Current Vacancies

At NWM, a fantastic firm culture is one of our unique features. So much so, it's a strategic goal and priority. As a team member at NWM you'll feel valued and recognised for your contributions. You'll be trusted and given opportunities to develop. We'll share with you what it takes to progress here, as your success is important to us. We embrace creativity, innovative thinking, and collegiality and we value our people highly. It's just a great place to work!

We have a team-based environment with strong mentoring and role modelling. Our modern open-plan offices support the best use of technology to encourage efficiency. NWM people are all very approachable and willing to share their knowledge. Our Partners are leaders, specialists in their fields, and down to earth. At NWM you'll be one of a team of people who are engaged in their roles and really enjoy their work and surroundings.


Norris Ward McKinnon is a well-established specialist firm located in the Hamilton CBD. We have an opportunity for an experienced lawyer to join our Family Disputes team.

The role

You will be working closely with Partners and other team members, highly experienced family lawyers actively involved in the legal and business community. As a full-service family law team, you’ll be involved in a broad range of family matters including parenting; guardianship; family violence and protection orders; adoption; paternity; spousal maintenance; dissolution of marriage/civil union; relationship property agreements and disputes; contracting out agreements and protection of personal and property rights. You’ll develop your advocacy skills and have regular opportunities to attend Court. The learning and mentoring available from seniors in this team is exceptional.

You’ll be part of a collaborative team where everyone’s input is valued, where we recognise your home and 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 have:

  • Minimum of 2 years’ experience working in a family law practice in New Zealand
  • A demonstrable commitment to client service
  • Business development skills and an affinity for networking
  • The ability to work both independently and collaboratively
  • Excellent file management skills
  • 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.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, particularly the ability to explain legal concepts in plain English.

Benefits of working at Norris Ward McKinnon

Robust team support:

  • Partners and senior lawyers who are accessible and actively involved in mentoring
  • Highly experienced support staff

Collaborative firm environment:

  • Ability to bounce ideas off other people and have down-time with a fun, positive team
  • Within our full service firm you’ll have access to property, litigation, tax, and business 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
  • Strong links to our community and NWM initiatives that support local charities along with a culture of ‘giving back’


  • Access to ongoing CPD courses (over and above Law Society requirements)
  • Access to current legal resources and databases
  • Modern Practice Management software
  • 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

Career development:

  • Strong mentoring from Partners and Associates
  • Encouragement to build a strong network of internal and external key contacts to support your future legal practice
  • Transparency around career progression criteria and support to help you succeed.

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 largest and 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 and 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.

To apply send your full CV and cover letter to [email protected]


We run an annual Summer Clerk programme, aimed at final year law students, which runs for approximately 12 weeks, starting in early November and ending in late February each year.

Based in our Hamilton office, we offer placements in each of our specialist teams:

  • Commercial Disputes & Employment
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • Family Disputes
  • Private Client — Property
  • Private Client — Trusts

During this period you will gain exposure to a variety of legal work. You'll work alongside our lawyers and legal executives to understand how the team responds to client queries, and assist with research, proofing, and drafting. You'll sit in on client meetings, help draft file notes, and be encouraged to form your own thoughts on legal issues. This is a fantastic opportunity to put your theoretical skills into practice, to understand the workings of a law firm, and to learn from the best.

Applications for 2023/24 have now closed.


In this role you'll be working closely with the Partner and Senior Associate in the team, and with our experienced solicitors and legal executives.

We’re looking for someone with 5+ years experience in complex trust matters, for personal and business clients. The ideal person will be someone who enjoys the intersection and dynamics between Trust, Property, Estate, and Family law. We need someone who is well versed in current trust legislation, who has an ability to work with clients to develop comprehensive asset protection and succession plans. As well as developing your own client base, you’ll be involved in the day-to-day supervision and mentoring of the team’s junior lawyers. As part of the Private Client leadership team, you’ll have influence in the team’s strategies for marketing and business development.

