the benefits of a resource-rich, large firm, but in the close-knit, supportive environment you’d expect from a small firm. McGuireWoods is a distinguished, yet familial place to work and grow. For additional general information on McGuireWoods, please click here.
When we ask our associates why they joined McGuireWoods, the number one response is “the people.” Per one senior associate, this is also why he stays at the firm as he has “received nothing but encouragement and support in developing my practice over the years. I wouldn't leave for any other firm.” Of course, the people are not the only reason our attorneys chose to spend their careers at McGuireWoods. Other reasons include:
Collegial Culture… Many firms do sophisticated legal work for significant clients and say they have a unique “culture.” It can be hard to assess what is meant by “culture.” How does McGuireWoods’ culture differ from that of other firms? One associate says, “This may sound cheesy, but I’d say collegial is the first word that comes to mind when I think about firm culture. People are generally nice and you feel like they are invested in your success.” Other associates add that the firm “has a ‘family-style’ environment which can be difficult to find in a large firm” and that our attorneys “respect each other and each others' lives, and that makes a tremendous difference."
Interesting work opportunities… Our associates note that they joined the firm because they knew they would receive great training and interesting work opportunities in a friendly and respectful environment. One senior associate says he joined McGuireWoods because “there are so many opportunities here for motivated lawyers to do interesting things, and I like this entrepreneurial quality of the firm.” Another associate adds that the firm has many strengths, including “the opportunities it provides to its attorneys to do interesting and challenging work in so many areas. The firm has an international footprint but at the same time our rates are competitive enough to allow us to do a lot of interesting work that some firms cannot, given their very high rate structures.”
Sophisticated legal work… While a number of McGuireWoods’ offices are located in smaller markets, the sophistication of the firm’s legal work is unsurpassed. As one junior partner says, “I wanted to practice law at a high level for a national law firm, but in a medium-sized market. McGuireWoods had more personality than I expected for a larger law firm. It was important to me not to sacrifice the sophistication of work I could do, if I chose to live in a smaller market. MW was a nice fit in this regard.”
Training/Opportunity for advancement… Our associates are promoted based on merit rather than a lock-step system, making training integral in preparing our associates for each level of their careers. As stated below in the training section, associate training plays a vital role at McGuireWoods. Much of this training comes from working with other attorneys in the firm. Per one junior associate, “At McGuireWoods, I've found a group of senior attorneys who will share their war stories and insights gained over the years, a group of mid-level attorneys who will teach the ins-and-outs of practicing law, and a group of peers whom I enjoy spending time with in and out of work. I've found attorneys at all levels who I enjoy working with, am productive working with, and who have taught me to be a better lawyer.”
At McGuireWoods, we want to make sure our associates are ready for advancement at all stages of their careers. Per one associate, “if you are willing to make the effort, get to know people, and speak your mind about your interests and where you want your career to go, the partners here will put you in a position to get there.” Another associate comments that with the firm’s extensive training, “there is a genuine expectation of partnership. If you put in the time and effort, and do all the things you’re supposed to do, you can legitimately expect to make partner.”
Community involvement… As part of our commitment to community service, our attorneys provide thousands of hours in free legal time to handling pro bono legal aid matters and court-appointed cases. We’re involved in death penalty cases, child support enforcement prosecutions, housing law cases, battered spouse representations, wills and powers of attorney, court-appointed criminal defense, and general counseling for nonprofit groups. Our attorneys and staff also support, with time and money, a variety of cultural, advocacy and recreational programs integral to our communities.
PRACTICE AREAS AND INDUSTRIES
McGuireWoods is a full service law firm serving public, private, government and nonprofit clients from many industries including energy resources, automotive, manufacturing, healthcare, technology and transportation, to name just a few. Because of the depth of our resources nationally and internationally, we are able to meet client needs across industries, practices and borders.
Our clients include:
80% of the Fortune 10
64% of the Fortune 50
55% of the Fortune 100
43% of the Fortune 500
For a complete listing of McGuireWoods’ Practice Areas & Industries, please click here.
