Dorsey & Whitney LLP at a Glance


  • “Lawyers with integrity and character”
  • “Big clients and interesting cases”
  • “Lifestyle”


  • “Not being in the headquarter office in Minneapolis”
  • “Lack of non-partner track positions”
  • “Market pay would be nice”

The Buzz

  • “Cravath of Minnesota”
  • “Great Culture
  • “Midwestern”
  • “Small but 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.


April 2015

Getting Around

Dorsey represented Ninebot Limited and its affiliates in its business combination with Segway Inc. Ninebot Limited is a leading Chinese short-distance personal transportation vehicle maker based in Beijing. Dorsey advised Ninebot on all phases of this complicated international transaction, including structuring and financing issues relating to the transaction, as well as those relating to M&A, regulatory, real estate and intellectual property.

February 2015

M&A Powerhouse

According to Thomson Reuters, 2014 was the 21st 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 2014.  Dorsey ranked sixth for the number of completed M&A deals with a U.S. target (any size) in 2014.

November 2014

Keepin' it 100

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

October 2014

Making an Impact

Dorsey's Seattle office received a silver 2014 Community Impact Award for Pro Bono Services from the Seattle Business magazine. The Community Impact Awards honor Washington state businesses and organizations that are making a tangible, measurable impact on their communities. In 2014, Dorsey lawyers across the firm performed a total of 37,309 hours of Challenge pro bono work.  

August 2014

Working Hard for Working Women

Dorsey has once again earned a place on the 2014 Working Mother & Flex-Time Lawyers Best Law Firms for Women list. This is the seventh time Dorsey has been recognized as one of the "Best Law Firms for Women."

March 2014

Leaders in Diversity

Elizabeth Rozon Baksh has been selected for the 2014 Fellows Program of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, a national organization made up of the legal profession's top general counsel and managing partners. Ms. Baksh joins a class of more than 170 attorneys from around the country who have been selected as LCLD Fellows for 2014-the largest class in the program's history. Dorsey & Whitney has been a Member of LCLD since 2011. 


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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 2015: 562

  • 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
    33 out of 34 (2014)

  • 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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