Careers

Dickinson Wright takes great pride in creating an environment – through people, technology, training and mentoring – where the “best and the brightest” want to work and have a chance to succeed. 

Our Environment

The professional and personal environment at Dickinson Wright provides lawyers with a collegial, courteous and respectful place to work. Here, “collegiality” is not just talk. It's reality. And we didn't just make up the concept yesterday. It's our tradition. It matters to us. Our lawyers thrive not only in their professional endeavors with their colleagues, but also in their personal relationships with each other.

Our actions speak louder than words: associates gather for firm-paid dinners at fine restaurants to share professional and personal experiences, partners meet every other month, and our practice groups meet monthly over lunch or breakfast. Other opportunities for our team members to get to know each other range from impromptu social events to an annual dinner for all lawyers that is held each November (and has been an annual event for more than 135 years).

In addition to being trusted advisors to their clients and leaders in the field of law, our lawyers are leaders in the communities in which they live and work. In any economic climate, Dickinson Wright will continue its commitment to pro bono legal services because we believe that service to our communities is always good business. 

Our People

We believe we're among the best because we hire smart, hardworking people who we know will share our commitment to excellence. We're justifiably proud of the wide range of people who have chosen to establish their legal careers and build their practices at Dickinson Wright.

At Dickinson Wright, you'll work with highly qualified, highly motivated colleagues and you'll be expected to do your share. But as you work, you'll find both senior partners and young associates working along with you. We work hard, and we do so as a team.

We pay attention to many things as we look for new lawyers - your academic achievements and credentials are important, of course. And if you're joining us laterally, we're particularly interested in your area of practice and business relationships. However, we're also interested in your personal background... in you as a lawyer and as an individual. A quick review of our roster reveals lawyers from every walk of life, from all of socio-economic, geographic and ethnic backgrounds. Our Recruitment Committee is reflective of this diversity.

Women and people of color make up an extremely important portion of our partnership and overall firm makeup. We're especially proud of our leadership in the area of minority recruitment and advancement, which has been nationally recognized. We consider our firm to be among the leaders in the nation when it comes to hiring, retaining and advancing minority lawyers, and we intend to stay there. 

Technology

Dickinson Wright offers professional technology staff, facilities, equipment and software support that are second to none. At the core of our legal environment is cutting-edge technology. We're ahead of the curve and we plan to stay there. All of our lawyers receive state-of-the-art equipment with everything they need for maximum productivity, along with training, on-site technology personnel and the help desk support they need to make the technology work for them.

Our secretarial staff and professional personnel are exceptional and provide the finest support services, as you would expect from a leading law firm. 

Training

Training has long been a priority at Dickinson Wright. Building on the strong academic and intellectual foundation gained from law school, we provide training on the key skills that clients require of the best lawyers in America. We teach advanced legal strategy and tactics that give our lawyers and our clients the advantage in the boardroom and in the courtroom. We educate our associates in the business of our clients and the business of our law firm so that all of our associates feel as if they have earned a "MBA" in the business of being a lawyer by the time they become a Member. 

Our training program is structured based on practice area and experience level (1-3 years, 4-6 years, and 6+ years). For new lawyers and summer associates, we offer a number of "how to" courses that teach them the skills they need to succeed at Dickinson Wright and build and maintain client relationships. 

To complement our in-house training, Dickinson Wright has partnered with the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), which enables our lawyers to attend a great variety of educational programs. Most notably, during their first 9 months with the firm, new associates attend the ICLE Boot Camp: a 9 month comprehensive training program that receives rave reviews from its participants. 

The firm also sends its associates to out-of-state seminars to hone their legal skills. The week- long Trial Advocacy Program in Boulder, Colorado is a particular favorite among litigation associates. Another favorite is the three-day Deposition Skills Workshop. 

All of our courses are taught by top lawyers in their practice areas, by prominent judges, or sometimes by clients. We also hire outside professionals who offer training opportunities, perspectives, niches, or experiences that complement our training. The courses are a mix of presentations, panel discussions, and hands-on workshops. 

