Because of our size and collaborative culture, our lawyers are given opportunities to take on responsibility and work closely with clients and partners from the moment they join us. This experience helps them quickly excel as business lawyers and accelerate the trajectory of their careers.
To learn more about starting a career at Morris Nichols, watch The Delaware Option video, or read a transcript.
At Morris Nichols, our associates are a key component of our firm’s success. Associates are fully engaged in client and firm matters. We want them to have a professionally and personally rewarding experience at the firm, and we strive to maintain an environment that encourages personal responsibility and individuality.
Assignments are meaningful and challenging from day one. Our structure, particularly our partner-to-associate ratio and the varied and complex matters in which our lawyers are engaged, provides unparalleled opportunities to learn and grow. In most cases, associates work directly with partners, and every opportunity is taken to expose junior associates to the principal elements of their projects—whether they involve a corporate takeover, patent infringement suit or the reorganization of a debtor in bankruptcy.
Morris Nichols encourages associates to assume responsibility quickly. Our associates routinely take depositions, negotiate agreements and communicate directly with clients, as they learn from the firm’s partners, whose skills have given Morris Nichols its national reputation for excellence. New attorneys find that the firm’s emphasis on associate responsibility moves them forward faster when compared with their peers at other firms.
To provide continuity in the development and training process, associates are generally assigned to work primarily with one or two of the firm’s partners each year. This permits partners to guide the associate’s training and development by providing frequent informal guidance and real-time feedback in the context of work-related assignments.
Our supportive, collegial environment creates opportunities for associates to excel. Our lawyers work on cutting-edge assignments for some of the country’s most prominent companies and alongside many of the most prestigious firms. Associates and partners work closely together in a collaborative atmosphere that values everyone’s unique perspective and talents. Our culture reflects our leadership which prioritize transparency, consensus building, and skill development. Partners are committed to helping associates perform at the levels expected by clients.
Associate development is a high priority at Morris Nichols—we expect successful associates to carry on the firm’s tradition of providing the highest quality legal services. Our professional development program is composed of several elements that together give associates the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge. At the start of their career with the firm, Morris Nichols provides introductory courses for new attorneys on basic matters such as court filings, electronic discovery, and ethics. The firm also hosts a variety of seminars and workshops, including those on deposition skills, trial skills and legal writing.
Morris Nichols also encourages its associates to take full advantage of training opportunities outside the firm. This includes not only a wide range of continuing legal education programs but also participation in committee work in their areas of focus for organizations such as the American Bar Association where they work on projects of national significance with attorneys from all over the country.
Diversity & Inclusion
Morris Nichols is committed to promoting the diversity of our firm and to creating a work environment that values the backgrounds and contributions of each individual employed here. We believe that an inclusive culture improves the scope as well as the quality of our legal practice, aids us in responding to the needs of our clients, and helps us thrive as a member of the national legal community.
Pro Bono & Community
We encourage our lawyers and professional staff to become involved with public service through pro bono representations and community service. Our focus is on helping the underrepresented in the community of Wilmington, Delaware. Our work includes securing access to veterans’ benefits, access to housing, access to healthcare, Social Security disability, and access to education. Several of our attorneys serve as court-appointed advocates for children. They also frequently represent clients in protection from abuse and other family law matters.
A signatory of the ABA Well Being Pledge, Morris Nichols is committed to promoting well-being in the legal profession. Through the firm’s wellness initiative, “Live Well,” Morris Nichols offers a variety of onsite and virtual programs that promote physical and mental fitness including nutritional counseling, yoga, and mindfulness training. The firm’s fitness club also sponsors employee participation in community events that promote physical fitness. Firm partners routinely speak on wellness issues within the legal profession. For example, Intellectual Property partner Karen Jacobs spoke on a wellness panel, “Lawyer Wellness Does Not Have to Be an Oxymoron” at the Delaware State Bar Associations 27th Women and the Law Section Retreat. Litigation partner R. Judson Scaggs, who chairs the Delaware State Bar Lawyer Assistance Committee, has also spoken on several panels as part of the Delaware State Bar Association’s “The Elephant in the Room” series, which is focused on mental health within the legal profession.
Compensation & Benefits
Morris Nichols traditionally has been the leader among Wilmington firms in compensation and benefits. In addition to competitive salaries, Morris Nichols offers:
- A 401(k) profit sharing plan that permits employees, upon eligibility date, to make an elective salary deferral to the Firm’s 401 (k) plan. Associates and professional staff may make pre-tax contributions up to the maximum allowed by law. The firm also makes contributions on the employee’s behalf when they become eligible to receive such contributions under the terms of the plan. Although the level of such contributions is discretionary from year to year, the firm has made contributions of up to 9.5% of compensation in prior years.
- Health, life, and disability insurance
- Flexible spending plan
- Bar study stipend for new, entry-level associates, plus bar review course, and application fees including required background check
- Clerkship bonus
- License fees and dues for the American and Delaware State Bar associations
- Tuition and travel expenses for continuing legal education programs
- Paid parental leave
- Dependent care assistance plan
- Pre-tax transportation benefit