Ropes & Gray LLP at a Glance


  • “A culture that is incredibly warm, supportive, and human”
  • “Work/life balance”
  • “Great compensation”


  • “Lack of transparency”
  • “Need to always be on call”
  • “Glass offices [in Boston]—high on visual distraction, low on privacy”

The Buzz

  • “Happy place to work”
  • “Prestigious”
  • “Boston”
  • “Formal”

About Ropes & Gray LLP

Founded in 1865, Ropes & Gray has expanded in every measurable way in the 21st century, acquiring smaller boutique firms in the States while claiming new turf in Asia and Europe. Known for its corporate work, the firm has adapted to law's accelerated globalization by bolstering practice areas such as intellectual property, litigation, life sciences, and health care.

Branching Out from Beantown

John Codman Ropes and John Chipman Gray, a couple of Harvard Law School grads, founded the firm in 1865 shortly after the ending of the Civil War. While building the firm into one of the largest and most powerful in Massachusetts, the "John Cs" simultaneously carved out continued independent success: Ropes became an assistant U.S. Attorney and military historian, while Gray was a highly influential professor at Harvard Law School for four decades.

The 21st-century Ropes & Gray, however, is a wholly different incarnation-literally and figuratively-of the Boston blue-blood firm that existed well into the latter half of the 1900s. Mergers and global expansion have defined the firm's recent years, including the historic 2005 combination with New York-based IP specialist Fish & Neave. Since the merger, the firm has built out its IP practice beyond New York, with strong presences in key markets like Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Boston and Washington, DC.

Continuing to expand the firm's geographic reach, Ropes & Gray opened six offices between 2007 and 2013, in Chicago, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Seoul. The latter four served to expand the private equity practice considerably, accommodating the needs of clients increasingly looking to invest in Asian markets. There was expansion on the home front as well, as the Boston office relocated to the top floors of Prudential Tower. Ropes' share of the "Pru" (as it is affectionately known) amounts to more than 400,000 square feet (about 8 football fields) and is LEED certified.

From Microchips to Private Equity

In recent years, Ropes & Gray's Intellectual Property Litigation group has tried cases ranging from touch-screens for video games to patents covering blood glucose meters, high-performance computer chips, and computer-driven annuities. The firm's lawyers are involved in some of the major technology battles between industry giants, including representing Motorola Mobility in its patent dispute with Microsoft and representing Google in patent infringement suits over its Internet browser and street-level mapping technologies. The patent prosecution group wrote the hardware patents on Apple's iPhone and continues its work on the cutting edges of interactive media, media devices, biotechnology and stem cell research. The firm's IP practice has continually been recognized by leading publications for its achievements.

The firm's general litigation practice has also been on a roll, helping win a big jury trial for Goldman Sachs in a case closely watched by the media, successfully resolving several high-profile data breach cases, and arguing five recent cases before the Supreme Court, including a seminal case for the mutual funds industry and the landmark marriage equality case this term. That practice has been bolstered in recent years by a strong government enforcement group, which has made a name for itself with high-profile anti-corruption work in China and elsewhere.

As Ropes' IP and litigation practices boom, its private equity practice continues to push forward. Led by partner and firm chairman Brad Malt-who founded the firm's private equity group-Ropes & Gray has built up a strong leveraged buyout practice, in addition to an impressive financial services, mutual fund and hedge funds practices. The firm is counsel for more than 1,000 mutual funds (or their directors). Ropes & Gray is also among the top firms in structuring IPOs, representing many of the leading underwriters. The firm's private equity clients include many of the world's largest private equity firms, including Audax Group, Bain Capital, Berkshire Partners, KarpReilly, HIG Capital, TPG Capital, Thomas H. Lee Partners, TSG Consumer Partners, Silver Lake Partners and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe.

Pro Bono Pros

In addition to the impressive variety of its practices, Ropes & Gray is devoted to carrying on its tradition of pro bono work and community service. Associates and partners work in a range of areas-including child abduction cases, housing and homelessness, voting rights, nonprofit incorporation, and asylum-and for a variety of organizations-such as Immigration Equality, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, Accion, and Human Rights First. Associates tempted by a life of public service can take a break from the corporate grind with the District Attorney's Office Assistant DA Program through which Ropes associates work as special assistant district attorneys for six months, or a six-month externship in the housing unit of a legal services agency.


April 2015

Standing Up for Marriage Equality
Partner Douglas Hallward-Driemeier argued on behalf of plaintiffs in Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark marriage equality case before the Supreme Court, arguing that a state must recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state. This was Hallward-Driemeier's second argument before the Court in April; he successfully argued Bullard v. Blue Hills Bank, a case that will have significant implications for debtor/creditor negotiations regarding plans in bankruptcy cases.

Break Out the Streamers
Ropes & Gray represented Party City, North America's largest party goods retailer, in its $372 million initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The company priced its shares at the top of the announced range, valuing the retail chain at nearly $2 billion.

March 2015

A String of Success
A Ropes & Gray litigation team won a Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision affirming the dismissal of a securities fraud class action against Columbia Laboratories and two of its officers. This victory was the latest in a line of cases the firm has successfully litigated for life sciences companies accused of making insufficient disclosures about their interactions with the FDA.

Biologics Collaboration in China
The firm's Shanghai-based lawyers advised Innovent Biologics, Inc., a leading biopharmaceutical company in China, in a collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company, in one of the largest biotech drug collaborations in China between a multi-national and domestic company.

January 2015

Connecting the Big Apple
Ropes & Gray advised leading digital advertising firm Titan Outdoor LLC, as part of a consortium called CityBridge LLC, in a high-profile, 12-year public communications structure franchise agreement with New York City to provide approximately 7,500 free WiFi kiosks at pay phones and other structures.

Fresh Kicks
A cross-practice team from Ropes & Gray steered global sporting goods leader the adidas Group through the sale of its Rockport shoe business to a new entity formed by New Balance and Berkshire Partners.

- Show Less + Show Full Description

Ropes & Gray LLP

Prudential Tower
800 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02199
Phone: (617) 951-7000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman: R. Bradford Malt
  • Managing Partner: David C. Chapin
  • Hiring Partner: Richard D. Batchelder, Jr.
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 1,103

  • Employment Contact
    Helen Long
    Director of Legal Recruiting
    Phone: (617) 951-7959
    Fax: (617) 235-9676

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

  • Summer Associate Offers
    101 out of 101 (2014)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Appellate Litigation
    Asset Management
    Bankruptcy & Business Restructuring
    Business & Securities Litigation
    Capital Markets
    Colleges & Universities
    Debt Financing
    Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits
    Financial Services
    Government Enforcement
    Government Relations & Regulatory
    Health Care
    Hedge Funds
    Intellectual Property Rights Management
    Intellectual Property Litigation
    Intellectual Property Transactions
    Investment Management
    Labor & Employment
    Life Sciences
    Mergers & Acquisitions
    Privacy & Data Security
    Private Client Group
    Private Equity
    Private Investment Funds
    Public Finance
    Real Estate Investments & Transactions
    Securities & Futures Enforcement
    Securities & Public Companies
    Social Media
    Sovereign Investment Group
    Special Situations
    Tax & Benefits
    Technology, Media & Telecommunications

Major Office Locations

  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • New York, NY
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Silicon Valley, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Seoul
  • Shanghai
  • Tokyo
- Show Less + Show More

Become a Vault Basic Member

Complete your Vault Profile and get seen by top employers