Discover an Alternative Path to Success at DWT

There is more than one way to build a career while balancing other priorities and pursuits.

DWTSurge is an alternative-track attorney and legal staff program built and managed by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP to offer unique, flexible opportunities with the support and resources of a large law firm.

Working with DWTSurge allows you to work flexibly, without the traditional demands that come with working at a law firm. Your work may be remote by design and your workload can be tailored to meet your needs. You will be able to collaborate with DWT attorneys and staff on a team while supporting our clients’ needs on interesting and engaging work. You will not be diverted or assigned to unanticipated work streams, offering more predictability and control over your schedule. For legal professionals who are passionate about using their skills to provide excellent service to clients and who seek new career paths, we will work with you to find DWTSurge opportunities that work for you.

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John davis, Firm Founder and Chief Inspiratiom

"I tried to set down what I thought the real values were for me in practicing law: Achieve a good redputation among fellor men especialler for ability and integrity, and have enough time off to enjoy living."

DWTSurge Program FAQs

What is DWTSurge?

DWTSurge is Davis Wright Tremaine LLP’s dedicated program for attorneys and legal staff seeking alternative-track careers. We recruit talented legal professionals for various arrangements, from short-term projects to continuous workstreams. We invest in DWTSurge professionals by providing onboarding and training, and embedding them within teams where they can work closely with partners, associates, full-time staff, and clients. DWTSurge professionals are trained on each DWT client’s particular needs and preferences, and many of them collaborate directly with clients on a regular basis. DWTSurge gives you the benefit of large law firm support and interesting, ongoing work, while also offering a variety of flexible options.

DWTSurge Attorneys

Who are you looking for?
We are looking for lawyers who:
  • Thrive as part of a close-knit team providing high levels of client service
  • Value the flexibility of practicing without a billable hour requirement and without business development obligations
  • Welcome the opportunity to work remotely and on a reduced schedule
  • Are returning to the practice of law after taking some time off
  • Wish to pursue a career in BigLaw while balancing family and other priorities
  • Seek to leverage their mid- to senior-level years of experience
  • Hope to utilize skills gained from prior in-house or large law firm roles
  • Enjoy the challenges of solving substantive legal problems for innovative clients
Who would I work with?
DWTSurge attorneys work closely with a designated supervising partner who assigns and directs their work. You may also work with other attorneys and staff as part of a team dedicated to a particular client workstream. Some DWTSurge positions may involve working closely with a client’s in-house legal team as well as DWT colleagues.
What kind of work would I do? 
DWTSurge attorneys may be engaged for various kinds of work, depending on their interests, experience, and available projects. For example, some DWTSurge attorneys:
  • Fulfill client secondment needs
  • Support ongoing or recurring transactional or litigation needs as part of dedicated client teams
  • Provide practice support when there is an overflow of associate-level work
  • Assist with short-term, time-sensitive work resulting from large trials or transactions
What should I expect of the application process? 
The DWTSurge Program takes care to understand individual candidates’ priorities, preferences, and interests, and we seek to match them with available opportunities. A resume is required for your application, although some positions may also request a writing sample or completion of an objective skills exercise. If there is interest in your application, a DWTSurge Recruiter will reach out to you to schedule an interview.   
What should I expect of the interview process?
Candidates will have an initial video interview with a DWTSurge Recruiter. This initial meeting typically takes thirty minutes. If next steps are taken, candidates will be presented to hiring partners and additional thirty-minute video interviews may be scheduled. Some candidates may interview with several DWT partners and attorneys, and may also, on occasion, interview with clients. Transcripts, writing samples, self-assessments, and objective skills exercises may be requested during or after the interview process.
How soon can I expect to hear feedback after the interviews are completed?
The timing of feedback can vary. The DWTSurge Recruiters will keep you updated.
What should I expect of the offer process?
Upon confirmation or completion of your final interview, we will request 2 - 3 professional references from you. We require that two of your references be supervisors who can speak to your work from previous employers.
We may also ask you to begin compiling a list of client/matters to start a conflicts check. Offers are contingent upon satisfactorily clearing conflicts, background checks, and reference checks. Offer acceptance requires returning a signed offer letter ahead of the stated offer expiration date.
What is the annual billable hours standard for those in the DWTSurge Program? 
There is no minimum billable hour requirement for DWTSurge attorneys.
What kind of benefits will I be eligible for?
Benefits eligibility will vary by position. You will be eligible for benefits based on the number of hours you are scheduled to work in your specific position and your DWTSurge Recruiter will discuss eligibility with you. Some DWTSurge attorneys may become eligible for additional benefits upon renewal of their contract for a specified, qualifying term.
How am I compensated?
Generally, DWTSurge attorneys are paid on an hourly basis per chargeable hour. Hourly rates vary by position and are commensurate with the attorney’s experience and skill level. Some projects may be compensated on a salary or fixed fee basis as well. The DWTSurge Program will work with you to determine compensation rates on a project-by-project basis. A compensation range may also be included in the job description for specific DWTSurge opportunities.
Do I need to track billable time?
Yes, DWTSurge attorneys provide valuable legal services to clients and are required to track billable time daily.
Who can I contact with additional questions?  
Please contact Mariah Watson, DWTSurge Senior Recruiter at MariahWatson@dwt.com or 206.757.8709, or Ginni Chen, DWTSurge Program Director, at GinniChen@dwt.com or 212.402.4010. 

