Cooley LLP at a Glance


  • “Entrepreneurial”
  • “Wearing flip-flops and jeans to work every day”
  • “I feel secure in my position”


  • “Lack of control of my schedule”
  • “Needs better technology”
  • “Feeling overwhelmed and under qualified”

The Buzz

  • “Tech-savy”
  • “Laid-back”
  • “Overpiced”
  • “Hipster”

About Cooley LLP

The firm that is now known as Cooley LLP was founded in 1920 in San Francisco by Arthur Cooley and Louis Crowley. The practice they started went on to become a major player in California, as it prospered in the Silicon Valley boom years (and survived the bust). Since then, the firm has expanded its reach to Southern California, the Rockies, the East Coast, the Pacific Northwest and the Far East, while maintaining a relatively comfortable size.

Tops in Tech

In 1980, Cooley opened an office in Palo Alto, the epicenter of American technology. The firm began working with venture capitalists, life sciences companies and emerging technology start-ups, representing the likes of Adobe Systems and Gilead Sciences; it also took Genentech and Amgen public in 1980 and 1983, respectively. But Cooley's IT roots pre-dated personal computers-it advised Raychem on its founding in 1957 and helped form National Semiconductor in 1959. It also advised on the formation of Draper, Gaither and Anderson, the West Coast's very first venture capital partnership. These days, the firm's Palo Alto attorneys have added expertise in intellectual property, patent issues, employment law and complex business and securities litigation.

The firm expanded into Southern California in 1992 with the launch of its San Diego office. Representing well-known San Diego companies like QUALCOMM, Amylin and Sony, the San Diego office advises on corporate and litigation matters in a variety of industries, ranging from biotechnology to Internet and electronic commerce to telecommunications.

Eastward Bound

Of course, venture funds and emerging technology shops aren't confined to California. Cooley was the first Silicon Valley firm to establish itself in the Rocky Mountain region with the opening of a Colorado office in 1993, taking advantage of the burgeoning tech boom in that state. Since then, the Colorado office has relocated to Broomfield, home of companies like Level 3 Communications and Oracle.

The firm's first East Coast office opened in Reston, Virginia in 1999, and once again, its goal was to serve technology companies (public and private), as well as entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, private equity funds and the financial services companies that work with all of the above. A second Eastern office opened in 2005 in Washington, DC.

Even More Growth

In 2006, the firm that was known as Cooley Godward (for Arthur Cooley and early partner Bill Godward) merged with New York firm Kronish Lieb Weiner & Hellman, a well-regarded boutique with an emphasis on bankruptcy, tax, and commercial and white collar litigation practices. The next stop in Cooley's expansion was Boston, where the firm opened its doors in 2007. One year later Cooley came to Seattle, where it focused on high technology and life sciences in the Pacific Northwest, as well as the Pacific Rim. In late 2011, Cooley launched its first international office with the opening of an office in Shanghai, China.

Not Just a Niche Player

Although Cooley remains best-known for its technology work and life sciences clients (Yelp!, eBay, Facebook, Google and Gilead, to name just a few), the firm has also won awards for its intellectual property litigation and privacy practices. It has also cast its net far beyond the typical Silicon Valley client, working with companies in the retail, insurance, sports and investment banking industries.


January 2014

A Great Place to Work
Cooley was named, for the first time, one of Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For." Cooley has also been consistently recognized for its family-friendly benefits and supportive work environment by national and regional publications, including Crain's New York Business, Washington Business Journal, Denver Post and Working Mother magazine.

A Capital Year
2013 was a record year for capital markets work. Cooley advised on a total of 60 public offerings in 2013, including 23 initial public offerings, raising more than $8.4 billion.

  • No. 1 law firm overall for technology and life sciences IPOs (IPO Vital Signs)
  • No. 1 law firm as company counsel for technology and life sciences IPOs (IPO Vital Signs)
  • No. 1 law firm overall for venture capital-backed IPOs (IPO Vital Signs and PitchBook)

Privacy Practice Group of the Year
For the second time in three years, Cooley's privacy practice group was named a "Privacy Practice Group of the Year" by Law360. The annual list recognizes elite practice groups based on the size, complexity and consequence of matters handled.

In selecting Cooley, Law360 highlights the firm's work on behalf of Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, eBay and Sony, noting that the group "has ingenuity to spare and [doesn't] hesitate to show it off with its industry-changing results."

November 2013

Legal Innovators
The Financial Times recognized Cooley's success as "Lawyers to the Innovators" in its US Innovative Lawyers 2013 Report. The report, now in its fourth year in the United States, celebrates law firms that "have brought original thinking and practices to business issues in the US."

October 2013 

A Capitol Combination
Cooley combined with Dow Lohnes PLLC's Washington, DC office. Through the transaction, Cooley will be adding more than 50 attorneys and many other non-lawyer professionals and industry specialists to its DC office. The Dow Lohnes group was organized around three broad industry sectors: communications, higher education and media. The deal secured Cooley's spot as a Top-30 Washington, DC law firm by size.

March 2013

The Power of One
Cooley attorney Stephen Neal was named to The National Law Journal's list of "The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America." The list recognizes the 100 lawyers in the United States "who have shaped the legal world through their work in the courtroom, at the negotiating table, in the classroom or on Capitol Hill."

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Cooley LLP

3175 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1130
Phone: (650) 843-5000
Fax: (650) 857-0663


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman: Steve Neal
  • CEO: Joe Conroy
  • Hiring Partner: Ryan Naftulin
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 770

  • Employment Contact
    Carrie Wagner
    Director of Legal Talent 
    Phone: (703) 456-8115
    Fax: (703) 456-5100

    Recruiting contacts for all locations in the Careers section of

  • Base Salary
    All offices
    1st year:  $160,000
    2nd year: $170,000
    3rd year:  $185,000
    4th year:  $210,000
    5th year:  $230,000
    6th year:  $250,000
    7th year:  $265,000
    8th year:  $280,000
    Summer associate:  $3,077/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    42 out of 45 (2013)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Antitrust & Competition
    Commercial Litigation
    Capital Markets
    Class Action Litigation
    Compensation & Benefits
    Corporate Restructuring & Bankruptcy
    Credit Finance
    Debt Securities Transactions
    Higher Education
    Emerging Companies
    Employment & Labor
    Environmental Litigation
    Estate Planning & Personal Representation
    Fund Formation
    Government Contracts
    Health Care & Life Sciences Regulatory
    Intellectual Property Litigation
    International Trade
    Life Sciences Corporate Partnering & Licensing
    Mergers & Acquisitions
    National Security
    Patent Prosecution & Counseling
    Privacy & Data Protection
    Private Equity & Buyout
    Pro Bono
    Public Companies
    Real Estate
    Securities Litigation
    Tax Transactional/Controversy
    Technology Transactions/Outsourcing
    Trademark, Copyright & Advertising
    Venture Capital
    White Collar & Regulatory Defense

Major Office Locations

  • Boston, MA
  • Broomfield, CO
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • Reston, VA
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Washington, DC
  • Shanghai
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