About Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Founded in 1908, Davis Wright Tremaine has worked with small clients as well as those of Fortune 500 stature, with a focus on litigation, entertainment, environmental, intellectual property and employment law.

Winning the West Coast

More than eight decades after it kick-started to life in Seattle, Davis Wright Tremaine merged with another reputable Seattle firm and began its expansion in and beyond the Pacific Northwest. Through its Anchorage, Alaska office, Davis Wright Tremaine made headlines when it served as lead counsel in a 30,000 plaintiff lawsuit filed by seafood and fishing industry interests against Exxon Valdez for the massive oil spill off the coast of Alaska.

Gradually the firm forged a string of offices dotting the west coast, becoming the first Seattle-based firm to open up shop in San Francisco, and snagging prominent west coast names like Starbucks, Microsoft and the Seattle Times as clients. The firm also became one of the first Pacific Northwest firms to expand east when it acquired a Washington, DC telecommunications boutique and invaded the New York market through its media and entertainment, environmental and commercial litigation work.

Now, with a team of more than 500 attorneys, eight U.S. offices and a presence abroad, Davis Wright Tremaine has continued to grow in its core practice areas as well as copyright and middle-management M&A. The firm's at times controversial pro bono work has included filing habeas petitions for and representing noncitizen Guantanamo Bay detainees, as well as assisting in lawsuits which challenge legislation barring same-sex marriage. Davis Wright Tremaine attorneys have also attracted attention for their First Amendment rights work-the firm's lawyers have argued a free speech case before the Supreme Court involving videos of animal cruelty and helped pioneer the practice of applying free speech rights to advertising.

That's Entertainment

The firm has a powerful entertainment division, boasting clients like Spike Cable Networks, MTV Networks, Viacom, Discovery Communications, Comcast Communications and NBC Universal. The firm's attorneys have represented author J.D. Salinger in a copyright suit, batted off litigation against controversial filmmaker Michael Moore by citing First Amendment rights and defended CBS from FCC fines stemming from a certain legendary Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction.

Locke Down on China

Davis Wright Tremaine has also built an excellent reputation in the arena of U.S.-China trade, helping U.S. businesses make headway into the markets of Asia's largest economic tiger, and advising Chinese companies seeking to do business in the states. In 1993, Davis Wright Tremaine became the first law firm approved by the People's Republic of China to open an office in Shanghai and the firm also advises clients in the Pacific Rim through its international branch, DWT Pacific, which it formed in 2008.

Perhaps Davis Wright Tremaine's most powerful link to the Far East comes in the form of Gary Locke, who in 1997 became the first Chinese-American governor after being elected in Washington State. After two terms as governor, Locke, who had gained a reputation for being an expert on U.S.-China trade, joined Davis Wright Tremaine to lead its China practice before being plucked by President Obama to serve as commerce secretary, and later as the American ambassador to China.


June 2017
It's Not Just a Game

Davis Wright Tremaine, together with former partner Jeffrey Fisher, won a unanimous ruling in favor of Microsoft at the U.S. Supreme Court on an issue of critical importance to companies facing class action lawsuits. The plaintiff in the case, which alleges defects in Microsoft's Xbox 360 game consoles, had dropped his individual claims in order to seek immediate review of the district court's denial of class certification. The justices rejected the plaintiff's tactic, saying it invited "protracted litigation and piecemeal appeals" and found he could not appeal the adverse class certification ruling without first litigating his individual claims.

Empowering Women Sure Is Golden

Thanks to the firm's ongoing success promoting women into positions of leadership, Davis Wright Tremaine was one of just seven firms nationwide to meet all of this year's benchmarks for Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF). WILEF ranks firms with 300 or more lawyers based on a number of objective criteria, including the number of women among equity partners, among the most highly compensated partners, and in practice, office, and committee leadership roles. Only seven firms met all the criteria and Davis Wright Tremaine was one of them.

May 2017
Protecting the Freedom of Press

In recognition of the firm's decades-long work supporting journalists, defending free expression, and furthering the public's right to know, the media and First Amendment team at Davis Wright Tremaine was honored with a Freedom of the Press award by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. The group was celebrated for defending against libel claims, protecting access to information, shielding journalists from subpoenas, fighting restraints on reporting, and spearheading legislation that amplifies media freedoms. "We often take those freedoms for granted," said the committee chair, "but we might not have them at all except for the lawyers at DWT."

March 2017
Where Health Meets Dining

Helping emerging restaurant concepts-especially those in the "better for you" segment-access and close growth-oriented investments is a forte of Davis Wright Tremaine's restaurant group. Among the many stars of the practice is DC-based Cava Grill, which Forbes says could be "the next Shake Shack." With the recent close of a $30 million financing from existing investors, the firm has helped this Mediterranean-style fast-casual chain raise almost $100 million in growth equity, fueling the brand's expansion into California, New York, and other markets.

January 2017
Saving the Last Dance

A long Davis Wright Tremaine pro bono effort resulted in the first California appellate decision allowing a nonprofit to recover under the state's goodwill statute. The firm won the Court of Appeal ruling on behalf of an internationally renowned community dance school, which suffered losses to its reputation and business when a highway project forced it to relocate from its home in the Presidio. Caltrans petitioned the Calif. Supreme Court to review or de-publish the appellate opinion, but the justices declined. A trial will now follow to set the amount our client will receive from the state.

August 2016
And Another for "Innovation"!

Davis Wright Tremaine was named "Innovative Law Firm of the Year" for an unprecedented second year in a row by the International Legal Technology Association. The award recognizes DWT's success delivering "great business value and transformational impact" for clients. The firm's innovation initiative is led by DWT De Novo, a cross-functional team of lawyers, technologists, web developers, legal process improvement experts, legal solutions architects, and data analysts, who've partnered with multiple clients to add new value to the legal function. DWT was also top-ranked as a 2016 "standout" by the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Awards North America.

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Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

1201 Third Avenue
Suite 2200
Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: (206) 622-3150


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Jeff Gray
  • Hiring Partners: Ken Payson (Seattle, WA), Greg Hendershott (Bellevue, WA), Adam Caldwell (Washington, DC), Aaron Stuckey (Portland, OR), Nancy Clapp (Los Angeles, CA), Linda Steinman (New York, NY), Joe Addiego (San Francisco, CA), Joe Reece (Anchorage, AK)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 564

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $120,000
    Summer associate: $2,200/week   Seattle
    1st year: $142,500
    Summer associate: $2,500/week Washington, DC
    1st year: $150,000
    Summer associate: $2,700/week New York, NY
    1st year: $155,000
    Summer associate: $2,700/week Los Angeles, CA
    1st year: $155,000
    Summer associate: $2,700/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    7 out of 7 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Advertising, Marketing & Promotions • Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights • China • Communications Regulatory • Communications, Media, IP & Technology • Corporate and Business Transactions • Employment, Labor & Benefits • Energy • Entertainment • Environmental & Natural Resources • Financial Services • Food, Beverage, Restaurants & Hotels • Government Relations & Litigation • Health Care • Immigration • Intellectual Property • Litigation • Media & First Amendment • Payment Systems • Privacy & Security • Real Estate • Tax-Exempt Organizations • Technology • Trusts & Estates

Major Office Locations

  • Seattle, WA (HQ) • Anchorage, AK • Bellevue, WA • Los Angeles, CA • New York, NY • Portland, OR • San Francisco, CA • Washington, DC Shanghai