DWT Surge Staff

Who are we looking for?
We are looking for professionals who:
  • Value the flexibility of working remotely and collaboratively with a distributed team
  • Seek to build on their prior experience supporting legal teams in-house or in private practice
  • Have experience liaising with clients and/or other high-level stakeholders
  • Are interested in supporting process improvement initiatives and organizing workflows
  • Possess strong organizational, administrative, and interpersonal skills
  • Are eager for the challenges of a large law firm environment, working with large corporate clients
Who would I work with?
DWTSurge staff work closely with a designated supervising DWT partner or manager who assigns and directs their work. You may also work with other DWT attorneys and staff as part of a team dedicated to a particular client workstream. In some cases, you may work closely with a client's in-house legal team and have significant client interaction.
What kind of work would I do?
Every DWTSurge opportunity is different and DWTSurge staff participate in a broad range of work. For example, some DWTSurge staff have:
  • Fulfilled client secondment needs
  • Supported ongoing, high-volume litigation needs for clients in the technology, retail, and logistics industries.
  • Supported fraud and enforcement litigation workstreams for technology clients.
  • Project managed nationwide regulatory and licensing needs for clients expanding their operations.
  • Become valued team members for different DWT practice groups, including patent, real property, food & beverage, and more.
What should I expect of the application process?
The DWTSurge Program considers each candidate's priorities, preferences, and interests, in order to match them with available opportunities. A resume is required for your application, although some positions may also require additional materials, such as writing samples or work product examples. If there is interest in your application, a DWTSurge Recruiter will reach out to you to schedule an interview.
What should I expect of the interview process? 
Candidates will have an initial video interview with a DWTSurge Recruiter. If next steps are taken, candidates will be presented to hiring managers and additional video interviews may be scheduled. Some candidates may interview with more than one DWT attorney, and some roles may also require an interview with clients. Occasionally, candidates will be asked to complete objective skills exercises, self-assessment forms, or written assignments during the interview process.
What should I expect of the offer process?
Before moving forward with an offer, we will request 2 - 3 professional references after all interviews have been completed. Generally, we will check your references as a final step before preparing the offer, but in some cases we may check your references after an offer has been made. Candidates will receive the offer letter via email. Offers are contingent upon satisfactorily clearing background checks and reference checks. Offer acceptance requires returning a signed offer letter ahead of the stated offer expiration date. 
How flexible is flexible?
Most of our DWTSurge staff have the flexibility to work from home without an expectation that they work in the office regularly. The hours of work will vary by role, and some positions require working certain business hours in specific time zones. The expected hours per week will be noted in the job description for each DWTSurge opportunity, as well as any specifications about the time zones the position will need to maintain.
We can often accommodate staff who have limitations on their schedule due to obligations outside of their work. Our DWTSurge Recruiters will work with you to understand what your preferences are to match you with the opportunities that provide the flexibility you need.
What is the annual billable hours standard for those in the DWTSurge Program?
There is no minimum billable hour requirement for DWTSurge staff.
How are DWTSurge Staff assigned work?
You will be assigned work by your supervising attorney or by a paralegal manager. Generally, your scope of work will be narrowly defined. You will likely be supporting one or two workstreams for specific clients. While DWTSurge staff are not frequently diverted to other workstreams, we may occasionally reach out to ask about your interest and availability to take on new assignments.
What kind of benefits will I be eligible for?
Benefits eligibility will vary by position. You will be eligible for benefits based on the number of hours you are scheduled to work in your specific position, and your DWTSurge Recruiter will discuss eligibility with you.
How am I compensated?
DWTSurge staff are paid on an hourly basis. Hourly rates vary by position and are commensurate with experience and skill level. The DWTSurge Program will work with you to determine compensation rates on a project-by-project basis. A compensation range may also be included in the job description for specific DWTSurge opportunities.
Do I need to track billable time?
Yes, DWTSurge staff are a valued part of the team providing client service. They are required to track billable time daily.
Who can I contact with additional questions? 
Please contact Nika Bennett, DWTSurge Recruiter at NikaBennett@dwt.com or 202.973.4346 or Ginni Chen, DWTSurge Program Director, at GinniChen@dwt.com or 212.402.4010.

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