As an Associate at NWM you’ll be part of a strong collegial team, and join the leadership development programme designed to progress our Associates through the firm.

If successful, you’ll be part of a cohesive, collaborative team where everyone’s input is valued and respected. We recognise and celebrate success. We also recognise the importance of your commitments outside of the office. Flexible working arrangements are a part of our firm’s culture and we encourage you to plan how your lifestyle and work practices will fit together so you have the best of both worlds.

If you believe our firm and this opportunity is the right fit for you, contact our General Manager, Carmen Simmonds, by emailing your full CV and cover letter to [email protected]

"I joined the Corporate Commercial team in November 2022.  In a short time I've been involved in mergers, share acquisitions, franchise agreements, insolvency and intellectual property.  Straight away I was part of a vibrant and energetic team. NWM embraces the concept of 'bringing your whole self to work' and I couldn't agree with this more. Encouraging our outside interests is truly reflected in the firm's culture. I am beyond excited to see where my future takes me with the support of NWM." 

Danielle Robinson, Law Clerk, March 2023

"I joined the Commercial Disputes & Employment team and was impressed with how immersive the experience was, and the degree of support provided. From my first week I was drafting letters and court documents, undertaking research and assisting on files. This helped solidify my interest in litigation. It was also an excellent introduction into the practical nature of law, outside of University. I was lucky enough to be offered a full-time role after the Summer Clerk program ended and I'm looking forward to seeing where my time at NWM takes me."

Emma White, Law Clerk, March 2023
Studying at the University of Waikato

"I joined the Private Client team in June 2022 and was impressed with the culture of the firm. My team was very welcoming and continues to provide ongoing support and mentorship. In my time so far I've been immersed in a wide range of private client matters including drafting documents, legal research, and attending client meetings. I feel privileged to be part of the NWM team and am looking forward to my future here as a Solicitor"

Jasmine Muhlmann, Law Clerk, April 2023
Studying at the University of Waikato

"I joined the Corporate Commercial team in November 2022. Everyone has been very warm and welcoming, making me feel part of the team immediately. I've been involved in drafting commercial leases, with the sale and purchase of properties, and provided advice on draft contracts. I could not have had a better start to my legal career. The support provided by my team has helped immensely with the shift from studying, into the workplace."

Lindii Addison, Law Clerk, March 2023

"I joined the Commercial Disputes & Employment team as a Summer Clerk. From day one I was exposed to the practical side of law that you just don't get inside a lecture theatre. I drafted legal documents, attended mediations, carried out research ... all amazing learning opportunities. The clerkship at NWM is hands-on, you're encouraged to ask questions and give things a go, all with support, guidance and feedback. I'm excited to start my career at NWM."

Hannah McGillan, Law Clerk, March 2023

"I joined the Private Client team as a Summer Clerk in November 2022. I've had constant opportunities to develop my knowledge of trusts and estates. The culture at NWM is ideal for students and graduates. I'm impressed with the firm's approach to wellbeing and the support towards professional development and mental health. I recently accepted an offer of permanent employment here and am looking forward to my future at NWM."

Brieanna Marston, Law Clerk, March 2023

"I joined the Private Client team in November 2022 and the experience has been highly rewarding. The team and whole firm are supportive and friendly. I've been drafting legal documents, attending client meetings and researching challenging areas of law. I am immensely grateful for the clerkship, the people at NWM, and my future here."

Kainoa Hemi, Law Clerk, March 2023
Studying at the University of Waikato

"In 2021 I had the privilege of being a Summer Clerk in the Family Disputes Team. My work was family law focused, such as drafting Court documents, writing letters to clients, and researching legal issues. I learned practical skills that can't be found in any lecture theatre. This whole learning experience wouldn't have been so enjoyable without the amazing culture of NWM. My team were encouraging, happy to answer questions and sit down with me to explain things. I took every chance to learn something new."