As indicated above, training and professional development are the cornerstones to our associates’ success. McGuireWoods’ comprehensive associate training and development plan is designed to provide lawyers at all levels with the knowledge, skills and abilities to achieve their clients’ objectives. We understand that developing our associates strengthens the firm and continually improves the level of service we are able to provide to our clients. One mid-level associate even says “the training I've received at McGuireWoods has been the highlight of my time here.” Training and professional development occur daily in a variety of forums, including:
- Real life experiences – We know that the best training occurs during real life experiences. Associates receive training through their on-the-job experiences and gain knowledge by working closely with the partners and associates within their practice group. A supervising partner is assigned to each associate to monitor work flow and oversee development.
- In-house seminars – We educate attorneys on firm operations, skills development, and practice-specific topics to take the guesswork out of practicing law. These programs cover firm operations such as partnership track expectations, billing and collections, and firm finances; skills development such as client development, client relations and service, negotiations, and writing analysis; and practice-specific areas such as trial advocacy, client counseling, credit and loan agreements, and M&A transactions issues.
- CLE courses – The firm provides an annual professional development fund that associates may use to select and attend external programs of their choice. In addition, the firm maintains a Privileged Membership with Practicing Law Institute (PLI) to offer a wide array of programs to attorneys.
Regarding more formalized training, one senior associate recalls that “there is a steep curve to learning to be a good lawyer, and it takes time, but the firm provides many training opportunities. From the earliest years, associates receive training on client relations and business development, as well as substantive opportunities such as CLEs and practice group meetings. "Between the more formal training the firm provides and real life work experiences, associates consistently say they welcome the early responsibility they get at McGuireWoods and feel confident in handling a variety of work. Per one associate, “I have always been challenged to take on slightly more than I am comfortable with, which I like. It encourages expanding our expertise and pushing the edges of our comfort zones.” Fortunately, as another associate says, “McGuireWoods is actually well-positioned to give good training to its associates because of our size and scope. We have plenty of large, complicated matters which give attorneys the opportunity to work on very sophisticated issues, but we also maintain enough smaller matters to give younger lawyers opportunities take on significant responsibility early in their careers. McGuireWoods attorneys who seek out opportunities will find many that are not available at either larger or smaller firms.” For one litigation associate, this worked for him specifically as he “handled a number of insurance defense matters in my first several years, went to trial several times, and took lead in taking depositions. While the work is not typical of our general practice, it gave me experience and confidence that I would not have if I had primarily handled document productions or brief writing during this time.”
For additional information on Professional Development at McGuireWoods, including the firm’s mentoring program and evaluation process, please click here.
COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY
At McGuireWoods, we define diversity as recognizing and valuing the differences in our workforce. To us, diversity encompasses age, sex, gender identity, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, marital status and veteran status, as well as educational and professional backgrounds. Diversity is highly valued internally as shown by the firm’s commitment to its Diversity Committee and various affinity groups. Externally, the firm’s commitment to diversity is evident by the wide spectrum of our diversity recognitions and initiatives the firm sponsors, such as those listed below.
Recent Diversity Initiatives for law students include:
- Diversity Scholarship Program
- 1L LCLD Scholars Program
- 2014 Law Preview Scholarship Program
- Charlotte Legal Diversity Clerkship Program
- McGuireWoods / NAPABA Law Foundation Internship Program
To learn more about McGuireWoods’ Diversity Initiatives for law students, please click here.
Recent Diversity Recognitions include:
- National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, 2014 – McGuireWoods received the 2014 NAPABA President’s Award in recognition of the firm’s support for NAPABA and the NAPABA Law Foundation and its internship program.
- Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009 and 2007 – One of only 50 law firms in the United States named by Working Mother magazine as a “Best Law Firm for Women.” Co-sponsored by Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers, the award honors law firms for demonstrated commitment to the retention and advancement of female talent.
- Equality Illinois Recognition, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 – Selected by Equality Illinois for the second year as one of the top Illinois law firms with a growing commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) inclusiveness in the workplace.
- Multicultural Law Magazine, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 – Named a Top 100 Law Firm for Diversity (2009-2012), a Top 100 Law Firm for Women Lawyers (2009–2012). Also named a Top 25 Law Firm for African-American Lawyers in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
- Minority Corporate Counsel Association 2011 Innovator Award – One of five recipients of the award, which is bestowed upon U.S. in-house legal departments, law firms, bar associations or legal organizations in recognition of their recruitment and retention of diverse lawyers.
To learn more about McGuireWoods’ Commitment to Diversity, please click here.
