Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP at a Glance


  • “Laid-back, California vibe”
  • “This firm revived my faith in the fun of being a lawyer”
  • “Opportunity to learn and grow”


  • “Obsession with billable hours”
  • “Continual tightening of overhead costs”
  • “Bonuses could be higher”

The Buzz

  • “Relaxed environment”
  • “International presence”
  • “Uneven quality”
  • “Good in California, non-existent elsewhere”

About Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

With expertise in a variety of practices, including labor law, antitrust and finance, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has grown aggressively in recent times. Via acquisition and proprietary expansion, the firm has added a number of niche practices in the 21st century, servicing such clients as Disney, DHL, Guinness and Georgia Pacific.

Starting Up

Today's Sheppard Mullin entered the world in 1927 as Haight & Mathes, the brainchild of two young lawyers who left a small Los Angeles firm to strike out on their own. At the behest of Harvard Law classmate Bill Mathes, James Sheppard ditched O'Melveny & Myers to join the nascent firm the following year. After co-founder Ray Haight left to form yet another startup in 1932 (before an unsuccessful bid for the California governor's chair), two men who would develop into name partners-J. Stanley Mullin and George Richter-cut their teeth as law clerks in the Great Depression's waning days. Richter briefly left the firm for Security First National Bank's legal department in the mid-1930s, a stint that afforded him a knowledge reserve he'd tap to build up the firm's commercial and banking offerings upon his return. With the 1938 hiring of Harvard grad Gordon Hampton, the firm closed out its recruitment of the quartet that formed the nameplate maintained through today-a rarity in this age of mergers, spinoffs and partner raids.

Mathes answered President Truman's call in 1945, when he accepted Give 'Em Hell Harry's nomination to join the federal bench in L.A. While the partner's ascendance clearly lent additional prestige to the Sheppard Mullin letterhead, it also cost the firm its senior trial lawyer; another OMM lawyer, Frank Balthis, stepped in to help fill the void, earning his own judiciary invitation in 1961 after 15 years with the firm. Meanwhile, a third Sheppard Mullin attorney-turned-jurist, Kathleen Parker, made headlines in becoming one of L.A.'s first female attorneys and, later, one of the region's first female judges. Parker joined the firm in 1946 and was the first woman to practice at the firm.

Go for Golden

Given the history of prestigious attorneys who have graced Sheppard Mullin's halls, the firm's continued success and growth is no surprise. The firm opened offices throughout the Golden State in the 1970s and 1980s; added niche practices in such areas as aerospace, defense, land use and real estate in the 1990s; and launched a slew of new branches as the third millennium dawned. In addition to its major California presence, the firm also has offices in DC, New York, Chicago, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, London and Brussels. Recent growth has reflected an increased emphasis on regional specialization: lawyers in Century City focus largely on entertainment law, those in Del Mar target the region's biotech companies, and attorneys in DC pass much of their time helping clients land government contracts.  


May 2014

A Secure Deal
The firm represented Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., a leading national security solutions provider, in an offering of $625 million in aggregate principal amount of 7.0 percent senior secured notes due in 2019 and the simultaneous refinancing of its credit facility. Kratos expects to reduce its cash interest expense by $18.75 million per year for each of the next three years as a result of this refinancing.  Sheppard Mullin partners Bill Wyatt (New York), Jason Schendel (Palo Alto), and John Tishler (Del Mar), special counsel Carrie McNally (Chicago), associate Nika Palama (Chicago) and attorney Robyn Young (New York) represented Kratos in this transaction.  New York's Cahill Gordon & Reindel represented SunTrust Robinson Humprey and the other initial purchasers in this transaction.

March 2014

Growing up at Sheppard Mullin
Sheppard Mullin elevated eight of its attorneys to partner. The eight new partners are Leo Caseria (Los Angeles), Aytan Dahukey (Century City), John C. Dineen (San Diego), Tobin M. Dommer (Palo Alto), Christopher E. Hale (Los Angeles), Gina Reif Ilardi (New York), Mark E. McGrath (New York) and Matthew M. Sonne (Orange County).  Hale and Sonne had been summer associates at the firm, and the four others had worked for the firm for at least five years.

