Doing What We Want to Do, Where We Want to Do It

We challenge the notion that sophisticated legal practices only exist in major metropolitan areas. In fact, at Ruder Ware, we prove that idea wrong.

Our lawyers and legal professionals (many of whom graduated at the top of their classes, have tried the big city firms, and are leaders in their fields) are passionate about the practice of law. They counsel some of the most sophisticated businesses, family offices, and individuals in Wisconsin in the areas of commercial transactions, estate and business succession planning, intellectual property, employee benefits, real estate development, securities, tax, and complex litigation. Our people are not legal robots though—they are individuals who do not see why the same day cannot include:

  • Structuring reverse triangular mergers and competing in a curling bonspiel
  • A hike through a state park and an intentionally defective grantor trust
  • Executing a syndicated credit facility and an evening pontoon boat ride
  • A Packer football tailgate and an executive stock option plan
  • A summary judgment motion and an evening at the local craft brewery or supper club
  • A cross country skiing race and a private placement of convertible debentures

Ruder Ware team members choose to live and work where most people only vacation. We do not have to choose between the two.

In order to make this work in such a unique landscape, Ruder Ware needs to maintain its reputation of top-notch legal service providers with the horsepower to close the biggest deals and navigate cutting edge issues. We think the secret is talented individuals who are dedicated to:

Working on a High-Performing Team

At Ruder Ware, our people do not work on islands—we are more than a collection of individuals. Every client is a firm client. Whether a new graduate or a firm member located in another office, we bring the right members of the team together to solve each client issue leveraging each member’s talents to get the best results.

Being Part of Something Bigger Than Themselves

Ruder Ware has thrived for over one hundred years, and we are determined to do so for at least another hundred. Because of that, Ruder Ware is dedicated to investing in the next generation of firm leaders and in the communities where we live and work. We want all members of the firm to use their talents and resources inside the firm to create opportunities for other team members and outside the firm to help establish the community’s next performing arts center, serve as president of the local chamber of commerce, spearhead the local art or music festival, and the like.

We are always looking for new team members to join us.

We think our firm is special—the blend of complex, specialized work with the great atmosphere that the cities of Green Bay, Eau Claire, and Wausau have to offer is not something other firms can match.

We don’t ask you to trust us on this though. We want our summer associates to experience it for themselves. The firm takes care of the logistics (housing is provided to all summer associates) so that they can spend the twelve-week program:

  • Experiencing what it’s like to be a new attorney

Ruder Ware wants you to get a taste of working at the firm. Because of that, all summer associates experience the same training on firm systems, research resources, and billing systems as our full-time attorneys. They also attend practice group meetings and accompany other firm members to city council hearings, non-profit board meetings, and client events.

Most importantly, though, summer associates get to work on real projects for real clients under the careful guidance of our attorneys. Summer associates often sit in on client meetings and phone calls, draft pleadings and briefs, work on M&A deal due diligence, draft commercial contracts, and analyze new legislation and its impact on a transaction structure.

  • Exploring your interests

Summer associates work with their mentors to develop a “wish list” of experiences they hope to have during their time at the firm, and firm members make every effort to fulfill those wishes. Ruder Ware recognizes that some summer associates have a clear picture of their interests while others want to have a wide array of experiences to get a better picture of what specialty would be best for them. The firm helps each summer associate tailor their summer to meet their goals. We want the summer to be productive for you.

  • Having Fun

We want to show summer associates why our communities are so special, all while giving them a chance to get to know our team in low pressure settings. Past summer associates have gone to concerts on the 400 Block, escape rooms, Eau Claire Express and Wausau Woodchucks baseball games, wine and cheese tastings, brick oven pizza nights at a firm member’s home, and impromptu happy hours at local craft breweries.

Summer associate recruiting begins with on-campus interviews of second year law students or other qualified candidates each fall. Ruder Ware regularly participates in annual on-campus recruiting at Marquette University Law School, University of Wisconsin Law School, University of Minnesota Law School, University of St. Thomas School of Law, and Mitchell Hamline School of Law. However, we welcome the opportunity to meet with candidates from campuses not on our scheduled recruiting tour. Candidates are encouraged to send a cover letter and resume to Jamie Schaefer, Chief Operating Officer at

Attorney Compensation and Benefits

Our compensation structure is competitive with other regional law firms and is designed to reward outstanding performance.  In addition to salary and vacation, our benefits package includes:

  • Discretionary Performance Bonuses
  • Associate Loan Program That Offers New Associates a Forgivable Loan to Be Used for Student Loans or a Home Purchase
  • Six Weeks of Paid Parental Leave (in addition to short-term disability leave)
  • Health, Social, and Country Club Membership Reimbursement
  • 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan With Significant Firm Contribution
  • Health, Dental, and Vision Coverage
  • Firm Paid Life and Disability Coverage
  • Section 125 Flexible Benefits Plan
  • Biennial Technology Reimbursement for Personal Phone, Tablet, or Other Device
  • Quarterly Reimbursement for Mobile Device Data
  • Firm Paid Bar Review Course and Bar Exam Fees, Along with Reimbursement for Hotel, Meals, and other Expenses Related to the Bar Exam.
  • ABA, State, and Local Bar Membership Fees
  • CLE Registration Fees and Expenses

We understand that finding the right firm fit for you is about more than the dollars and cents. At Ruder Ware, you will also find:

  • A Team-Oriented Environment

Our compensation structure takes a holistic, long-term perspective, rewarding value added to the firm rather than just the billable hour or client origination. We incentivize innovative thinking, spearheading new projects or firm initiatives, and creating opportunities for other team members.

  • Mentorship

Ruder Ware does not hire classes of new attorneys with the goal that a few will work out. The firm invests in each new individual with the goal of developing a long-term member of the team. This includes the formal Associate Mentoring and Development Program in which each new attorney is assigned a mentor to help manage workload and get acclimated to firm policies, but it also takes the form of an everyday open-door policy where new members can feel comfortable stopping in to talk through a complex legal issue or ask what to wear to a certain event.

  • Leadership Opportunities

Ruder Ware’s low shareholder to associate ratio allows new lawyers to develop quickly, taking on as much responsibility and client contact as they are ready to assume.

  • Firm Support for Civic Organizations You Are Passionate About

The Firm does more than tolerate you taking time to engage with the community—in fact, we encourage it. We think it is important for you to spend time both during and after business hours serving on non-profit boards and advocating for the future of our communities.

  • Manageable Commute

In Eau Claire, Green Bay, and Wausau, our schedules do not revolve around rush hour—in fact, rush hour does not even exist. Most of our attorneys live just a few minutes from the office.

Current Attorney Openings

The firms’ focus on exemplary client service means we continually seek self-motivated, focused, entrepreneurial individuals wanting to be part of a collaborative team environment.  We appreciate your interest in Ruder Ware.

Please send a resume with cover letter in confidence to:

Jamie C. Schaefer
Ruder Ware