Mayer Brown LLP at a Glance


  • “Good client mix”
  • “Excellent compensation”
  • “Reasonable control over scheduling”


  • “Face time emphasis”
  • “Few female partners or mentors”
  • “Lack of business development incentives”

About Mayer Brown LLP

Mayer Brown is a leading international law firm with offices in key business centers across the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East and employs more than 1,500 lawyers-among the 25 largest law firm workforces in the world. Serving a majority of the Fortune 100, the firm is renowned for top-flight corporate, finance, and appellate work. Mayer Brown serves many of the world's largest companies, including a significant proportion of the Fortune 100, FTSE 100, CAC 40, DAX, Hang Seng and Nikkei index companies, and more than half of the world's largest banks. Mayer Brown was honored by Law360 in 2016 as one of three law firms named Firm of the Year. Additionally, Mayer Brown earned Practice of the Year honors from the publication in seven categories: Appellate, Banking, Class Action, Food & Beverage, Life Sciences, Technology, and Transportation. Mayer Brown's attorneys and practices have been recognized by Chambers, the Financial Times, BTI Consulting's Client Service Performance Survey, and IFLR for their work around the globe. Its clients hail from nearly two dozen sectors, including aviation, business and technology sourcing, chemicals, construction, e-commerce, energy, health care, hospitality, information technology, infrastructure, mining, outsourcing, private investment, rail, real estate, shipping, sports and entertainment, and telecommunications.

Giddy Up

It was the summer of 1879, and a Chicago court was hearing arguments about the sale of a lame horse. The defendant was David Mayer, a wealthy local merchant. His attorney was his younger brother Levy, who had just graduated from Yale Law School. The Mayers lost. They appealed to a higher court, as did their adversary: a 30-year-old, self-taught Czech lawyer named Adolf Kraus. The Mayers felt they should have prevailed; Kraus believed he was entitled to $200, not the $25 he'd been awarded.

The appeal ended in a settlement two years later, under most unusual circumstances: the younger Mayer had impressed Kraus in the courtroom, so Kraus asked him to form a partnership. Each man contributed $100 to satisfy the pending claim and erase any conflict of interest. They quickly discovered that they worked well together.

During the early decades of the twentieth century Mayer and Kraus's Chicago-based firm grew, adding attorneys and partners, and became known for its work in some of the era's most notable cases. The firm represented owners of the Iroquois Theater in Chicago when a 1903 fire killed 600 people (many exits were blocked because the doors only opened inward). The theater owners were exonerated, but the outcome of the case resulted in tougher fire codes that were adopted in municipalities across the nation. By 1970, the firm-then known as Mayer, Brown & Platt-began expansion that would see it doubled in size, opening offices throughout the United States and in Europe.

A Transatlantic Merger

In 2002, Mayer, Brown & Platt merged with U.K.-based Rowe & Maw. The latter firm dated back to 1895, and at the time of the combination, it boasted 250 attorneys and locations in London, Paris, and Frankfurt. A streamlined moniker was introduced in 2007 as the firm became known as Mayer Brown, and the following year it merged again, joining forces with JSM, one of the largest firms in Asia. This brought the Mayer Brown brand to major hubs in the region, including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Guangzhou, and Singapore (in Asia, it's officially known as Mayer Brown JSM). The firm has had a close association with Brazilian law firm Tauil & Chequer Advogados since 2008, and in 2015 launched an association in Hong Kong with the mainland China law firm of Jingtian & Goncheng, one of the first private and independent partnership law firms in China. In the past two years, the firm has opened offices in Dubai-it's first in the Middle East-and Mexico City.

Appellate Expertise

Although Mayer Brown's practices cover everything from banking to real estate, it's particularly well-known for its appellate work. In fact, it was one of the first firms to establish a dedicated Supreme Court practice, which it formed in the early 1980s with recruits from the US solicitor general's office. The appellate practice includes more than 45 lawyers and has argued over 225 cases before the United States Supreme Court, representing either parties or amici in approximately 15 cases each term for the past several years, and arguing an average of four per term. In addition, Mayer Brown's lawyers have argued hundreds of cases in federal and state appellate courts across the nation. They have briefed and argued Supreme Court cases involving landmark rulings on issues such as constitutional standing for alleged statutory violations, enforcement of arbitration provisions, and punitive damages.


