Law Students

Successful law student candidates for Ward and Smith, P.A. are well-rounded individuals who offer strong interpersonal skills, academic achievement, and intellectual horsepower.

Competitive candidates are able to articulate a well-defined interest in the firm and familiarity with our practice areas and locations. While academic performance is an important factor in consideration, we also value participation in Moot Court and Law Review, leadership in student group activities, volunteerism in the community, and diverse life and work experiences.

The Firm expects candidates to demonstrate key performance factors such as critical thinking, complex problem-solving, emotional intelligence, sound judgment, and a collaborative mindset. We also expect law students to be adept in the professional use of technology and social media to promote themselves and the firm.

On Campus Interviews

We conduct campus interviews at several North Carolina schools 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 campus recruiting activities.

We routinely send interview teams to the law schools at Campbell University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina Central University, Duke University, and Wake Forest University. Contact your Career Services Office to submit application materials. Ward and Smith also welcomes direct applications from students at other law schools.

Callback Interviews

The callback experience here goes beyond the typical interview. Our callbacks are held in Raleigh and feature an afternoon and evening of interviews combined with social activities with attorneys from all five of our offices. 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 Ward and Smith.

Summer Associate Program

Ward and Smith, P.A. has filled its 2024 Summer Associate Program class and is no longer accepting applications for this summer.

The Summer Associate Program is a vital component of our recruiting and hiring efforts. The Program typically runs for six weeks from mid‑May through the end of June. With the Raleigh office as home base, summer associates rotate between all five locations to gain 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. Summer associates 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 Summer Associate Mentor, 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 attorney-mentor informs the summer associate of social and cultural events, entertainment and community activities, and volunteer opportunities.

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 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 Summer Associate team coordinates hands‑on practical experience (HOPEs) opportunities for summer associates. Summer associates are 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 summer associates to become more familiar with our attorneys and the geographic advantages of each office location.

Application Process

To apply to the Ward and Smith Summer Associate Program, please register for On Campus Interviews through your law school Career Services Office. Students at other schools may apply here. Applications must include a cover letter, resume, transcript, and writing sample. Address your cover letter to Melissa Forshey Schwind, Director of Attorney Recruiting, Professional Development, and Diversity and Inclusion, Ward and Smith, P.A., P.O. Box 33009, Raleigh, NC 27636-3009. 

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Legal Elite Business North Carolina 2024
  • Super Lawyers 2021
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers 2023
  • U.S. News Best Lawyers 20234

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