Fish & Richardson P.C. at a Glance


  • “Best patent litigation work”
  • “Minimal politics”
  • “Flexibility in working from home”


  • “High billable goal”
  • “Boys’ club mentality”
  • “Below-market bonuses”

The Buzz

  • “Top IP firm”
  • “Elitist”
  • “Patent expertise”
  • “Significant responsibility for young lawyers”

About Fish & Richardson P.C.

An influential player in the development of American intellectual property law, Fish & Richardson has evolved with the inventions of its clients: from the days of the Industrial Revolution through the dot-com boom (and subsequent subprime-propelled economic bust), the firm has remained a leader in patent law while adding a slew of other practice areas as the years have rolled by.

Fish First

Founded in Boston in 1878, Fish & Richardson's early days were marked by its representation of giants of American innovation. The firm spent some of its first years advising the likes of Alexander Graham Bell and, later, Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers. Fish & Richardson played integral roles in the acquisition and defense of patents for such seminal concepts as the telephone, the radio, the automobile and the steam turbine.

Name partner and firm founder Frederick P. Fish went into business with former U.S. Senator Bainbridge Wadleigh of New Hampshire, forming a firm called Wadleigh & Fish. Laying the firm's IP foundation, Fish-who also served as president of AT&T in the early 1900s-not only represented Alexander Graham Bell in over 600 patent cases but also argued his fair share of patent cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. William K. Richardson, who went on to have his name added to the stationery, joined Fish in 1889. A few years later the firm opened a branch office in New York.

Go Your Own Way

Frederick Fish died in 1930-at the time of his death, it was reported that he had appeared in more Supreme Court patent cases than did any other lawyer to date. Richardson passed away two decades later in 1951. In 1969, the firm's New York office spun off, and the Boston headquarters took the moniker Fish & Richardson.

Through the 1970s and 1980s, Fish continued to lead the way in patent law, helping clients like Bose to patent acoustic equipment and delving into medical sciences work. But the address remained Boston: by the late 1980s, the firm still had just one office.

Growth Spurt

That didn't last for long, however. Fish opened its DC office in 1989, followed by an office in Silicon Valley in 1993, the better to handle patent matters for major tech companies like Adobe Systems.

The rest of the 1990s into the 21st century brought continued growth for the firm, with offices in Delaware, Georgia, Minnesota, New York, Southern California and Texas sprouting up. Its first international location in Munich, Germany opened in 2007.

Focused but Not Boring

Fish's focus remains tight to this day. It sticks to what it knows best-intellectual property strategy and counseling, intellectual property litigation and business litigation-but its breadth is reflected in the list of industries it serves. The firm handles IP matters for clients in over a dozen industries, including academic research, transportation, energy, clean tech, consumer products, financial services, aerospace and defense, new media, manufacturing, telecommunications and more. As a result, its client list covers companies as diverse as Calvin Klein, Microsoft, Boston Scientific, Bank of America and Carnegie Mellon University.

From IP Springs Commercial Litigation

Expanding its expertise, Fish has continued to grow its commercial litigation practice-and it's no wonder, the firm's commercial litigation group goes hand in hand with the firm's intellectual property litigation practice. The two are related, in that the knowledge and experience that come from a long history of IP work gives Fish an advantage in trying intricate, complex, high-profile and high-stakes commercial cases. The firm has been significantly involved in the three largest litigations-in terms of amount in controversy-in U.S. history: Enron, WorldCom and the 9/11 litigation. The firm has also represented clients such as Mark Cuban, businessman and owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, and video game legend and space tourist Richard Garriott.


November 2015
Busiest PTAB Firm

Fish was involved in the most Patent Trial and Appeal Board petitions filed in 2014 on behalf of petitioners, with 94. Managing IP also ranked the leading PTAB law firms for the first time in the annual "IP Stars" survey, and Fish received a "Tier 1" ranking for PTAB litigation.

November 2015
Sweeping the Competition

For four straight years, Fish has swept the national top "Tier 1" rankings across the entire spectrum of IP law, and the firm won the coveted "Patent Litigation Law Firm of the Year" designation in U.S. News & Best Lawyers® 2015 "Best Law Firms" rankings.

October 2015
No. 1 for 12 Consecutive Years

Fish was named the No. 1 patent litigation firm in the country for the twelfth year in a row by Corporate Counsel  magazine. The annual Corporate Counsel Patent Litigation survey found that Fish handled a total of 201 federal district court patent cases in 2014-more than twice as many cases as its nearest competitor-and was on track to surpass that number in 2015.

June 2015
Fish of Many Colors

Fish was ranked in the top 20 percent of law firms for diversity, according to the "2015 American Lawyer (Am Law) Diversity Scorecard." Fish was ranked 37 out of 220 firms, based on the number of minorities in its offices.

January 2015
Just Try To File More

Fish & Richardson has been named the #1 firm at the International Trade Commission (ITC), with the most cases filed in 2014 according to The National Law Journal. Fish handles more ITC patent litigation-about 15 percent of all active patent cases at the ITC each year-than any other law firm.

Tops in Trademark

Fish was named a top trademark law firm for the sixth consecutive year by World Trademark Review 1000, a guide to "the world's leading trademark legal services providers." WTR noted, "commercial enterprises flock to the doors of national heavyweight Fish & Richardson for cast-iron protection and robust defense of their brand rights."

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Fish & Richardson P.C.

One Marina Park Drive
Boston, MA 02210-1878
Phone: (617) 542-5070


  • Employer Type: Private
  • President & CEO: Peter J. Devlin
  • Hiring Attorney: Betty Chen
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 365

  • Base Salary
    All offices
    1st year: $180,000
    2nd year: $190,000 
    3rd year: $210,000
    4th year: $235,000
    5th year: $260,000
    6th year: $280,000
    7th year: $300,000
    Summer associate: $3,500/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    30 out of 30 (2Ls) (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Patent Litigation
    Commercial Litigation
    Patent Prosecution

Major Office Locations

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Dallas, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • New York, NY
  • San Diego, CA
  • Silicon Valley, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Wilmington, DE
  • Munich
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