2020 Vault Rankings
About Warner Norcross + Judd LLP
One of the largest firms in Michigan, Warner Norcross & Judd prides itself on being capable of handling "your business matters from start to finish." And it's not only comprehensive and big, it's good. The firm has earned the title of “Best Corporate Law Firm in West Michigan” more than once from Corporate Board Member magazine.
From Chihuahuas to Cars
As West Michigan's largest law firm, Warner Norcross handles a little bit of everything. The 75-year-old firm’s core strengths include employee benefits, environmental law, and trusts and estates, though it is also highly regarded in such areas as bankruptcy, construction, corporate affairs, immigration, information technology, international law, and securities. The firm has also seen its share of large verdicts, including the $42 million it won for the creators of the Psycho Chihuahua used in Taco Bell's ad campaign, based on their claim that the fast-food chain had used the character without paying them a dime.
In terms of clients, Warner Norcross serves big-name companies like Whirlpool, Consumers Energy, Amway, and Dow Chemical. In addition to its practice groups, the firm has established industry groups that provide full-service legal counsel to companies in the automotive, oil and gas, agriculture, and other fields.
Warner Norcross has also carved out a specialty counseling automotive suppliers—ranging from large Fortune 500 companies to startups. Among the areas the firm focuses on include automotive recalls, contracts, general business, labor issues, litigation, product liability, and more. The firm also is at the forefront of automotive technologies and the developing field of automated and connected mobility. Lawyers in this area must stay abreast of the antitrust, data security, product liability, regulatory, and other issues that may arise.
The Warner Work Style
Warner Norcross’ motto is “Fun, Pride & Profit . . . in that Order,” which offers a glimpse into the firm’s culture. One way that the firm supports its attorneys is by giving them the flexibility and time to choose their practice areas. First-year associates do not have to commit to one particular practice, and like summer associates, they can experience diverse assignments via the firm’s job jar, which includes work from across the firm. The firm also adheres to a lockstep compensation model, meaning associates are compensated based on their level at the firm, rather than on a billable requirement. According to the firm, this model yields less internal competition and instead reinforces Warner Norcross’ fun culture.
900 Fifth Third Center
111 Lyon Street N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 752-2000
Managing Partner: Douglas E. Wagner
Hiring Partner: Laura Morris
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
150 - 250
1st year: $100,000
Summer associate: $2,115/week
Summer Associate Offers:
9 out of 13 (2Ls) (2019)
No. of Summer Associates:
13 total (11 2Ls; 2 1Ls) (2019)
Carin L. Ojala
Director of Professional Development
Clinton Township, MI
Grand Rapids, MI (HQ)
Cybersecurity and Data Privacy
Government Affairs and Contracting
Labor & Employment
Restructuring and Insolvency
Trusts & Estates
*See firm website for additional departments and specific practice areas and industries.