What Makes Us Distinctive?
A former managing partner, Lawson Becker, coined our unofficial motto: "Fun, Pride and Profit." We live out that motto each day by consciously adopting a salary structure and policies that encourage excellence and teamwork and that discourage internal competition for clients and billable hours. Guided by these policies, we have earned a national reputation for client service quality while maintaining close relationships among our members.
The academic qualifications of our attorneys gave them many options upon graduation from law school. Most could have chosen to practice anywhere in the country. They came to Warner Norcross & Judd because of their desire to balance their personal and professional lives and because this is, above all, a great place to work.
Compensation, bonus and planned attrition policies at many large firms often have the effect of decreasing collegiality because members are required to compete with one another for clients or billable hours. At Warner Norcross & Judd, however, our history has proven that internal competition is not a necessary ingredient to success. Our lockstep compensation system for both associates and partners ensures that the motivation for a quality performance comes from each individual's commitment, pride and professionalism. Clients are better served because legal work is done by the best-qualified person at the most cost-efficient level, whether that person is a partner, an associate or a paralegal.
Newly graduated associates are not slotted into practice areas and are allowed to choose their own areas of concentration. Most make a decision within 6 to 18 months of their practice with us. During their first year with the Firm, our central assignment system gives associates the opportunity to work in all of our practice areas. Also in that first year, associates attend presentations by many practice groups as part of our Career Development Program
as well as attending regularly scheduled practice group meetings. These opportunities give associates time to get to know our practice groups and the people who work in them. As a result, new law school graduates are better equipped to choose practice areas that suit their interests and temperaments.
Our goal in hiring associates is to train them to function as partners in 7½ years. To assist that process, we evaluate each associate at least once a year in a thorough and thoughtful process. A partner mentor is assigned to follow each associate's progress and is available to assist the new associate as he or she learns the practice of law. Additionally, the Firm employs a full-time Director of Professional Development to assist associates with their career development goals.
In our hiring, we seek lawyers who have a cooperative spirit and who measure their success not by the failure of others, but by their own growth and development. We seek people who will take pride in the success of the Firm and all of its members.