The DWT Difference

DWT is committed to helping lawyers build successful practices. Our formula for success is “excellence, focus and innovation,” with a heavy emphasis on client service that earns client loyalty. We look for lawyers who can help us build top-of-market practices, who put client needs first and who work well with colleagues. Our core values, which inform decision making throughout the firm, are to be entrepreneurial, innovative, selfless, inclusive, excellent, open, and supportive. If you join us, whether as a first-year associate or an experienced partner, we will work closely with you to ensure you benefit from, and contribute to, our firm as much as possible.

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Lateral FAQ

Lateral Partners

Who are you looking for?
We are looking for lawyers who:
  • Have the vision and ambition to build successful practices
  • Want to be excellent
  • Emphasize client service
  • Are collaborative and supportive with colleagues and clients
  • Will embrace our core values, which are to be: entrepreneurial, innovative, selfless, inclusive, excellent, open, and supportive.
  • Recognize the profession is changing rapidly and are open to adapting the way they deliver service to meet changing client needs and expectations
  • Fit with our core practices and will benefit from and contribute to our platform
How will you help me serve my clients?
We will help you effect a smooth transition so there is minimal disruption for you and your clients. Once you are here, we will connect you with the right colleagues and firm clients so your clients can be effectively served, and you can expand your practice. We will also connect you with a liaison to acquaint you with firm functions and practices, guide you around the firm, and be a source of institutional knowledge.
I heard you have low attrition rates – is that true?
Yes – that is one of the benefits of our emphasis on finding lawyers who fit. We are proud of the fact that we lose very few attorneys to other law firms (only 1.6% annually). Our associate turnover rate is 10.22% which is far lower than the national average of 16% as reported by NALP. Our annual partner turnover rate is an exceptional 3.1%.
What does the partner and counsel recruitment process consist of?
Firmwide partner and counsel opportunities exist at any time depending on the strategic needs of the firm. If there is interest, we will contact you to arrange a meeting with a hiring attorney, and from there a full round of interviews may be scheduled with attorneys across the firm. Once there is mutual agreement to proceed, we will provide you with our Lateral Partner Questionnaire (LPQ) packet to learn more about your practice and the opportunity to work together. The LPQ consists of a Due Diligence Questionnaire, Salary & Billing worksheet, Business Plan, and Conflicts Memorandum. We know how busy you are and we work with you to streamline the collection of this information. Our ultimate goal is for you to be successful at DWT in a reasonable period of time.
What is the annual billable hours standard at DWT?
1700 billable hours for partners plus 400 non-billable hours. 1800 billable house for counsel.
All firms say they are committed to Diversity & Inclusion – what does DWT do in this area?
Ensuring that DWT is a diverse place to work and inclusive for all employees is of the utmost importance at DWT. We have attorneys at all levels serving on our Diversity & Inclusion Committee where we advance several initiatives. We also have Affinity groups supporting our Minority, LGBT, Women, and Flexible Hours attorneys. Learn more at our Diversity site.
How will I be integrated into the firm?
Our lateral integration program helps partners and counsel make a smooth transition to the firm. As part of the recruiting process, we identify early integration opportunities and connect you with a Lateral Onboarding & Integration Coordinator to ensure that you and your clients experience a seamless transition to the firm with minimal disruption. A formal integration plan will be created by your Practice Group leadership in partnership with you.
What types of partner benefits does DWT provide?
  • Annual Bar Dues
  • Medical, dental and vision plans
  • Long-term disability insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Supplemental life insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Supplemental individual disability insurance
  • Personal accident insurance
  • Vacation
  • Sick leave
  • 401(k) tax deferred savings plan
  • Reimbursement for reasonable client development expenses
  • Registration and travel expenses for appropriate CLE programs and professional meetings
  • Flexible spending accounts for medical and transportation costs
  • Monthly parking or transportation subsidy
  • Child and elder care
  • Parental leave
  • Other pre-approved reimbursable expenses
Who can I contact with additional questions?
Bahareh Samanian is the firm’s Senior Manager of Attorney Recruiting Initiatives and leads firmwide attorney recruiting with a particular focus on partner and counsel candidates. If you are a candidate or a search firm seeking to learn more about DWT, please contact Bahareh at baharehsamanian@dwt.com or 206.757.8782.

Lateral Associates

What documents are needed to complete my application?
We require a cover letter, resume, a copy of the law school transcript and a brief writing sample or a deal sheet (depending on practice area).
Do all of the documents need to be provided prior to scheduling an interview?
Having the cover letter, resume and law school transcript is enough at the review stage, but we would require the writing sample (or deal sheet) prior to scheduling an interview.
What should I expect of the interview process?
For our associate candidates, our interview process consists of the following stages:
  • Initial Interview: Meet with 1-2 attorneys at a DWT office, if possible; other accommodations will be made if necessary. This initial meeting typically takes an hour.
  • Full Round Interviews: Visit a DWT office to meet with 4-6 additional attorneys (a mix of partners and associates) including, when possible, the Practice Group Chair and Partner-In-Charge. These meetings generally take 3-4 hours.
  • Additional Interviews: In some cases, when key attorneys are not available during the Full Round, we may ask a candidate to come back for additional interviews to meet those key people.
  • Next Steps: If an offer is being considered we collect references and a list of the candidate’s client/matters to start a conflicts check.
How soon can I expect to hear feedback after the interviews are completed?
The timing of feedback can vary. The Recruiting Managers will keep you updated.
How many references are required and when will they be contacted?
We require 2 to 3 references. One must be a current or direct supervisor, and the other two can be supervisors who can speak to your work from previous employers. Once an offer is extended we’ll seek your permission to contact the supervisor(s) who are from previous employers as soon as we can. Once the offer is accepted and notice is given we will contact the current employer reference.
What is the annual billable hours standard at DWT?
1800 billable hours.
Does DWT have a lock-step or merit-based system of advancement?
Our advancement system is merit-based. Associates are evaluated annually at year-end.
What types of benefits does DWT provide?
In addition to health, vision, and dental plans, below is a sample of our other benefits:
  • Bar dues
  • Life insurance
  • Supplemental life insurance
  • Personal accident insurance
  • Vacation
  • Sick Leave
  • 401(k) Tax deferred savings plan
  • Flexible spending accounts for medical and transportation costs
  • Transportation subsidy
  • Associate wellness reimbursement
  • Child and elder care
  • Parental leave
What training and professional development does DWT offer?
DWT offers both informal and formal training and development, including individual coaching, mentoring, and career planning. Our learning initiatives are relevant, cutting-edge, timely and hands-on. We also have a strong belief in on-the-job learning. Our targeted and multi-faceted learning curriculum enhances lawyer development in key competency areas as well as practice-specific training. Our attorneys also have access to thousands of online continuing legal education (CLE) programs and a customized portal of eLearning materials.
Does DWT have Affinity groups as part of its Diversity & Inclusion program?
Yes, we have Affinity groups supporting our Minority, LGBT, Women, and Flexible Hours attorneys.
Is pro bono work available at the associate level?
The firm encourages all attorneys and staff to participate in pro bono projects and to contribute to our tradition as a leader in the communities in which we live. Up to 144 pro bono hours may be counted toward the automatic bonus which is achieved by billing 1850 economic hours.
Who can I contact with additional questions?
Please contact Kathleen Shaw, Lateral Attorney Recruiting Manager, at kathleenshaw@dwt.com or 206.757.8634.