Mayer Brown LLP at a Glance


  • “Promotion to partnership is realistic endeavor”
  • “The firm's round-the-clock resources”
  • “The casual atmosphere”


  • “Bonus hours requirement is very high”
  • “No clear vacation policy”
  • “Inability to choose practice area”

The Buzz

  • “Strong appellate work”
  • “Up-and-coming Middle East practice”
  • “Work you to the bone”
  • “Nerds”

About Mayer Brown LLP

Mayer Brown is a leading international law firm with offices in key business centers across the Americas, Europe, and Asia, and employs more than 1,500 lawyers-among the 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. The firm is routinely named to the BTI Client Service A-Team, an annual ranking of the top 30 law firms based on independent survey feedback from corporate counsel at global and Fortune 1000 companies. 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, energy, health care, infrastructure, mining, rail, real estate, shipping, sports and entertainment, telecommunications, construction, e-commerce, hospitality, information technology, chemicals, private investment, and outsourcing.

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). In 2015, the firm 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. The firm plans to open a Dubai office, it's first in the Middle East. 

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 solicitor general's office. The appellate practice includes more than 45 attorneys 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. The appellate lawyers 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.


June 2016
Global 20

For the fifth consecutive year, Mayer Brown was named to Law360's "Global 20" list, which recognizes those law firms that handled the most substantial, complex and diverse global work, and which had the greatest worldwide presence during the previous year. Law360 noted that Mayer Brown's global expansion came after a series of "significant moves," such as the approval of the firm's association with mainland China firm Jingtian & Gongcheng and the launch of new offices in Mexico City and Dubai.

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 October 2015, Mayer Brown was described as a "Complex Commercial Litigation Powerhouse" in BTI's Litigation Outlook 2016 report. In December 2015, Mayer Brown was ranked in the top half of BTI's annual "Client Service 30." Finally, in June 2016, Mayer Brown was included in BTI's list of the "Most Recommended Law Firms" for the sixth consecutive year. Mayer Brown was one of only 25 firms recommended by general counsel more than five consecutive years.

December 2015
Innovative Lawyers

For the sixth consecutive year, Mayer Brown was ranked among the most innovative U.S. law firms by The Financial Times.  In the 2015 edition of its annual report, Mayer Brown was "Highly Commended" for its work in two matters: (1) Helping to create alternative investment vehicles to improve the performance of 401(k) retirement plans; and (2) securing judicial approval of a complex settlement arising from the crisis in the housing market. In addition, the firm was "Commended" for its representation of pharmaceutical companies against class action lawsuits. 

January 2016
Moving on Up

In January 2016, Mayer Brown announced the promotion of 27 lawyers in nine practices and 10 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.

November 2015
Perfect Score

For the sixth 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 (LGBT) employees and their families, and on their demonstration of corporate commitment to LGBT equality.

Firm of the Year

Mayer Brown was one of the top-performing law firms in the 2016 ranking of "Best Law Firms" by US News-Best Lawyers. The firm achieved first-tier rankings in 109 national and metropolitan categories, including 30 national first-tier rankings. In addition, Mayer Brown was named "Firm of the Year" in two categories: "Securitization & Structured Finance Law" and "Information Technology Law." These outstanding rankings demonstrate high client satisfaction with the legal services Mayer Brown lawyers deliver across a broad range of practice areas and geographies. 

- Show Less + Show Full Description

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
  • National Hiring Partner: J. Bradley Keck
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 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
    Summer associate: Based on the annualized salary of $180,000  

  • Summer Associate Offers
    56 out of 57 (2Ls) (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Banking & Finance
    Corporate & Securities
    Employment & Benefits
    Financial Services Regulatory & Enforcement
    Government/Global Trade
    Intellectual Property
    Litigation & Dispute Resolution
    Real Estate
    Restructuring, Bankruptcy & Insolvency
    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
  • Brussels
  • 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
- Show Less + Show More