Mentoring

As a complement to our training program, Dickinson Wright offers a formal mentoring program for new associates during their first two years with the firm. Each associate, whether fresh from law school or joining us laterally, is given two mentors -- a Junior Mentor and a Senior Mentor. The Junior Mentor is an associate who can best advise the new lawyer on practical day-to-day issues. The Senior Mentor is a Member who advises the new attorney on career planning and development, what it takes to become a Member, and the culture and history of the firm. 

The mentoring program is designed to help new associates develop the necessary legal and professional skills for success and ensure a smooth integration into Dickinson Wright. 

 

Dickinson Wright maintains a 10-week summer program that combines high-quality client work, professional activities outside the office and fun, often unique, social activities.  Our summer associates participate fully in our sophisticated and diverse legal practice, and they gain realistic insight into life at our firm and the lives of the diverse lawyers who make up Dickinson Wright.

The program is designed primarily for second-year law students, although first-year students (and to a lesser extent), third-year students, sometimes also participate. The program is carefully structured and administered to provide a supportive environment geared toward success because we want every summer associate to earn and accept an offer to become a Dickinson Wright associate. We view the Summer Associate Program as key to our goal to identify and attract the most highly qualified law students, who will drive the firm’s strategic growth.

The Summer Associate Program is run by a "Summer Team," led by the chair of our Recruitment Committee together with two assignment coordinators and two social coordinators. Each summer associate is assigned two formal mentors (one member and one associate).

Summer associates complete high-quality writing assignments that can span nearly every department in the law firm - from commercial, appellate and employment litigation, to corporate finance, real estate, bankruptcy and intellectual property. Summer associates also participate in “real world” lawyer experiences, such as attending deal closings, strategic meetings with clients, depositions, trials and arbitrations to provide an understanding of the work they will perform if they continue their career at Dickinson Wright.

Dickinson Wright recognizes the importance of balance between the professional and personal lives of all employees – ranging from members to summer associates. While we work hard, we also recognize and respect the need for family time and other personal priorities. Summer associates work an average of 35-40 hours per week and complete 10 to 15 substantive assignments over the course of the summer.

Summer associates also have the opportunity to participate in a number of social activities, such as baseball games, concerts, trips to art museums, golf and dining experiences.

Dickinson Wright recruits law students for each of our office locations.  In markets where we have more than one location, our summer associates spend the majority of their time in one office, but have the opportunity to complete a rotation with other offices. 

Check with your placement office to see whether and when we are interviewing on-campus at your law school. If we are interviewing at your school, sign up for an interview. If we are not, submit a cover letter, detailed resume, law school transcript and at least two writing samples (via e-mail or U.S. mail) to:

Christine A. Scurto 
Recruitment Coordinator
Dickinson Wright PLLC
500 Woodward Ave., Suite 4000
Detroit, Michigan  48226
cscurto@dickinsonwright.com

 We will respond in writing to all expressions of interest.

About Dickinson Wright in Toronto 

Dickinson Wright LLP is one of Canada’s leading full-service business law firms with significant expertise in cross-border transactions. Based in Toronto, the firm is home to lawyers with broad legal experience in 15 industry sectors and 36 practice areas. It is an affiliate of Dickinson Wright PLLC, an AmLaw 200 law firm based in the United States, and assists Canadian, American, and international clients with their Canadian business needs. 

The firm’s advantage lies in its seamless management of client business issues: the Dickinson Wright OneTeam Approach. This unified strategy provides clients with individualized service, drawing on collaborative, cross-practice, and inter-office teams. 

Dickinson Wright understands that in order to continue to succeed, the firm must invest in young legal talent. Dickinson Wright is home to approximately 50 lawyers in our Toronto office – giving students more opportunities to get hands-on experience and to really get to know our firm and our lawyers. 

Summer Student Program 

Dickinson Wright’s Summer Student Program runs from May until the middle of August. 

