We strive to make Ashford & Wriston an enjoyable, family-friendly and fulfilling place to practice. We are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality legal work, while providing our lawyers with opportunities to develop their legal skills and contribute to the larger legal community. Our various areas of practice provide a full spectrum of legal services, enabling us to respond quickly to the ever-changing needs of our clients. The breadth of our practice also permits lawyers to work with colleagues in a wide variety of legal matters. As you begin to make decisions that affect your legal career, we encourage you to explore the opportunities that Ashford & Wriston offers.
Chinatown Food Series, Doug Young, Watercolor
Our firm was established in 1955 by attorneys who had the vision, ability and determination to build a first-rate law firm. Our growth is and has been a deliberate, thoughtful process: we reject the notion that bigger is better. Practically all of our partners were originally associates. We are not closed to the admission of lateral partners but we have done this rarely, to fill specific needs. Moreover, we refuse to add more associates in any one year than we can successfully train to our way of doing things. We are proud of the collegial environment which we enjoy, based upon mutual professional respect and personal friendships, and we are committed to maintaining that environment.
We primarily seek applicants who already have significant contacts with Hawaii, although we will consider anyone who has a sincere interest in practicing law in Hawaii upon graduation from law school. In choosing new summer and full-time associates, the firm seeks well-rounded individuals who have demonstrated an ability to deal with complex legal matters. Accordingly, we look for evidence of academic distinction and good writing ability (such as law review work or similar journal or other writing experience), and demonstrated interest in extracurricular and community activities. We are particularly interested in candidates who show the potential of being willing and able to take on significant and challenging responsibility and client contact fairly soon after joining us as an associate. We pride ourselves on having a congenial, enjoyable place to work, so we also look for personal traits which indicate that the applicant would get along well with our lawyers and staff and with our clients. The firm does not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, race, national origin, religion, age or disability.
Summer Associate Program
The purpose of our summer associate program is to provide summer associates and the members of our firm with an opportunity to become acquainted under actual conditions of practice. The firm makes every effort to expose summer associates to those areas of practice in which they are most interested. We endeavor to have our summer associates experience, first-hand, the nature of law practice in Hawaii by attending trials, hearings, depositions, or conferences with our attorneys and clients.
Associates who join our firm are given an opportunity to work in all areas of our practice and with all of the partners of the firm. We encourage associates to seek and assume increasing responsibility so that, upon admission to the bar, they can promptly commence working directly with our clients. Associates are encouraged to attract and bring in business to the firm. To facilitate these efforts, we try to develop early in our associates an awareness of opportunities for acquiring new business.
We expect to consider our associates for admission to partnership after they have been with us from seven to eight years. Performance evaluations are given at least annually. The firm takes an active interest in ensuring that each associate is performing up to his or her full potential.
Pro Bono, Community Service and Bar Association Work Our firm encourages its professional personnel to participate in appropriate pro bono work and community service in the areas of their separate interests, and in bar association activities. We believe lawyers should make themselves available for positions of community and professional service, including those involving substantial responsibility and leadership. At the same time, we insist that each lawyer remember that he or she has the responsibility to contribute an appropriate amount of time to the professional work that assures the economic health of the firm.
Compensation and Fringe Benefits
The current starting associate salary is competitive with other mid-sized firms in Honolulu. Fringe benefits for summer associates include medical insurance (beginning the first of the month after commencing work).
Fringe benefits for associates presently include an annual three-week paid vacation after the first year, medical insurance, including drug and vision coverage, group life insurance, 401(k) retirement savings plan, parking, and a generous family leave benefit. Bonuses may be paid to associates at the discretion of the partnership.