Fish & Richardson P.C. at a Glance


  • “Great firm culture”
  • “Flexible hours”
  • “Opportunities to learn”


  • “Secretarial/admin support”
  • “Socially insular”
  • “Work-life balance”

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 Google, Calvin Klein, Microsoft, Amazon, Bose and Carnegie Mellon University.


March 2017
Busy Patent Defenders

Fish handled 11 of the 66 patent cases that went to trial in 2016 (17%). The report from Lex Machina also showed that Fish represented defendants in 160 new patent cases last year-nearly 100 more patent cases than the next-busiest defense firm. Fish is also one of only three firms appearing on both the top firms representing plaintiffs and top firms representing defendants lists.

February 2017
Staying Active

Managing Intellectual Property magazine named Fish the #1 PTAB Law Firm in the U.S. Fish principal and co-chair of Fish's Post-Grant Practice Karl Renner, was the second most active attorney at the PTAB in 2016. Steve Schaefer, Michael Kane, and Michael Hawkins were also on the "most active" list.

January 2017
Free at Last

Fish attorneys contributed over 1,800 pro bono hours to help identify potential candidates for clemency and to prepare individual clemency petitions for those eligible prisoners. The firm's efforts yielded five clemency grant by President Obama. "Although Fish is known primarily for its work in intellectual property law, our pro bono program gives our attorneys excellent opportunities to make a difference in a wide variety of legal contexts," said Fish principal Larry Kolodney, who chairs Fish's firmwide pro bono program.  "Our work on the Clemency Project is a great example of how important and professionally gratifying this work can be." Associate Emily Petersen Garff, and said, "Calling my client to tell him that he would again be a free man was an incredible moment.  I could feel his joy through the telephone."

June 2016
Lucky Number 13

Fish was named the No. 1 patent litigation firm in the country for the thirteenth year in a row by Corporate Counsel magazine. The annual Corporate Counsel Patent Litigation survey found that Fish handled a total of 321 federal district court patent cases in 2015-almost triple the number of cases of its nearest competitor and exceeding its previous year's total by more than 50 percent.

Tops for Diversity

Vault recognized Fish & Richardson to its 2016 Best Law Firms for Diversity (including its Top 25 List for Minorities, Top 25 List for Individuals with Disabilities, and Top 25 List for Military Veterans). Adding to this distinction, Fish was ranked in the top 15 percent of law firms for diversity, according to the 2016 American Lawyer Diversity Scorecard. Fish is consistently recognized as one of the country's top law firms for diversity.

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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 Partner: Betty Chen
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 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
    31 out of 32 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Patent Litigation • Commercial Litigation • Patent Prosecution • Regulatory • Trademark • Copyright • Licensing

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