The Summer Student Program does not involve formal rotations, and students are encouraged to seek out work in different practice areas that interest them. Some of these practice areas include: 

• Automotive 
• Banking & Financial Services 
• Bankruptcy & Insolvency 
• Corporate & Commercial 
• Energy & Sustainability 
• Entertainment, Sports & Media 
• Franchise & Distribution Law 
• Gaming Law 
• Immigration 
• Indigenous Law 
• Intellectual Property 
• International Trade 
• Labour & Employment 
• Litigation 
• Mergers & Acquisitions 
• Private Equity 
• Real Estate 
• Securities 
• Taxation 

Our Summer Students will have the opportunity to work closely with our lawyers. It is common for a Summer Student to work directly with a partner on a file, interacting with clients, and getting deeply involved in the legal issues. Summer Students work on corporate transactions, trials, motions, arbitrations, mediations, research projects, presentations, and attend client meetings throughout their summer experience. Summer Students also have the opportunity to attend firm events – both within and outside of Toronto – including the firm’s quarterly Associates’ Dinners held in the Unites States (in order to meet colleagues throughout the Dickinson Wright 18-office network). 

Dickinson Wright offers our Summer Students a competitive compensation package, comparable to other Bay Street firms. 

Articling Student Program 

Dickinson Wright’s Articling Student Program runs from August until June. 

The Articling Student Program involves two rotations: Corporate Law and Litigation, with the flexibility to get involved with other practice areas under those broader umbrellas, such as: mergers and acquisitions, private equity, franchise, and bankruptcy and insolvency, to name a few. 

Dickinson Wright offers our Articling Students a competitive compensation package, comparable to other Bay Street firms, which includes: 

• 10 vacation days; 
• Allowance towards personal phone; 
• 14 days of paid study time to prepare for and write the Law Society Licensing Examinations; and 
• Payment of Law Society Licensing Examination Fees. 

Articling Students have direct access to all Dickinson Wright lawyers, who will work with them side-by-side. It is common for Articling Students to work directly with a partner on a file, interacting with clients and getting deeply involved in legal issues. Articling Students work on corporate transactions, trials, motions, arbitrations, mediations, research projects, presentations, and attend client meetings. Articling Students also have the opportunity to attend firm events including the firm’s quarterly Associates’ Dinners held in the United States (in order to meet colleagues throughout Dickinson Wright’s 18-office network), firm retreats, as well as the annual Dickinson Wright black-tie firm dinner. 

Training 

Dickinson Wright’s Summer and Articling Students are an integral part of the firm’s success, and are provided with extensive training throughout their experience with Dickinson Wright. In addition, each student is matched with both a Junior and Senior Mentor to help guide them through their summer and articling experience. 

Dickinson Wright recognizes that its students have lives outside of their work at the firm, and while its students work hard, Dickinson Wright supports and encourages our students to have a healthy work-life balance. 

How to Apply 

The firm accepts applications for second-year Summer Students and Articling Student positions in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Law Society of Upper Canada. 

For Summer Student Applicants: Dickinson Wright LLP participates in the On-Campus Interview process, and attends the following law schools in September and early October: 

• Osgoode Hall Law School 
• University of Ottawa 
• Queen’s University 
• University of Toronto 
• Western University 
• University of Windsor 

Students from other law schools will also be considered, and Dickinson Wright encourage such students to apply. 

For Articling Student Applicants: While the firm does the majority of its recruiting through the On-Campus Interview process, Dickinson Wright also accepts applications from students for articling positions. Such applications are accepted from the beginning of June of the year before students enter their third year of law school. 

All applications should include a cover letter, resume, undergraduate transcript (photocopy of original transcript), law school transcript (photocopy of original transcript), list of upper year courses, and reference letters. 

All applications must be submitted online at www.vilawportal.com, and more information about Dickinson Wright can be found online at www.nalpcanada.com

Contacts: 

To speak to one of our Articling Students about their experience with Dickinson Wright, please contact: 

Adamo P. Fucile – AFucile@dickinson-wright.com 
Brittany J. Hazell – BHazell@dickinson-wright.com
Joshua Suttner – JSuttner@dickinson-wright.com 

For further information on our Toronto Student Programs, please contact: 

Janice L. Feheley, Office Administrator 
Dickinson Wright LLP 
199 Bay Street, Suite 2200 
P.O. Box 447 
Commerce Court Postal Station 
Toronto, Canada M5L 1G4 
jfeheley@dickinsonwright.com 

Among our lawyer ranks more than 25 former judicial clerks. While we certainly do not require our lawyers to have a judicial clerkship in their backgrounds, we recognize the value of clerkships and, in most cases, give full credit (up to two years) for completion of a clerkship.

