Barnes & Thornburg LLP at a Glance


  • “Midwestern values”
  • “The firm's prestige in Indianapolis and across the nation”
  • “Phenomenal attorneys”


  • “We pay under-market”
  • “Late nights”
  • “The new(ish) two-tiered partnership structure”

The Buzz

  • “Lifestyle firm”
  • “Good to work with”
  • “Regional”
  • “Mediocre”

About Barnes & Thornburg LLP

From its Midwestern hub in Indianapolis, Barnes & Thornburg has aggressively expanded to serve a large network of clients throughout the U.S. In addition to having one of the largest intellectual property practices in the Midwest, the firm's core practices revolve around litigation, business and governmental services.

Thirteen is the Lucky Number

Harvard Law graduate Kurt Pantzer founded Indianapolis firm Barnes, Hickam, Pantzer & Boyd in 1940. In a spasm of reverse superstition, the founding attorneys formed the firm on September 13, establishing an office with 13 people and 13 rooms on the 13th floor of Merchants Banks Building, an Indianapolis skyscraper. (By the way, the office and telephone number were both 1313.) The firm was one of the first practices to open with a full-time librarian, who oversaw what at one point was one of the largest private libraries in Indiana.

Barnes & Thornburg adopted its current name in 1982 when Barnes, Hickam, Pantzer & Boyd merged with South Bend's Thornburg, McGill, Deahl, Harman, Carey & Murray, founded in 1926. In recent years, Barnes & Thornburg has been one of the Midwest's fastest growing firms--in 2009 alone the firm opened offices in Delaware, Ohio and Minnesota, making several acquisitions in the process. The firm also recently launched its first West Coast operation when it opened an office in Los Angeles.

Now with a dozen offices across the U.S., Barnes & Thornburg has built business, insurance, litigation and governmental services practices among less traditional departments, such as forays into the technological worlds of cloud computing and cyber-security law. Also notable is the firm's intellectual property practice, which has earned accolades from Intellectual Property Today and Trademark Insider.

The Good, the Bad and the Abramoff

In addition to pharmaceutical giants like Eli Lilly and Rouche diagnostics, Barnes & Thornburg has represented household names like Johnson & Johnson, Mercedes Benz U.S.A., Whirlpool Corp. and Pepsi Co. The firm's attorneys have also worked with less-adored household names like Enron, accounting firm Arthur Andersen, Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and convicted corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff. (Two Barnes & Thornburg attorneys formerly associated with Abramoff ended up resigning from their positions at the firmduring investigations stemming from the Abramoff scandal.) The firm has also dealt with international clients; for example, it represented Toyota when the car manufacturer decided to open a plant in Indiana.

State Government's Little Helper

Barnes & Thornburg attorneys have also done their fair share of work for the public sector. Partner Peter Rusthoven worked on the legendary Fred Fielding's law team during the Reagan administration. Through its governmental finance branch, Barnes & Thornburg helps various state and local governmental entities build public buildings from correctional facilities and police stations to public schools and libraries. The firm also represented the state of Indiana under Republican Governor Mitch Daniels, collecting more than $5 million in legal fees in the process when Daniels' administration and IBM sued each other regarding a 10-year-contract to automate the state's welfare system. According to Business Week, Daniels' administration hired Barnes & Thornburg despite the firm's former representation of IBM partners, a lucrative act of patronage which prompted cries of conflict of interest from the state's democrats.

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Barnes & Thornburg LLP

11 South Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 236-1313
Fax: (317) 231-7433


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner.: Alan A. Levin.
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 575

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $115,000
    1st year: $110,000
    Summer associate: $1,900/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    6 out of 8 (2013)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Advertising & Marketing
    Agriculture and Food Processing
    Antitrust and Competition Law
    Asset Revitalization
    Associations & Foundations
    BT VentureTech
    Climate Changes
    Commercial Litigation
    Compensation & Employee Benefits
    Construction Law
    Defense, Aerospace and National Security
    Drug and Medical Litigation
    Economic Development
    E-Discovery, Data & Document Management
    Energy, Telecommunications & Utilities
    Entertainment & Music
    ERISA Litigation
    Estate Planning
    Federal Procurement
    Federal Relations
    Finance, Corporate Governance and M & A Litigation
    Financial Institutions
    Finance, Insolvency and Restructuring
    Food Drug and Device Law
    Franchise & Distribution Law
    Global Services
    Governmental Services & Finance
    Government Litigation
    Higher Education
    Immigration & Global Mobility
    Intellectual Property
    Internet Technology
    Labor and Employment Law
    Lending & Structured Finance
    Life Sciences
    Policyholder Insurance Recovery and Counseling
    Private Equity
    Private Wealth Services
    Property Tax
    Public Policy
    Real Estate
    Renewable Energy
    Toxic Torts
    White Collar Crimes

Major Office Locations

  • Indianapolis, IN (HQ)
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Columbus, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Elkhart, IN
  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • South Bend, IN
  • Washington, DC
  • Wilmington, DE
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