Are you ready to develop a dynamic national litigation practice in a thriving and livable metropolitan area with the Rocky Mountains in view of your office and your backyard? Then Denver-based Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell is where you want to be.

With its national litigation practice, WTO offers lawyers with outstanding academic records, experience, and a passion for trial advocacy the opportunity to work one-on-one with some of the nation's most tested trial lawyers – thereby developing their skills and experience through hard work, a keen sense of purpose, and extensive on-the-job training. If you meet these criteria and seek this level of trial practice, we think you won't find a better law firm to join than WTO.

We also believe you won't find a better city to live in than Denver. In 2016, Forbes ranked Denver the #1 Best Place for Business and Careers for the second year in a row. Also in 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked Denver number one on its inaugural Best Places to Live list. The magazine analyzed 100 cities "based on quality of life, job market, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there." In 2014, Business Insider ranked Colorado the top-performing state economy in the nation.

To top it off, WTO is consistently rated among the Best Places to Work in Denver in a survey of employees conducted by the Denver Business Journal. In 2018, the Denver Business Journal named WTO the top workplace in Denver in the extra-large size category in its annual Best Places to Work competition. According to the DBJ, the awards highlight companies “providing the top workplace environment and engaging their teams.” WTO has appeared on the Best Places to Work list for 12 years.  

Joining the Team
Because each associate we hire has the opportunity to become a partner of the firm eventually, we are highly selective at the outset. The following attributes are preferred, but not absolute, for our ideal candidates:

  • a passion for litigation and a drive to become a top-notch trial lawyer;
  • a degree from a top-tier law school or class standing in the top 10% of a ranked regional law school; and
  • well-rounded credentials and a demonstrated record of excellence.

Prior experience in litigation, especially as a judicial clerk or a litigation associate, is preferred, but not required.

We are willing to invest what it takes in professional development during an associate's tenure and we expect that new lawyers will take advantage of the many opportunities offered to develop their skills, their practices, and their careers. 

There are no specific billable-hours requirements.  Hours worked are dictated by the firm's volume of work, our ethical obligations to our clients, and our personal and collective determination to produce the finest legal work in the country. That said, the average annual associate billable hours since the firm's founding in 1998 have been around 2,000 – although it is possible to be in good standing and eligible for a bonus with fewer hours.

Associates can be considered for admission to the partnership at any time.  However, this is most likely to occur sometime between the seventh and ninth year of full-time practice. 

In making decisions about partnership, our ultimate goal is to elect those attorneys who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the zealous representation of the firm's national roster of clients, to the pursuit of excellence in their own professional practice, to the strengthening and building of the firm, to the enhancement of the practices of their colleagues in the firm, and to the constant improvement of the firm as an organization in which collegiality, respect, and shared goals are of paramount importance.

Associates' salaries are set commensurate with experience, usually starting at $160,000 per year. All associates are eligible for a salary increase effective January 1 of each year. Benefits for lawyer-employees include the following:

  • One-time bonus for new hires immediately following completion of a judicial clerkship in the amount of $60,000 for a federal appellate court clerkship, $40,000 for a federal district court clerkship, $25,000 for a state supreme court clerkship, and $10,000 for a state appellate court clerkship; 
  • Annual bonus eligibility based on contributions to the success of the firm and its clients;
  • Pack-and-ship move expenses;
  • Fees paid for the Colorado bar review course and bar exam for any attorney who is not admitted in Colorado;
  • Substantial continuing legal education allowance;
  • Professional development through in-house presentations, training, and on-site trial/presentation consultants;
  • Mobile electronic devices;
  • Employer contribution to individual's 401(k) plan equal to 3% of base salary starting upon employment;
  • Insurance coverage for health, dental, vision, life, travel, accident, disability, and malpractice;
  • Employer contribution to health savings account of $300-$600 per year;
  • Wellness program and benefit of $350 per year;
  • Employee assistance program;
  • Employee-funded flexible benefits plan that permits payment with pre-tax dollars of certain expenses for child care and transportation; and
  • Up to 17 weeks of fully paid new parent leave. 

Recruiting Chair:
Drew Unthank

Applying for an Attorney Position at WTO:
WTO’s Denver office is always open to accepting applications from exceptional lateral trial attorneys and current judicial clerks. See below for specialized openings.  

WTO is currently seeking experienced insurance litigation attorneys in our Denver office. The ideal candidate will have a passion for litigation and a drive to become a top-notch trial lawyer. Candidates must have 3-7 years of prior experience in litigation and trial work, well-rounded credentials, and a demonstrated record of excellence.   Experience representing insurers against bad faith and coverage claims a plus. These positions offers courtroom and other on-the-record opportunities, significant client contact, and excellent training and mentoring. Our insurance group is also open to interviewing non-partnership track staff counsel candidates. To apply, please click on the link below.  

Click HERE to apply for a legal career at Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell. Email questions to Please address correspondence to Kasey Fenn, Attorney Recruiting & Development Manager.