Fish & Richardson P.C. at a Glance


  • “Real responsibility”
  • “Interesting work”
  • “Smart people”


  • “Quite a lot of pressure”
  • “Always on call”
  • “Billable hours”

The Buzz

  • “Best in patents”
  • “Top notch lawyers”
  • “Volume over substance”
  • “Conflicts?”

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.


March 2015

Patent Petition Powerhouse

Fish was involved in the most Patent Trial and Appeal Board petitions filed in 2014 on behalf of petitioners, with 94.  In addition, 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.

January 2015

Just Try and File More than Fish

Fish was named the No. 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. 

Top in Trademark

Fish was named a top trademark law firm for the fifth consecutive year by World Trademark Review 1000, a guide to "the world's leading trademark legal services providers." WTR noted that, "Fish & Richardson is a formidable force nationally" and is "in a league of its own" for its "keen awareness of the commercial issues at play in trademark disputes." 

November 2014

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 "Law Firm of the Year" designation in U.S. News & Best Lawyers® 2015 "Best Law Firms" rankings.

No. 1 for 11 Years and Counting

Fish was named the No. 1 patent litigation firm in the country for the eleventh year in a row by Corporate Counsel magazine. The annual Corporate Counsel survey  found that Fish handled a total of 200 patent cases in 2013-nearly twice as many cases as its nearest competitor.

June 2014

Fish of Many Colors

Fish was ranked in the top 15 percent of law firms for diversity, according to the "2014 American Lawyer (Am Law) Diversity Scorecard."  Fish was ranked 33 out of 223 firms, based on the number of minorities in its offices. 

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Fish & Richardson P.C.

One Marina Park Drive
Boston, MA 02210-1878
Phone: (617) 542-5070
Fax: (617) 542-8906


  • Employer Type: Private
  • President & CEO: Peter J. Devlin
  • Hiring Attorney: Michael Headley
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 365

  • Employment Contact
    Kelly Mixon Morgan
    National Director of Attorney Hiring
    Phone: (214) 747-5070
    Fax: (214) 747-2091

    Recruiting contacts for all locations can be found at

  • Base Salary
    All offices
    1st year: $160,000
    Summer associate: $3,100/week

    The firm says: Associate base salary (excluding bonuses) is determined by a combination lock-step merit system. Advancement at every level is based exclusively on merit. Our bonus system is a merit based system, rewarding associates for dedication and high quality work. We consider factors such as substantive legal work, practice-building efforts, teamwork, substantial non-billable contributions, hours billed, and dedication and sacrifice in meeting client needs.

  • Summer Associate Offers
    30 out of 32 (2014)

  • 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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