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All of our current vacancies are listed on our website. However, if we have no listings presently, it doesn’t mean our doors are closed. We are still very keen to hear from experienced practitioners who may be looking to move to the Waikato, or move firms.


Solicitor – two years+ experience –  Commercial Disputes & Employment

If you are an experienced law practitioner and would like to discuss employment opportunities with our firm, please send your contact details to us at and we will call you back for a confidential discussion.

Norris Ward McKinnon is a well-established specialist firm located in the Hamilton CBD.  We have an opportunity for a solicitor with two or more years’ experience to join our Commercial Disputes & Employment team.

The role

You will be working closely with senior members of the team, highly experienced litigators and employment lawyers actively involved in the legal and business community in Hamilton.  You can read more about the team on our website

You will be involved in a range of dispute matters spanning contracts and agreements, construction, resource management, and farming.  In addition we have a need for strong employment law experience around employment processes, restructuring, performance management, dismissal, grievances, and mediation. If successful, you’ll be part of a cohesive, collaborative team where everyone’s input is valued, where we value your home and your work commitments and celebrate success.  Tech savvy, you’ll be working with advanced legal technology in modern open plan offices.

As a successful applicant you will ideally have:

  • Minimum two to three years’ experience working in a commercial practice in New Zealand
  • A strong commitment to client service
  • Business development skills and an affinity for networking
  • A collaborative approach where you enjoy working in a fast paced team environment
  • The ability to work both independently and collaboratively
  • An attitude of always striving for excellence in everything that you do
  • A growth mind-set, where you show a passion for continuous improvement in your practice of the law and the way in which you deliver client service.
  • A high level of computer literacy and an ability to learn new programmes quickly and utilise them efficiently
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, particularly the ability to explain legal concepts in plain English


Benefits of working at Norris Ward McKinnon


  • Inclusive and supportive culture in a values-based firm, where people are recognised
  • Senior lawyers willing to invest in your success as a lawyer
  • Collaborative environment focused on team interaction
  • Community minded people with integrity and high standards
  • Flexible work practices


Robust team support:

  • Highly capable Personal Assistants with strong technology experience
  • Experienced junior lawyers with thorough research skills
  • Partners and senior lawyers who are accessible and actively involved in mentoring


Collaborative environment:

  • Ability to bounce ideas off other people and have down time with a fun, positive team
  • Within our full service firm you have access to commercial, corporate, property, tax, and family law experts from other specialist teams
  • Regular forums to connect with your peers; open-plan layout to support communication on files; and a very active social club



  • Access to ongoing CPD courses (over and above Law Society requirements)
  • Access to current legal resources and databases
  • We run modern Practice Management software, Infinitylaw, to help manage files
  • As a member of NZ Law, we have access to superb legal conferences and enjoy collegial relationships with member firms, enabling successful cross-referrals and support
  • Remote access to computer systems so that you can access email & client files from anywhere


Career development:

  • Strong mentoring from Partners and Associates
  • Rapid exposure to business clients the team advises on a regular basis
  • Encouragement to build a strong network of internal and external key contacts to support your future legal practice
  • Clear career options which are raised up-front; you show us the talent, we’ll show you the opportunities


About Norris Ward McKinnon

Norris Ward McKinnon was founded in 1919 by Car Norris and Joe Ward.  Since then we have grown to be one of the most respected legal practices in the Waikato. Our success is driven by a focus on excellence, placing our clients first, promoting collaboration, and being dedicated to excellence within the legal sector.

We have a strong team culture based on collaboration and growth for both the team and you as an individual. We are committed to providing a supportive, family-friendly environment. We recognise that our people are our greatest asset – and our culture and systems reflect this attitude.

If you believe our firm and this opportunity is the right fit for you, contact our Practice Manager, Carmen Simmonds by emailing your full CV and cover letter, with the subject line ‘Commercial Disputes Employment Opportunity’ to


Associate Programme

We are extremely proud of our Associates, and the excellence they have demonstrated to earn their appointment as an Associate of our firm. We have a formal programme to identify and develop solicitors to successfully reach the next step in their legal career. We assist them in expanding their legal and business skills, to contribute to the future direction of our firm.



We take great care to provide a mentor to assist with your professional development and career management. Our mentors are Associates and Partners who have a genuine interest in developing and working with our junior lawyers. You will also be introduced to a “buddy” to help you settle in. Your buddy is likely to have been through our Graduate Programme themselves, so they are the ideal person to help with any queries, talk through any concerns, or catch up with for lunch.


Career Path

We understand the investment you have made in your law career, financially and personally. At Norris Ward McKinnon we realise how important your career progression is to you and are dedicated to retaining and developing our stars. Talk to any of our Senior Solicitors and Associates and you will be impressed with the leaps and bounds they have made in their careers while with us.


