Dorsey & Whitney LLP at a Glance


  • “International experience”
  • “Genuinely enjoyable coworkers”
  • “The hours are good”


  • “Compensation is below-market”
  • “Transparency”
  • “The building we work in is a little old” [Salt Lake City]

The Buzz

  • “Best in Minneapolis!”
  • “Good work/life balance”
  • “OK reputation”
  • “Surprisingly good”

About Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Dorsey & Whitney was founded in 1912 when William Lancaster, a prominent Minneapolis lawyer joined forces with David Simpson, a Minnesota Supreme Court justice. The pair established their practice for one very simple reason: the First National Bank of Minneapolis, of which Lancaster was a director, needed a reliable law firm to handle its growing business.

Introducing Dorsey

Today Dorsey is one of the largest law firms in the United States, with a client list that includes more than one-third of the Fortune 100 and more than half of Minnesota's public companies. Key clients include U.S. Bank, General Mills, UnitedHealth Group, 3M, Delta Air Lines, St. Jude Medical, Hormel, Mayo Clinic, Canon and SUPERVALU Inc.

The name Dorsey became connected with the firm in 1913 when James Dorsey joined as an associate. He took the reins after Lancaster and Simpson passed away and drove the firm's growth through expanded corporate, banking and financial services practices. In fact, Dorsey was so interested in the world of finance, he left the firm to try his hand at investment banking; eventually he gave that up and returned to law.

Several partners passed through the Dorsey doors (and across its letterhead), but the name Dorsey & Whitney was finalized in 1981. At the time, Arthur Whitney, who led the firm's public finance practice, was one of Dorsey's oldest surviving partners. The firm's ranks have also included such notable attorneys as Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, Professor William Prosser and Vice President Walter Mondale.

General Practice with Boutique Depth in IP

Over the last decade, the firm has dominated the mergers and acquisitions scene, advising on transactions large and small, from multinational acquisitions to small family business sales. The firm's securities litigation and enforcement department is also highly regarded, having represented financial institutions, broker/dealers, issuers, underwriters and individuals nationwide.

And though it is a general practice firm, Dorsey & Whitney's intellectual property practice ranks right up with most any of the smaller specialty boutiques. Besides litigation, Dorsey offers specialized IP services like licensing, patent prosecution and brand management. It also fields a dedicated team of clean tech IP attorneys who serve emerging companies (think carbon capture and sequestering technology, tidal technology, and fuel cells and next-gen batteries).

Equality History

People around the world learned Dorsey's name in April 2009, when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of Dorsey's plaintiffs in a landmark decision that overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The case, which Dorsey handled pro bono in partnership with Lambda Legal, was an unprecedented victory for marriage equality in the United States.

But that's not the only reason Dorsey is known internationally. The firm's small but active international practices are divided into regional units, including Europe, Canada, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, India and Israel. The India practice is run out of the Hong Kong office; Latin American matters are coordinated between California and New York; and attorneys across the U.S. and in London work in the Israeli practice group. 


January 2014

M&A Powerhouse
According to Thomson Reuters, 2013 was the twentieth consecutive year that Dorsey has ranked in the top 10 among all law firms for the number of U.S. M&A deals completed.  The firm ranked fifth for the number of announced Mid-Market M&A deals (values up to $500 million) with a U.S. target in 2013.  Dorsey ranked sixth for the number of completed M&A deals with a U.S. target (any size) in 2013.

A Pro Bono Beacon

2013 marked the twenty-first consecutive year that Dorsey met the ABA Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge by surpassing its commitment to contribute 3 percent of billable hours to Challenge pro bono work. In 2013, Dorsey was a recipient of Opportunity International's Alfred Whittaker Founder's Award. Opportunity International is a nonprofit organization that provides financial products and strategies to over five million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world. Since 2010, thirteen Dorsey lawyers have provided approximately 1,180 hours of pro bono legal support to Opportunity International on many important projects.

December 2013

A Perfect Score
Dorsey has received a 100 percent rating-a perfect score-on the Human Rights Campaign's annual Corporate Equality Index for the eighth consecutive year. The index measures employer performance in ensuring fair and open workplaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and consumers.

October 2013

Federal Superstar
Annette Jarvis, Partner-in-Charge of Transactions and Firm-wide Management Committee member received a 2013 Distinguished Service award from the Utah chapter of the Federal Bar Association. The Distinguished Service Award recognizes lawyers and judges who have made significant contributions to the federal law practice and the federal judiciary in Utah over the course of their careers.

August 2013

Women Welcome
Dorsey earned a place on the 2013 Working Mother & Flex-Time Lawyers Best Law Firms for Women list. This is the sixth time Dorsey has been recognized as one of the "Best Law Firms for Women."

May 2013

Now that's a Healthy Deal
Dorsey provided legal counsel to the Mayo Clinic in connection with the Destination Medical Center (DMC). The DMC initiative is an unprecedented partnership between the state, local jurisdictions, Mayo Clinic and community organizations aimed at securing Mayo Clinic's, Rochester's and Minnesota's status as a global destination for health care. It is the largest economic development initiative in Minnesota state history and is one of the largest in the country. The project combines of $585 million in public investment and $50 billion in private investment over the next 20 years.

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Dorsey & Whitney LLP

50 South Sixth Street
Suite 1500
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: (612) 340-2600
Fax: (612) 340-2868


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Ken Cutler
  • Hiring Partner: Bridget Logstrom Koci
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 551

  • Employment Contact
    Harry Poulos
    Director of Lawyer Recruiting
    Phone: (612) 492-5165
    Fax: (612) 340-2868

  • Base Salary
    Minneapolis, MN
    1st year: $110,000
    Summer associate: $2,100/week

    Other locations: Varies by location

  • Summer Associate Offers
    25 out of 26 (2Ls) (2013)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Benefits & Compensation
    Corporate & Transactions
    Finance & Restructuring
    Intellectual Property
    Labor, Employment & Immigration
    Public Finance
    Real Estate
    Regulatory Affairs
    Tax, Trusts, Estates & Non-Profits

Major Office Locations

  • Minneapolis, MN (HQ)
  • Anchorage, AK
  • Costa Mesa, CA
  • Denver, CO
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Fargo, ND
  • Missoula, MT
  • New York, NY
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Seattle, WA
  • Washington, DC
  • Wilmington, DE
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Shanghai
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver
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