Jenner & Block LLP at a Glance

Uppers

  • “Compensation”
  • “Friendly atmosphere”
  • “Commitment to pro bono”

Downers

  • “Hours”
  • “Unpredictable schedule”
  • “Sky-high expectations”

About Jenner & Block LLP

Windy City Roots

The firm now known as Jenner & Block was founded in 1914 as Newman, Poppenhusen & Stern by a trio of lawyers with big-name Chicago firm pedigrees. In its early years, the firm advised the city's banks, mortgage houses and blue-collar corporations. Once the 1920s roared around, however, Jenner & Block took on a decidedly more high-profile identity as litigator Edward Johnston developed into one of the nation's foremost antitrust attorneys. With a victory in the landmark 1925 U.S. Supreme Court case of Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association v. United States, in which he dismantled the Justice Department's argument that the exchange of information by trade association members constituted a violation of antitrust law, Johnston cemented the firm's reputation in that practice area.

Johnston proved to be the first of a string of legal stars who propelled the firm through the heart of the 20th century. Judge Floyd Thompson, a former Illinois Supreme Court chief justice, brought big-name clients to the firm, just as the Great Depression's onset forced the firm to shift its focus from transactions and litigation to such countercyclical practices as restructuring. Later, firm partner Albert Jenner ascended to the nameplate, securing his legacy thanks in large part to an enduring friendship with enterprising industrialist Henry Crown. Jenner, an antitrust and securities specialist at heart, later drew attention for his dogged criticism of the House Committee on Un-American Activities; the firm challenged the body's actions after it persecuted a client in a case that ultimately led to the committee's dissolution. Jenner was also the controversial minority counsel to the House Judiciary Committee investigating whether to impeach President Nixon over Watergate. When the Republicans ousted him for his apparently pro-impeachment stance, the Democrats named him assistant majority counsel.

Moving Ahead

Fast-forward to the present. Jenner & Block now numbers 550 lawyers in offices in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC. The client roster is a blend of old-timey corporate institutions-including General Dynamics, General Electric, and General Motors-and trendy players in the worlds of business, the arts and entertainment, and technology.

With more than 400 litigators and dispute lawyers, the firm boasts one of the country's leading litigation and arbitration practices. Jenner is home to 12 fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a former associate attorney general and former acting solicitor general of the United States, two former US attorneys, 11 former AUSAs, and a former Illinois Supreme Court chief justice. The firm has made a name for itself handling high-profile investigations, including representing its then-chairman, Anton Valukas, in his role as court-appointed examiner in the Lehman Bros. bankruptcy and, more recently, conducting an investigation and producing an internal report to the General Motors board of directors related to events leading up to its faulty ignition switch recalls.

Jenner's corporate department has made a string of hires over the past few years, growing to more than 100 lawyers. The practice is oriented around M&A, but covers an array of complex transactions and counseling for a wide range of clients, from large public companies to middle-market and emerging companies, to closely-held family businesses and private equity and other funds and investors.

Jenner & Block has also been recognized for its commitments to diversity and pro bono. The Women in Law Empowerment Forum awarded Jenner its 2016 "Gold Standard" certification and the firm has earned a perfect rating in the Human Rights Campaign's "Corporate Equality Index" survey for 12 consecutive years for its policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality. Jenner encourages its associates to seek out pro bono matters from day one and does not limit the amount of pro bono work undertaken, which may be why The American Lawyer has ranked Jenner as the #1 US law firm for pro bono eight times since 1998 and one of the top 10 pro bono firms every year since 1990.                                                                           

IN THE NEWS

June 2017
Rooney Rule

The firm signed on to pilot a version of the "Rooney Rule" to boost diversity in leadership ranks. Following its participation in Diversity Lab's Hackathon, the firm joined 29 other law firms in a year-long pilot program designed to improve diversity in law firms and legal departments.

May 2017
Free At Last

Two pro bono clients were freed from prison. Convicted of arson in 1993 when he was 14 years old, Adam Gray was serving mandatory life in prison without parole. In post-conviction litigation, the firm presented advances in fire science showing there was no arson; the State agreed to dismiss all charges. Patrick Pursley was released on bond after more than 23 years in prison for murder, when the firm won him a new trial; evidence established that a gun recovered from his residence did not-contrary to evidence presented at his 1994 trial-five bullets found at the crime scene.

June 2016 - May 2017
Big Deals

Firm transactional lawyers represented clients in three significant transactions: Lonza Group in its $5.5 billion acquisition of Capsugel, a leading maker of capsules and other dosage forms used for delivery of drugs and food supplements; US Foods Holding Corp., the second-largest food distributor in the US, in its high-profile $1.175 billion IPO-at the time, the largest IPO for an operating company and second largest IPO overall for 2016; and Vivid Seats, a Chicago-based independent marketplace for tickets to live sports, concerts and theatre events in connection with a growth equity investment by Vista Equity Partners.

March - June 2017
A Clean Sweep

During the US Supreme Court's October 2016 Term, Partner Adam Unikowsky argued three cases in the Court in a one-month period between March 20 and April 18, 2017, and won all three, unanimously. During the Court's October 2015 term, Adam won two additional Supreme Court cases. Adam's five Supreme Court wins over the past two terms is among the highest of any attorney in the country.

February 2017
College CRISPR Conflict
A team of firm patent lawyers won a victory before the USPTAB in a highly watched case regarding who owns the patent for a groundbreaking gene-editing technology. CRISPR revolutionizes the field of gene editing by allowing scientists to remove and replace genes in an easier and more effective manner than previously thought possible. The PTAB agreed that the firm's client's-The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard-patents on the use of CRISPR to edit animal and human cells does not overlap with the patent applications of University of California-Berkeley and the University of Vienna.

August 2016
A-Listers

Jenner & Block was named to the 2016 American Lawyer A-List, recognizing the 20 top-performing AmLaw 200 firms across the United States based on financials, pro bono, diversity, and associate satisfaction/quality of life metrics. This marked the sixth time the firm has been on the A-List since it was created byAmLaw in 2003, as an effort to look beyond pure business performance and identify which of the legal profession's 200 largest law firms "set the standard for their peers" across a broader range of benchmarks."

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Jenner & Block LLP

353 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: (312) 222-9350

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Terrence J. Truax
  • Hiring Attorney: Charlotte L. Wager
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 523

  • Base Salary
    All offices
    1st year: $180,000
    Summer associate: $3,461.55/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    38 out of 38 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Appellate and Supreme Court Practice • Aviation and Aerospace • Communications, Internet & Technology • Complex Commercial Litigation • Content, Media & Entertainment • Corporate • Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation • Energy • Environmental and Workplace Health & Safety Law • Government Contracts • Government Controversies and Public Policy Litigation • Insurance Recovery and Counseling • International Arbitration • Investigations, Compliance and Defense • Japan Practice • Litigation Department • Mergers & Acquisitions • Patent Litigation and Counseling • Privacy and Information Governance • Private Wealth • Products Liability • Professional Responsibility • Real Estate • Restructuring and Bankruptcy • Securities Litigation and Enforcement • Tax • Transactional Department 

Major Office Locations

  • Chicago, IL • Los Angeles, CA • New York, NY • Washington, DC London