“Having joined Norris Ward McKinnon in 2012 after having worked in a large corporate law firm in Auckland, I immediately felt this was great place to work and where I wanted to be. My passion for being a lawyer was reinvigorated. There is never a shortage of support available. From the partners to support staff, everyone here is enormously helpful and knowledgeable. The variety of the work we undertake on a day to day basis means that no day is ever the same. Having specialist teams within our firm allows us to provide our clients with the best advise which is tailored to their needs. It also means that we are able to continue to learn by working with the other teams and understanding their area of the law. I can’t speak more highly of Norris Ward McKinnon and would encourage anyone looking to join a law firm to consider Norris Ward McKinnon.”

Odette Cottle, Associate, Business, Rural & Property

LLB – The University of Waikato


“Joining Norris Ward McKinnon as a law clerk during my 3rd year at University gave me invaluable experience of how a firm works and what it means to be a lawyer. The experience I gained was extremely useful for the completion of my law degree and the Professionals course. Since completing my degree and beginning full time employment as a graduate I have received a wide variety of work, accompanied by comprehensive training and development from both other solicitors and the firm’s partners. Norris Ward McKinnon offers great support and mentoring, encouraging both technical skills and client development. The graduate programme is challenging and ‘hands on’ within a friendly, supportive and professional environment. I would highly recommend joining any one of the teams at Norris Ward McKinnon, to any law student or graduate.”

Rebekah Smith – Associate, Family Disputes team

LLB (Hons), BMS – The University of Waikato


“From my first day as a graduate in the Trusts and Estates Team I have been mentored by my team Partner as well as other senior staff, who all assist in my development. As well as providing technical training, my team has also encouraged me to be innovative and to cultivate a specialisation in an area of law new to the firm. Norris Ward McKinnon provides a platform that allows you to continually grow and improve your skills in a supportive, supervised environment.  I would encourage any law student or graduate to join the Norris Ward McKinnon graduate programme.”

Alice Barker – Associate, Succession & Wealth Protection team

LLB – The University of Waikato 


“My career with Norris Ward McKinnon began as a part-time law clerk while studying for my LLB as a “mature student” at Waikato University.  The partners and staff were always extremely supportive and encouraging as I studied, gained my degree, completed “Profs”, and was admited to the Bar. The training and development provided by NWM is ongoing and comprehensive.  As a law clerk and then as a solicitor in the Commercial Corporate Team I have worked on a variety of legal matters and with a variety of clients, from sole traders and charities through to large corporates.  NWM encourages development of your legal and personal skills, communication and teamwork.  The firm provides support and encouragement to take your legal career further and gives you the opportunity to develop into the lawyer you want to be. Norris Ward McKinnon is a great place to work, it’s the people here that make the difference.”

Jacky Walker – Senior Solicitor, Commercial Corporate team

LLB – The University of Waikato


“I joined the Norris Ward McKinnon team at the beginning of 2016, having previously worked in general practice in Christchurch for three years.  General practice gave me experience in many aspects of the law with a particularly strong emphasis on property and insurance issues.  At NWM I have been able to hone these skills and become a property specialist focusing on complex, rural and commercial transactions.  My colleagues at NWM were very welcoming, so it didn’t take long to feel right at home in the Waikato.  My supervising partner continues to encourage me and has guided me in developing my rural and commercial expertise as well as my negotiation skills.  I thoroughly enjoy the range of work that I am exposed to and being a part of the NWM team.”

Shelly Harrison, Senior Solicitor, Business, Rural & Property team

LLB, Bcom – The University of Canterbury


“I started work with Norris Ward McKinnon as a law clerk at the beginning of 2015 during the fourth year of my degree. From my first day with the Commercial Corporate team I have been challenged with a range of different projects which have allowed me to apply and build on my understanding of the law. I have found everyone at Norris Ward McKinnon to be very approachable, supportive, and willing to help in any way that they can. The experience that I have gained through working at the firm has been invaluable for both my University studies and my professional career. I would highly recommend Norris Ward McKinnon to any law student or graduate looking to develop their skill and knowledge.”

Jess Collett – Solicitor, Commercial Corporate team

LLB – The University of Waikato


“I started at Norris Ward McKinnon in 2015, shortly after completing my law degree. NWM provides graduates with a friendly learning environment, together with experienced lawyers and support staff, to help develop technical skills to the next level. Coming fresh from university, I was provided with all the assistance I needed to develop into a well-rounded and competent lawyer. The open plan office structure encourages discussion and collegiality amongst the teams, and I quickly felt comfortable asking for guidance when you I needed it. The social club and networking opportunities encouraged me to quickly get to know members from other teams, and forge strong working relationships.”

Jonathon Russell, Solicitor, Succession & Wealth Protection Team

LLB – The University of Waikato