Patricia Alcartado, Law Clerk 2022
Graduate of the University of Waikato

"I started at NWM as a Summer Clerk in late 2020, in the Private Client team. I'm now a Solicitor in the team and appreciate the opportunities the firm has given me. NWM is a great environment for a junior lawyer to learn and develop in. My team is supportive, and the senior members are incredible mentors with so much knowledge and expertise, which they're willing to share with me. I'm excited for my future here at NWM."

Emma O'Keeffe, Solicitor, Private Client Team
LLB - University of Waikato

"I was lucky enough to work as a Summer Clerk in NWM's Private Client team during 2020/2021. I spent half of my time in the property team, and half in the trust and estate team. I learned a variety of skills, such as drafting Wills and estate documents, property transactions, and interacting with clients. The work I was exposed to far exceeded my expectations. My team and the wider firm were extremely helpful and always available to help me. At the end of the Summer I was offered a full-time role in the Private Client team.  Every day I'm learning something new, and can't think of a better place to work and learn new skills."  

Cameron Blue, Solicitor, Private Client Team.
LLB - University of Waikato

"I was a Summer Clerk in the Corporate Commercial Team and the Commercial Disputes & Employment Team during 2020/2021. It was a major learning curve, being introduced to the practical side of law. I did research, read contracts, and helped on client files. An internship gives you such a head-start on your career. NWM made the transition from study to work so easy, and I'm privileged to be part of such a great firm."

Conan Brolly, Solicitor, Corporate Commercial Team
LLB - University of Waikato

"Over the summer of 202/2021 I had the opportunity to be a Summer Clerk across two teams. I did hands-on work in a range of areas including employment, civil disputes, privacy and contracts. I helped assess compliance with the law, drafted Court documents, provided research, and interacted with clients. I was encouraged and supported by my teams and learned far more than I expected to. I was offered a full-time role and am stoked to be working with such a great group of lawyers."

Levi Harris, Solicitor, Commercial Disputes & Employment
LLB - University of Waikato

"I joined Norris Ward McKinnon while in my final year of study at the University of Waikato, and am immensely grateful that my introduction to the legal workplace has been overwhelmingly positive. The entire team has invested in my growth from student to solicitor, and have offered continued support and encouragement."

Hannah Espin, Senior Solicitor, Private Client Team.
LLB - University of Waikato

"Starting at Norris Ward McKinnon as a graduate in 2019 and then moving into a solicitor role, I can absolutely endorse Norris Ward McKinnon’s commitment to the training of lawyers. The support I have received from the firm has given me the confidence to represent my clients at the high level the firm sets and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity I have had."

Jamie Blackburn, Senior Solicitor, Family Disputes Team.
LLB — University of Waikato

"I joined Norris Ward McKinnon in early 2021 after returning to Hamilton from stints in London and Wellington. I was immediately impressed by the firm's ambition and focus on promoting culture and wellbeing in the workplace. I am loving my time here and encourage anyone considering a change in career to reach out to NWM."

Simon Middlemiss, Associate, Commercial Disputes & Employment team.
LLB - University of Waikato

Associate Programme

We are extremely proud of our Associates, and the excellence they have demonstrated to earn their progression through the 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 professional development and career management. This is typically a senior member of NWM or can be an external practitioner.

Our mentors are typically Associates and Partners who have a genuine interest in developing and working with our junior lawyers. Sometimes an external practitioner is involved in mentoring. As a new team member you'll be given a “buddy” to help you settle into the NWM way of life.

Career Path

We encourage the development of potential in all of our team members, legal and support staff. We provide transparency about a career path that will be fulfilling, as well as professionally and personally rewarding.

At Norris Ward McKinnon we realise how important career progression is to you and are dedicated to retaining and developing our top performers. We are open to progression options that are outside the traditional pathway of law firms, to give individuals the career development that suits them.

Talk to any of our Senior Solicitors and Associates and you'll be impressed with the leaps and bounds they have made in their careers while with us.