Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP at a Glance

Uppers

  • “Ownership over matters”
  • “California culture”
  • “Substantive work early on”

Downers

  • “Tightening budget”
  • “Unpredictability of hours”
  • “The bonus structure”

About Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

With expertise in a variety of practices, including corporate, litigation, employment, IP, antitrust and finance, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has grown aggressively in recent times. The firm has added a number of industry focused practices, such as healthcare, insurance, communications and entertainment, serving such clients as DaVita Inc., Liberty Mutual, Charter Communications and Disney.

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 and healthcare law, those in Del Mar target the region's tech companies, and attorneys in DC pass much of their time helping clients land government contracts. 

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Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

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

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Executive Committee Chairman: Guy N. Halgren
  • Hiring Partners: Ronda Jamgotchian (Century City); Marlene Nicolas, Moe Keshavarzi & Olivier Théard (Los Angeles); Edward Tillinghast, III (New York); Dan Bane (Orange County); William Ahmann (Palo Alto); Jeralin Cardoso (Del Mar); John Dineen & Michael Leake (San Diego); Babak Yousefzadeh Rob Guite(San Francisco); Don Williams (Shanghai); James Zimmerman (Beijing); Paul Werner (Washington, DC); Kevin Cloutier & Larry Eppley(Chicago); Seth Kim (Seoul)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 750

  • Base Salary

    All 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: $3,462/week


  • Summer Associate Offers
    28 out of 30 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Antitrust and Trade Regulation • Bankruptcy and Restructuring • China • Communications • Corporate and Securities • Entertainment, Technology and Advertising • Environmental • Finance • Food and Drug Regulatory • Global Climate Change • Government Contracts, Investigations and International Trade • Intellectual Property • International Arbitration • International Business • Labor & Employment • Land Use & Natural Resources • Litigation • Real Estate • Tax, Estate Planning and Private Wealth Litigation • White Collar & Civil Fraud Defense

Major Office Locations

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