Most Dickinson Wright lawyers who were judicial clerks completed their clerkships in the one to two years immediately following law school. A significant percentage of these lawyers were also former Dickinson Wright summer associates. Associates who joined the firm immediately after a clerkship but who were not previously employed by Dickinson Wright typically came through our interview process three to six months before the end of their clerkships.

If you are currently serving as a judicial clerk and would like to be considered for a position following your clerkship, please send a cover letter that indicates your practice area(s) of interest, a resume that includes your law school and undergraduate GPAs, your law school transcript and two writing samples to:

Christine A. Scurto
Recruitment Coordinator
Dickinson Wright PLLC
500 Woodward Avenue, Suite 4000
Detroit, Michigan 48226
cscurto@dickinsonwright.com

If you are highly motivated, creative, experienced and committed to achieving unparalleled success in your area of practice, you may have the makings of a Dickinson Wright attorney.  While we appreciate the assistance of placement professionals, we prefer that interested candidates contact us directly.  Please send cover letter, resume and law school transcripts to:

J. Benjamin Dolan
Member and Recruitment Committee Chair
Dickinson Wright PLLC
2600 W. Big Beaver Road, Suite 300
Troy, Michigan  48084
bdolan@dickinsonwright.com

Dickinson Wright is an AmLaw 200 law firm with offices in Michigan, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Reno, Lexington, Nashville, Columbus, Ft. Lauderdale, Austin, and El Paso.

From time to time, Dickinson Wright has opportunities available for legal secretaries, paralegals and other support staff.

If you are an experienced and dedicated professional and are interested in exploring opportunities at Dickinson Wright, please send your resume to: 

Linda M. Reyna
Director of Human Resources
Dickinson Wright PLLC
500 Woodward Avenue, Suite 4000
Detroit, Michigan  48226
lreyna@dickinsonwright.com
J Benjamin DolanJ. Benjamin Dolan chairs the Recruitment Committee, which is responsible for selecting new associates to join the firm and monitoring their progress as they begin their careers with Dickinson Wright. Ben a Dickinson Wright member, has been with the firm since 2001.  He guides our new lawyers, applying his extensive insights into what it takes to thrive and excel at our law firm. If you’re thinking about applying for a position as an associate, you’ll be interested in Ben's thoughts and experience working for Dickinson Wright which he discusses below.

What do you look for in a candidate for an associate position at Dickinson Wright?

For more than 139 years, Dickinson Wright has been successful due in large part to the people who make up our team. We pride ourselves on hiring intelligent, hardworking people who are committed to providing excellent legal counsel and the highest quality client service. Of course, a candidate’s academic career, prior work experience and other relevant credentials are key parts of the equation. However, we also look for that something special that I’d classify as motivation – motivation to learn, to face challenges and to do what it takes to help Dickinson Wright carry on our proud tradition of legal excellence.

What do you think makes Dickinson Wright such a special place to work, especially for someone who’s just starting or is early in his or her career?

I’d say it boils down to our people, our focus on mentoring and the environment we’ve created at Dickinson Wright. My role as chair of the Recruitment Committee isn’t just about selecting new associates to join the firm. I’m also committed to making sure they are successful from the start of their Dickinson Wright careers.

I believe that our formal mentoring program is exceptional, and really helps new associates understand how the firm works and what it takes to succeed. Matching each of our new associates with two mentors – one at the associate level and one who is a member of the firm – gives those new to the firm the support they need for everything from day-to-day issues to long-term career planning to the culture of our firm. And, as part of my role as chair of the Recruitment Committee, I make sure that each associate is paired with appropriate mentors and check in regularly with new associates to see how they are progressing.

Another great thing about Dickinson Wright is that we truly do “work hard and play hard.” On the work front, we strive to provide associates with exposure to many different practice areas and types of matters so they get a true sense of the wide range of industries we serve and legal counsel we provide. We also have a lot of fun; associates have the opportunity to participate in many different social activities – from baseball games to dinners to impromptu social events.

This really is a great place to practice law, and I’m proud to chair the committee that brings bright, creative and dedicated associates into Dickinson Wright. 

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