Barnes & Thornburg LLP at a Glance


  • “Quality of work”
  • “Possibility to make partner”


  • “Lack of work/life balance”
  • “Underpaid”

The Buzz

  • “Strong Midwestern firm”
  • “Collegial”
  • “Intense”
  • “Getting better in LA”

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 suite 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 launched its first West Coast operation in 2011 when it opened an office in Los Angeles and proceeded to open a Dallas office in 2015.

Now with 13 offices across the U.S., Barnes & Thornburg has built business, insurance, litigation, and government service practices among less traditional departments, such as forays into the technological worlds of data security and cyber-insurance 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 Co. and Rouche diagnostics, Barnes & Thornburg has represented household names like Johnson & Johnson, Mercedes Benz, Whirlpool, and Pepsi. 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


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Robert T. Grand
  • Summer/Hiring Partners: Stuart C. Johnson (Atlanta); Jonathan P. Froemel (Chicago); William A. Nolan (Columbus); David M. Powlen (Delaware); Philip J. Faccenda, Jr. (Elkhart); Jason T. Clagg (Fort Wayne); Robert W. Sikkel (Grand Rapids); William E. Padgett (Indianapolis); David C. Allen (Los Angeles); Christopher W. Fowlkes (Minneapolis); Mark Adey (South Bend); Karen A. McGee (Washington, DC); Mark W. Bayer (Dallas)
  • Lateral Legal Hiring: Jesse Reeves
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 592

  • Base Salary
    Varies by market:
    1st year: $115,000-$165,000/annual
    Summer associate: $1,000-2,500/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    11 out of 11 (2Ls only) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Advertising and Marketing • Agriculture and Food • Antitrust and Competition Law • Appellate • Associations and Foundations • Aviation and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles • Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights • Charter Schools and School Innovation • Climate Change • Cloud Computing and Cyber-Security • Colleges and Universities • Community Development and Tax Credit Financing • Compliance • Construction • Corporate • Data Security and Privacy • Defense, Aerospace and National Security • eDiscovery, Data and Document Management • Energy, Telecommunications and Utilities • Entertainment, Media and Sports • Environmental • Federal Procurement • Finance, Insolvency and Restructuring • Financial Institutions • Franchising and Distribution • Global Services • Government Finance • Government Relations and Lobbying • Government Services • Health Care • Higher Education • Immigration and Global Mobility Services • Insurance Recovery and Counseling • Intellectual Property • International Trade • Internet and Technology Law • Labor and Employment Law • Life Sciences • Litigation • Logistics and Transportation • Manufacturing • Mergers and Acquisitions • Motorsports • Private Client Services • Real Estate • School Law • Securities • Tax • White Collar and Investigations

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