January 2017
Firm of the Year 

For the first time in its history, Mayer Brown was named a "Firm of the Year" by Law360. Mayer Brown finished in a first-place tie with Skadden Arps, with King & Spaulding finishing in the third spot. The publication cited Mayer Brown's victory in the landmark Supreme Court decision of Spokeo v. Robins,  as well as its strong practice-area capabilities in industries such as technology, food and beverage, banking, transportation, and life sciences.

Moving On Up

Mayer Brown announced the promotion of 21 lawyers in nine practices and seven offices in the Americas, Europe, and Asia to the firm's partnership. Each new partner was recognized for his or her superior legal work and client service, which long have been hallmarks of the firm's partners. Mayer Brown takes great pride in each class of newly promoted partners because they represent the firm's ability to grow from within and bring new vitality and enthusiasm to the partnership.

December 2016
FT 10

For the first time ever, Mayer Brown was ranked in the "FT 10," the top group of the most innovative U.S. law firms ranked by The Financial Times. In the 2016 edition of its annual report,  Mayer Brown was awarded "Standout" for The Mobility-Based Global People Solution. The firm was "Highly Commended" for advising a major US bank on the "creation of a new, triple-A rated asset class backed by monthly wireless device payments."  In addition, the firm was "Commended" for helping Yum! Brands pull off "three concurrent deals, including an unprecedented whole securitization of one of its subsidiary businesses, Taco Bell." Finally, partner Lori Lightfoot was named one of the top 10 innovative lawyers in North America for her work to restore trust between police and citizens of Chicago.

November 2016
Lucky Number Seven

For the seventh consecutive year, Mayer Brown received a perfect 100 score in the 2016 Human Rights Campaign Foundation's annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI) and earned the "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality" distinction. The CEI serves as a tool to rate American businesses on their treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees and their families, and on their demonstration of corporate commitment to LGBT equality.

The Best Lawyers

Mayer Brown was one of the top-performing law firms in the 2017 ranking of "Best Law Firms" by US News/Best Lawyers. The firm achieved first-tier rankings in 114 national and metropolitan categories, including 31 national first-tier rankings. In addition, Mayer Brown was named "Firm of the Year" in two categories: "Communications Law" and "Appellate Practice." These outstanding rankings demonstrate high client satisfaction with the legal services Mayer Brown lawyers deliver across a broad range of practice areas and geographies.

June 2016
You Better Recognize

The BTI Consulting Group, a highly regarded research firm that analyzes the legal services industry, repeatedly recognized Mayer Brown in the past year. In September 2016, the firm was named to BTI's "Fearsome Four Honor Roll" - the list of law firms feared most in litigation - in The BTI Litigation Outlook 2017. The report also included Mayer Brown in the top 15 percent of all firms for class action lawsuits. In June 2016, Mayer Brown was ranked in the top 10 of the 2016 "BTI Clientopia 24" in four different industries for having the strongest client relationships.

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Mayer Brown LLP

71 South Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 782-0600


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman: Paul Theiss
  • Managing Partner: Kenneth S. Geller
  • Recruiting Chairs: J. Bradley Keck (National), Matt Ingber (New York), Ann Marie Duffy & Brian Netter (DC), David Saye (Charlotte), Mike Molano (Palo Alto), Debra Bogo-Ernst & Kevin Rang (Chicago), Michael F. Kerr (Los Angeles), Sharon A. Israel & Shawn O’Brien (Houston)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 1,600

  • Base Salary

    US 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
    8th year: $315,000
    Summer associate: Based on the annualized salary of $180,000

  • Summer Associate Offers
    64 out of 64 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Banking & Finance • Capital Markets • Corporate & Securities • Cybersecurity & Data Privacy • Employment & Benefits • Financial Services Regulatory & Enforcement • Global Mobility & Migration • Government Relations & Public Law • Intellectual Property • International Trade • Joint Ventures & Strategic Alliances • Litigation & Dispute Resolution • National Security • Real Estate • Restructuring, Bankruptcy & Insolvency • Tax • Technology Transactions • Wealth Management: Trusts, Estates & Foundations 

Major Office Locations

  • Charlotte, NC • Chicago, IL • Houston, TX • Los Angeles, CA • New York, NY • Palo Alto, CA • Washington, DC Bangkok • Beijing • Brasilia* • Brussels • Dubai • Düsseldorf • Frankfurt • Hanoi • Ho Chi Minh City • Hong Kong • London • Mexico City • Paris • Rio de Janeiro* • Sao Paulo* • Shanghai • Singapore *Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown