Litigation Associate Trainee

“Eagles don’t flock. You have to find them one at a time.” - H. Ross Perot

Once every year, The McMillan Law Firm seeks out two to four attorneys as candidates for our litigation associate trainee program.  We seek out the type of candidates that Ross Perot characterized as “Eagles” to fill these positions.

If you consider work as a litigation attorney a “calling” rather than just a job, our litigation associate trainee position may be what you are looking for.

As a litigation associate trainee, you will learn the nuts-and-bolts of litigation from the ground up.  We will teach you to practice the craft of a civil litigator, both in the written form and in open court, and arm you with the knowledge and experience to effectively and confidently confront adversaries through the pretrial litigation, trial, and appellate processes.

The ideal candidate for this position is energetic, enthusiastic, and will assist in motion work, discovery, and trial. We offer an initial base salary, and upon demonstrating skill and an aptitude for the practice of law—an opportunity for a full associate position, with a signing bonus and an increase in pay.

If you are looking for experience at an unpretentious firm that represents honest clients with just causes in a zealous manner—by design, we encourage you to apply. You will be taught a method of litigation that is not only consistent with the professional responsibilities of a licensed attorney, but is extremely effective at ferreting out the truth and presenting an effective argument for our clients.


No experience is necessary for this position. In fact, we encourage candidates that are just starting their careers to apply.

A candidate for this position must be licensed to practice law in California, have have excellent writing skills, and be of sound moral character.  In addition, candidates must be decisive, demonstrably reliable, able to work independently, and under pressure.  To apply for this position, submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample.  Submission of a writing sample is required to be considered for this position.  Application materials that do not include a writing sample will be deleted and those candidates will be disqualified from applying again.


The litigation trainee associate program has a set term of 120 days.  The initial biweekly salary of $1280 reflects the amount of resources that The McMillan Law Firm expects to invest in the trainee during the process of transforming him or her into an effective advocate who knows and is able to implement litigation processes and methods at a minimally supervised working level. Our billable hour expectation from trainees is 165 billable hours per month (1980 billable hours per year). 


The McMillan Law Firm has litigated millon dollar cases to judgment. We have successfully tried cases before juries and obtained verdicts in our client’s favor. We have litigated cases in several divisions of the California Court of Appeal, and United States Courts of Appeal, and obtained reversals resulting in published decisions. We have asked for, and obtained, grants of review in the Supreme Court of California.

We litigate cases in California and Federal Courts, as well as before various administrative agencies. We go to trial, usually before a jury. We like trial. And, if you join our Firm, we will teach you to effectively litigate a case through trial and appeal.

Our group of lawyers prides itself on teamwork, and the ability to work as a unit. Indeed, one opposing counsel referred to the group as a “phalanx.”  The structure of the Firm and the post-training compensation is intended to foster that teamwork.

(Interviews for 2008 begin on May 1, 2008)

Of Counsel

If you have had a successful career in law, and are looking to enjoy life at a slower pace while still keeping a connection to the legal field, we would like to speak to you about an of counsel position at The McMillan Law Firm.

The “of counsel” lawyer at The McMillan Law Firm is expected to mentor and advise the associate attorneys and law clerks in their efforts to become effective advocates.  The “of counsel” lawyer’s participation in active cases is expected only to be ancillary to the efforts of the principal and associate attorneys.

We actively seek out senior attorneys and retired judges that have had a varied and notable practice.  Candidates for the of counsel position, must be willing to devote a set number of hours each week to participating in case planning sessions and associate guidance.  Candidates for an of counsel position must have more than 20 years in practice, and must have had a demonstrable success in their career measurable by published appellate decisions, and jury verdicts.


As a law student, I was seduced by the excitement of the courthouse and the varied and colorful cases and trials that filled it.  After passing the bar, I sought to join a firm where I would be able to get hands-on experience quickly, have interesting work with intelligent people and where my passion for the law would continue unabated.  It is with a feeling of tremendous good fortune that I say that my expectations were met.  During my two action-packed years as an associate, instead of several months of document review, I quickly found myself arguing motions and litigating against far more senior lawyers from other firms.

Additionally, the lawyers I found at The McMillan Law Firm not only practice law with a vigor and intensity that maintains the dynamic nature of the firm, but they also share an affinity for the “craft” that infuses every aspect of the practice. The contagiousness of that perspective creates a real esprit de corps and inspires terrific work.  As an added bonus, the attorneys I worked with were supportive colleagues and friends. The bottom line for me is that the cases and trials I was involved in were as interesting, challenging and exciting as the best in any courthouse.  The McMillan Law Firm has been an ideal place to transition from law graduate to practicing attorney, and to begin a career in the law.

      — Beth C. Obra, Senior Associate, '05-'08