Why Damon Key?
We think we offer something different than other firms—something we believe is measured by much more than the money chase and the bottom line: a competitive salary, a challenging yet collegial work environment, a practice that covers the entire spectrum of civil law but that can be tailored to your desires, quick responsibility and client contact, the ability to develop your own practice and manage your own career, a realistic chance to become a partner, and, of course, practicing and living in one of the most beautiful and unique places on Planet Earth.
We seek well-rounded law students and lateral hires who are interested in practicing law in this type of environment.
If this sounds like something that appeals to you, read on.
Frequently Asked Questions
For answers to frequently asked questions about recruiting and careers and Damon Key, go here.
C.F. Damon, Jr. formed a law partnership in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1963 which has evolved into Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert. We are one of Hawaii’s oldest law firms, and our traditions of professional and personal legal services have been a constant for nearly half a century. On our fortieth anniversary, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin ran a profile of our attorneys and our history.
There is no “typical” Damon Key attorney; we are difficult to categorize. A review of our backgrounds reveals attorneys with varied origins and education, who have graduated from law schools with national reputations for excellence.
The firm’s attorneys and alumni have earned their law degrees from:
- Arizona State College of the Law
- University of California at Berkeley School of Law
- University of California
- University of California at Davis
- University of California Hastings College of the Law
- U.C.L.A. Law School
- Cleveland-Marshall School of Law
- University of Colorado School of Law
- Columbia Law School
- Cornell Law School
- University of Denver Sturm College of Law
- DePaul University School of Law
- George Washington University School of Law
- Harvard Law School
- University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law
- New York University School of Law
- John Marshall Law School
- University of Michigan Law School
- University of Nebraska School of Law
- University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law
- University of Pennsylvania School of Law
- San Francisco Law School
- St. John’s University School of Law
- Southern Methodist University School of Law
- Stanford Law School
- University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law
- William & Mary School of Law
What We Look For
We seek law students, recent graduates, and experienced attorneys with a broad range of experiences, interests, education, and backgrounds for our Summer Law Student Associate program, and as lateral hires.
Summer Associates: We consider academic credentials, character, attitude, energy, non-academic interests, community service, diversity, and desire.
Within these categories we consider law school grades, course work, success in the student’s studies, and prior non-legal work experiences.
The Summer Associate program is for those students who will have completed two years of law school at the start of the summer. We do not have the ability to take law students with only one year of law school, or in externship positions (except in exceptional circumstances).
Of course, it is also important whether a candidate intends to live in Honolulu, Hawaii permanently. The Summer Associates are in residence in Honolulu for approximately 10 weeks during the summer, and if made offers to join the firm, must sit for the Hawaii bar examination in the July following law school graduation.
Summer Associate Program
Our Summer Associate program is the major source of the firm’s associates. We believe the Program has facilitated the integration of new associates into the firm and has provided advanced training in the practice of law which they can take back to their law schools in their final year of study. Details here.
Coming to a Campus Near You
We participate in On-Campus Interviewing at the University of Hawaii and a number of law schools in California, with an emphasis on the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. July 2020 Update: Due to the ongoing COVID situation, we’re handling our recruiting process for the firm’s 2021 Summer Associate Program remotely – go here for more details on how to apply.
University of Hawaii School of Law: Our OCI dates at U.H. are usually in early September. Please see Career Services to sign up when the announcement is made.
Law students attending mainland schools: During the fall recruiting season, we also invite direct applications from law students seeking positions as Summer Associates from other law schools around the country who are interested in a legal career in private practice in Hawaii. Apply directly by e-mailing your resume and a cover letter to the Chair of the firm’s Hiring Committee, Robert H. Thomas.
Laterals and 3L’s
The focus of our recruiting efforts is the Summer Associate program (for law students between their second and third years of law school), but we are also interested in receiving applications for Associate positions from 3L’s and practicing attorneys to fill specific slots in our Practice Groups.
In addition to the criteria applicable to summer associate candidates, lateral hires (which includes 3L’s and attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions) should already be members of the Hawaii Bar, or registered to sit for the next Hawaii Bar Exam, and positions are filled to meet current or anticipated needs in the Practice Groups. In your cover letter or resume, please indicate your Hawaii Bar number, or confirm that you are registered or are eligible to register for the upcoming Hawaii bar examination.
The application and interview process for 3L’s and laterals is case-by-case, depending upon our current staffing needs. If your qualifications are what we are looking for to fill a specific need within one or more of our Practice Groups, we will schedule an interview. Please note that interviews will be held in our Honolulu office, or with our Northern California recruiter in San Francisco.
Contact us by e-mail or letter with the following information to begin the process:
- Your resume or C.V.
- A cover letter explaining your practice, interests and background; please include specifics on which of our Practice Groups interest you. Also (and this is critical), please confirm that you are a member of the Hawaii Bar, or are registered to sit for the next scheduled Hawaii Bar Examination.
- A list of professional references.
- 3Ls and recent graduates – a transcript of law school grades.
We welcome your questions. If this page or the Recruiting FAQ does not answer your question, please contact the Chair of the firm’s Hiring Committee, Robert H. Thomas.