Ropes & Gray LLP at a Glance


  • “Genuine respect for work/life balance”
  • “Early client contact”
  • “Partners focused on associate development”


  • “Management decisions are often not transparent”
  • “New York office space is cramped”
  • “Imbalance in workloads between associates at same level”

The Buzz

  • “Family-friendly”
  • “Great at IP”
  • “Boston-centric”
  • “Pretentious”

About Ropes & Gray LLP

A Boston institution since 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, 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 2013 in a case closely watched by the media, a seminal Supreme Court case for the mutual funds industry, and the successful resolution of several high-profile data breach cases.

As Ropes' IP practice booms, 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 and mutual fund practice. 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 2014

It's All Greek to Me!
A cross-practice team from Ropes & Gray advised TPG in its $750 million second lien debt investment in Chobani, the best-selling Greek yogurt brand in America. The investment injects Chobani with capital that will be used to further future growth and innovation at the company. In conjunction with the deal, TPG will have representation on Chobani's board of directors.

Ropes & Gray advised IMS Health Holdings Inc. in its initial public offering and listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "IMS." The IPO generated proceeds of $1.5 billion to IMS Health and the selling stockholders, including TPG Capital, CPP Investment Board and Leonard Green & Partners, making it the second-largest IPO of 2014.

March 2014

Safeguarding the Rights of Low-Income Individuals Living with HIV
Working with Lambda Legal, a national organization committed to advancing LGBT rights, and New Orleans-based Phelps Dunbar, a Ropes & Gray pro bono team continued its successful efforts on behalf of low-income people living with HIV. A lawsuit against three Louisiana health insurers poised to refuse Ryan White premium assistance funds was among the first cases filed under the civil rights provisions of the Affordable Care Act. As a result of this litigation, individuals eligible for Ryan White premium assistance could enroll in the Louisiana health care exchange with the confidence that their coverage and care would not be interrupted.

An International Reach
Ropes & Gray represented the Blackstone-led buyer group consortium in the going-private transaction of China-based Pactera Technology International. The transaction was one of several private equity-sponsored take-privates of U.S.-listed Chinese firms on which the Ropes & Gray Hong Kong team has advised over the last year.

January 2014

Class Dismissed
A Ropes & Gray privacy and data security litigation team obtained the dismissal of 42 of 51 counts asserted against Sony in a multidistrict class-action litigation stemming from a 2011 criminal cyber-attack on Sony networks. The ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California also limited the plaintiffs to the possibility of injunctive relief or individual relief on four of the remaining counts.

November 2013

Making a Good First Impression
Pfizer Inc. prevailed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in a case that involved a question of first impression: what is required for invention of an isolated cDNA that was claimed by its sequence of nucleotides-possession of the cDNA and a recognition of its activity, or having an actual complete and correct nucleotide sequence of the cDNA.

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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 2014: 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
    84 out of 84 (2013)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Appellate Litigation
    Bankruptcy & Business Restructuring
    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 Litigation
    Social Media
    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
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