Downey Brand LLP at a Glance


  • “Substantive work given to young associates”
  • “The reputation of the firm in the area”
  • “The (relatively) relaxed nature of the office”


  • “Unpredictability of workflow”
  • “The billable hours”

About Downey Brand LLP

Founded in 1926, when Sacramento was still a young burgeoning metropolis, the three-lawyer firm of Downey, Brand & Seymour constituted about three percent of the city's 100 or so attorneys. Now with 82 attorneys of its own, Downey Brand ranks as the city's largest law firm.

Notable in NorCal

Downey Brand handles most every type of civil matter, though its practice reflects its location in the state's capital and in the middle of the state's agricultural heartland. The firm's particular strengths include business, litigation and natural resources. The firm maintains an office in many of central California's other major commercial hubs, including San Francisco and Stockton, as well as an outpost in Reno, Nevada.

Litigating over Land--and Water

Downey Brand boasts a strong general commercial litigation practice.  Many of the region's leading companies trust their most significant litigation to Downey Brand--with good reason. Downey Brand's attorneys have a proven record of successfully handling a wide variety of  complex high-stakes commercial and business cases, covering the waterfront for both plaintiffs and defendants in business, employment, qui tam, class action, securities, antitrust, shareholder and partnership disputes, probate, healthcare, intellectual property, federal and state investigations, construction, wild land fire, real estate and environmental matters.  As but one example of a recent success, after four years of litigation, Downey Brand just obtained what is likely the highest sanction award in California state history--more than $32 million--against a state agency for egregious discovery abuses and fraud in establishing an "off-book" account without the approval of the Department of Finance.

The firm's environmental, land use and water litigation groups also enjoy great success. In the summer of 2012, the firm represented a group of local water districts and authorities in defending against a challenge brought by the Natural Resources Defense Council regarding water rights along the Sacramento River. In upholding the historic water rights granted to several water districts, the firm prevented massive contract renegotiations from being undertaken.

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Downey Brand LLP

621 Capitol Mall
18th floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 444-1000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Kevin O'Brien
  • Hiring Partner: Cassandra Ferrannini
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 82

  • Employment Contact
    Maureen Cooper
    Recruiting Director
    Phone: (916) 444-1000

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $100,000
    Summer associate: $1,700/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    3 out of 3 (2014)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Banking/Financial Institutions
    Bankruptcy and Commercial
    Climate Change & Sustainability
    Eminent Domain and Inverse Condemnation
    Employment Litigation
    Family Law
    Food & Agriculture Law
    Intellectual Property
    Land Use
    Mergers and Acquisitions
    Nonprofit Organizations
    Real Estate
    Trusts and Estates

Major Office Locations

  • Sacramento, CA (HQ)
  • Reno, NV
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Stockton, CA

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