In addition to the standard benefits typically available at firms our size, McGuireWoods has extremely generous paid parental and adoption leave policies for associates (18 weeks paid leave for primary caregiver and 6 weeks for secondary caregiver) plus a reduced-hour phase-in period upon returning from parental leave is available. The firm also has a back-up care plan for a child or another loved one.
We have a progressive part-time policy for lawyers, and a variety of career options for attorneys interested in creating their own path to becoming a partner and who value a work-life balance. We actively recruit and retain women associates, and annually promote a significant number of women to partner status. McGuireWoods was once again recognized by Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers, 2013 as a “Top 50 Law Firms for Women.”
Another unique firm benefit is that we provide identity theft insurance. As for vacation, the firm believes that rather than limiting an associate’s amount of leave time, each associate may take any amount of approved leave as long as he/she is meeting the firm’s billable hour requirements.
We would be remiss to not include a few of the firm’s accolades. Our attorneys pride themselves on providing truly outstanding legal work as depicted by the below recognitions.
U.S. News – Best Lawyers ® “Best Law Firms,” 2015 – McGuireWoods earned first-tier nationwide rankings in 21 practice areas —including “Law Firm of the Year” in Banking and Finance Law — in the 2015 edition of U.S. News-Best Lawyers’ “Best Law Firms,” placing it among the 20 U.S. firms with the most top-tier rankings. The firm’s complete national and metropolitan rankings can be found here.
Chambers UK, 2015 – Six McGuireWoods’ London-based lawyers and the firm’s Litigation practice were recognized in the 2015 edition of Chambers UK. The lawyers were ranked in a range of practice areas, including employment, financial crime, litigation, real estate and restructuring and insolvency.
Best Lawyers in America ®, Woodward/White Inc., 2015 – 196 lawyers were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2014. Notably, 18 of the firm’s lawyers were listed in the practice area of Banking and Finance Law, the most of any firm in the nation.
Best Lawyers in America's “Lawyers of the Year,” Woodward/White Inc., 2015 – 23 lawyers were selected by their peers as 2015 “Lawyers of the Year” in their respective practice areas and designated metropolitan areas.
Corporate Counsel Magazine’s “Who Represents America’s Biggest Companies,” 2014– McGuireWoods ranked among the top 12 law firms nationwide representing Fortune 500 companies in Corporate Counsel magazine’s annual survey of "Who Represents America’s Biggest Companies." The firm ranked seventh overall in labor and employment and in the Top 20 in Securities, Torts and Labor Litigation. The firm was also recognized in the Contracts category.
Chambers USA, 2014 – Recognized McGuireWoods’ lawyers 79 times and practice areas 21 times in 2014 guide, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Notably, the firm's Wealth Management team received a Band 1 Nationwide ranking for the sixth time.
BTI Consulting Group “Brand Elite 18,” 2014 – Ranked as one of the top law firms in the country in a nationwide survey of corporate counsel that examined legal innovation, value of service and overall strength of legal brand. In the report, McGuireWoods was recognized as one of the top four firms to “use technology more effectively or in new ways to add value
BTI Consulting Group “Client Service A-Team,” 2014 – Ranked for the eighth time among BTI’s “Client Service 30” list of law firms serving Fortune 1000 companies. In the report McGuireWoods is named among “Leaders of the Best” for the firm’s breadth of services, providing value for the dollar and handling client problems.
BTI Consulting Group “Power Elite,” 2014 – Ranked No. 8 on BTI’s 2014 Power Elite list of the top 23 law firms recognized for superior client relationships. The results are based on feedback by more than 500 corporate counsel from Global 500 and Fortune 1000 companies spanning more than 15 industry sectors.
Law360, 2014 – Ranked among the top 20 law firms in Law360’s “400 Largest Firms” list based on U.S. attorney head count.
Legal 500 UK, 2014 – 13 lawyers from the firm’s London office were recommended in the 2014 listing. The Legal 500 is an independent guide, and firms and individuals are recommended purely on merit.
To learn about additional firm accolades and other “firm news,” please click here.
The backbone of our firm consists of five core values that guide everything we do. Join us and be proud of McGuireWoods because of what it stands for, and because of what you’ll stand for as a part of our team – a Commitment to Excellence, Integrity, Client Service, Diversity & Inclusion, Community, Collegiality. For information on Careers at McGuireWoods, please click here.