On Campus Interviews
Every August, Ward and Smith, P.A. conducts interviews on the campuses of law schools in North Carolina seeking qualified second year students whose personal and academic achievements demonstrate a commitment to excellence. We meet most of our Summer Associates and entry‑level attorneys through on‑campus interviews. We routinely send interview teams to the law schools at Campbell University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest University. Contact your Career Services Office to submit application materials and schedule an interview. Ward and Smith also welcomes inquiries from students at other law schools. Each applicant is considered carefully by virtue of his or her cover letter, resume, transcript, and writing sample. Any additional materials provided, such as references and/or recommendations, are beneficial. After all applications have been reviewed and the interview and evaluation processes have concluded, callback invitations are extended.
The callback experience at Ward and Smith goes beyond the typical interview. Our callbacks are held in Raleigh, and feature an afternoon and evening of interviews combined with social activities. Attorneys from all five of our offices are invited to participate. This process gives Summer Associate candidates the opportunity to learn about the Firm, our practice areas, our attorneys, and our culture. Our goal is to provide candidates with a realistic view of life at the Firm.
Summer Associate Program
The Summer Associate Program is a vital component of our recruiting and hiring efforts, as the Firm acquires the majority of entry‑level attorneys from its Summer Associates. The Program typically runs for six weeks from mid‑May through the end of June and offers opportunities for the Summer Associates to spend time in our Asheville, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, and Wilmington offices, according to their geographic preferences. The Summer Associates may choose to rotate between two to three locations providing exposure to those communities, practice areas, and attorneys and their families.
The Firm strives to provide Summer Associates with the tools and resources needed to get the most out of their summer experience. We listen to their goals for the summer and do our best to help each Summer Associate achieve them. Summer Associates will gain exposure to our full range of practice areas so they can make informed decisions about their career paths. Each Summer Associate is assigned a BIG, an attorney within the Firm who is the "go‑to" person to answer questions about the Firm, the community, and other "quality of life" issues. The BIG informs the Summer Associate of social and cultural events, entertainment and community activities, and volunteer opportunities.
The Summer Associate Program HOPE Administrators coordinate hands‑on practical experience opportunities for our Summer Associates. Each Summer Associate will be invited to attend court appearances, trials, depositions, mediations, client interviews, deal closings, and other events with our attorneys. Various social activities in conjunction with HOPE experiences, allow the Summer Associates to become more familiar with our attorneys and the geographic advantages of each of our office locations.
Our Program provides hands‑on real work assignments on behalf of our clients in a variety of practice disciplines. Frequent evaluations of work product are provided to assist our Summer Associates in their developmental progress. This evaluation process is done in a consistent, organized manner and each Summer Associate receives feedback on every completed project. The Firm emphasizes the importance of recognizing areas of growth so that the Summer Associates finish their time with us knowing they have expanded their practical knowledge of the legal field
Ward and Smith is committed to providing new attorneys with the highest level of training possible. The Firm has implemented a training plan which tracks each attorney's progress from day one. Resources are available to keep the new attorney on the right path.
Each new attorney is assigned a BIG, an attorney within the Firm who is seen as a "go-to" person to answer questions about the Firm, the community, and other "quality of life" issues. The BIG informs the new attorney about social/cultural events, entertainment and community activities, and volunteer opportunities. The BIG fosters the social development of the new attorney in the Firm and community.
The new attorney also is assigned a Work Supervisor who is responsible for providing the new attorney with opportunities to work and build relationships with other attorneys within the Firm. They monitor work volume and content and make certain the new attorney is receiving an appropriate number of projects. Work Supervisors also are responsible for monitoring work load issues and making sure the new attorney is receiving projects from multiple attorneys and from the various disciplines in which the new attorney is practicing.
After two or three years of employment with the Firm, the new attorney is assigned a Mentor who takes the place of the new attorney's Work Supervisor. The Mentor is to serve as more of a coach and sounding board rather than a day-to-day "hands-on" supervisor.
New attorneys within the Firm receive constant feedback on their work product through the use of an organized evaluation process. By submitting projects monthly, each new attorney receives immediate feedback on a regular basis. Every six months, new attorneys are given the opportunity to meet with department heads to review their work product and discuss growth areas. Each year, new attorneys complete their self-evaluation and update their career profiles. This allows the new attorney to reflect on past experiences and look forward to future development.
The Firm's reputation and culture, the opportunities to develop professionally, and the five office locations in beautiful North Carolina are a few of the reasons our attorneys express overall satisfaction with Ward and Smith. We offer employees the opportunity to balance challenging work for diverse clients in a collaborative and professional work environment with rewarding personal lives.
Although Ward and Smith hires primarily from its Summer Associate Program, we also seek exceptional third-year and lateral candidates, according to staffing needs. Such needs are a direct result of Firm growth and expansion of Practice Sections. The Firm conducts ambitious lateral candidate interviews, with every attorney in the Firm being given the opportunity to interview candidates. Although coordinating numerous schedules is often complicated, we have seen the benefits of receiving feedback from many of our attorneys as to a candidate's possible fit within the Firm.
If you are motivated and enjoy working on complex challenging projects in a fast-paced, professional environment, we may have opportunities for you. We are always looking for talented individuals with the ability, integrity, and initiative necessary to ensure that our Firm continues to be an exciting and rewarding place to work.
Ward and Smith is an equal opportunity employer. We offer a competitive compensation and benefits package and professional development training/education opportunities aimed at ensuring long-term employment.
Ward and Smith participates in E-Verify. To learn more about E-Verify, click here.
Please submit your resume along with salary requirements to:
Ms. Teresa R. Harper
Legal Recruiting Coordinator
Ward and Smith, P.A.
Post Office 867
New Bern, NC 28563