January 2014

Making the City More Accessible
In the final quarter of 2013, Pro Bono Partner Daniel Brown and other NY office attorneys celebrated two major pro bono victories.  The firm represented a class of 900,000 disabled residents of New York City challenging the city's failure to plan for people with disabilities in large-scale emergencies, such as Hurricanes Irene and Sandy.  After a lengthy trial, a federal judge issued a 119-page ruling in that the city discriminated against people with disabilities in its failure to plan for their needs in such emergency situations.  The court's ruling is a landmark victory for hundreds of thousands of children, women, men and seniors with disabilities with significant local and national implications.  In the second matter which resulted in an historic settlement, the firm challenged the New York City taxicab fleet for not being wheelchair accessible. The city agreed to make its taxi fleet (which is currently only 1.8 percent accessible) 50 percent accessible over the next six years.  The case will transform the lives of tens of thousands of elderly and people with disabilities in New York City.

Honoring Pro Bono Commitment

Sheppard Mullin awarded associate Gray Buccigross the firm's 2013 Bob Gerber Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award. This award honors and recognizes the important community service work done by Sheppard Mullin attorneys. Buccigross, a 2004 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. He is based in the firm's Del Mar office, and is a member of Sheppard Mullin's Intellectual Property practice group.


Racking up Awards
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) 2014 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) rated Sheppard Mullin 100 percent, based on LGBT workplace benefits.  Seventy-nine Sheppard Mullin attorneys were named 2014 "Best Lawyers in America."  Sheppard Mullin's Government Contracts, Health Care and Hospitality practices were named Practice Groups of The Year by Law360. The awards were given to firms that excelled at getting the job done for clients in litigation and deals in 2013.  Sheppard Mullin received top rankings from Chambers USA, including national rankings for the firm's Advertising, Government Contracts, International Trade and Native American Law practices. Other practice areas ranked were Antitrust, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Construction, Corporate/M&A: Venture Capital, Environment, Healthcare, IT & Outsourcing, Labor & Employment, Litigation, Media & Entertainment and Real Estate.  Forty-one Sheppard Mullin lawyers were ranked as Chambers USA Leading Lawyers in 2014.

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Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

333 South Hope St.
43rd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Phone: (213) 620-1780


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Executive Committee Chairman: Guy N. Halgren
  • Hiring Partners: Ronda Jamgotchian (Century City); Jason Kearnaghan and Gregory Barbee (Los Angeles); Edward Tillinghast, III (New York); Michael Stewart (Orange County); David Lee (Palo Alto); Michael Orlando (Del Mar); Guylyn Cummins (San Diego); Babak Yousefzadeh and Michael Scarborough (San Francisco); Don Williams (Shanghai); James Zimmerman (Beijing); Christopher Loveland and Keith Szeliga (Washington, DC); Kevin Cloutier (Chicago); Seth Kim (Seoul)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 650

  • Employment Contact
    Los Angeles
    Ms. Sally Bucklin
    Manager of Attorney Hiring and Lawyer Personnel Administration
    Phone: (213) 617-4101
    Century City
    Ms. Xavier Maurice
    Recruiting Assistant
    Phone: (310) 228-3700
    New York
    Ms. Nicolle Gibney
    Recruiting & Professional Development Administrator
    Phone: (212) 634-3026
    Washington, DC
    Ms. Meena Pumphrey
    Recruiting Coordinator
    Phone: (202) 218-0000
    San Francisco & Palo Alto
    Ms. Nadia Ferrari
    Recruiting & Professional Development Administrator
    Phone: (415) 774-3274
    Costa Mesa
    Ms. Patty McGraw
    Recruiting Coordinator
    Phone: (714) 424-2849
    San Diego
    Mrs. Cindi Robertson
    Recruiting Assistant
    Phone: (619) 338-6500
    Del Mar Heights
    Ms. Rheanna Smith
    Recruiting Coordinator
    Phone: (858) 720-7449         
    Ms. Betsy Zukley
    Office Administrator
    Phone:  (312) 499-0535

  • Base Salary
    All offices
    1st year: $160,000
    2nd year: $170,000
    3rd year: $185,000
    4th year: $210,000
    5th year: $230,000
    6th year: $250,000
    7th year: $265,000
    8th year: $280,000
    Summer associate: $3,080/ week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    32 out of 34 (2013)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Antitrust and Trade Regulation
    Bankruptcy and Restructuring
    Entertainment, Media and Technology
    Food and Drug Regulatory
    Global Climate Change
    Government Contracts & Regulated Industries
    Intellectual Property
    International Arbitration
    International Business
    Labor & Employment
    Land Use & Natural Resources
    Real Estate
    White Collar & Civil Fraud Defense

Major Office Locations

  • Chicago, IL
  • Los Angeles/Century City, CA
  • Los Angeles/Downtown, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Orange County (Costa Mesa), CA
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • San Diego/Del Mar, CA
  • San Diego/Downtown, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Beijing
  • Brussels
  • London
  • Shanghai
  • Seoul
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