Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. at a Glance


  • “The culture and work are great.”
  • “The people I work with are friendly and intelligent”
  • “Face time is not required”


  • “The pay, significantly below market”
  • “The amount of travel and hours required”
  • “Hit or miss case assignment”

The Buzz

  • “Good attorneys”
  • “Great litigation”

About Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.

Kansas City-based Shook Hardy & Bacon is a top litigation practice where big names turn for representation in bet-the-company cases. The firm is also known for its innovative fee structures, and has been recognized for providing top-notch representation at a good value to clients.

Founded in 1889 by attorney Frank Sebree, a former Missouri state legislator, Shook Hardy & Bacon handled railroad work and went after local political corruption in the firm's early years. The firm has been around long enough to have played a part in Wild West outlaw lore-one of the firm's early partners, Henry McDougal, helped a wealthy farmer file a civil lawsuit against famed bandits Jesse and Frank James after they stole his horse at gunpoint after robbing a bank.

Later, famed trial lawyer David Hardy joined the firm, tackling the first anti-smoking suit in Missouri as lead counsel for Philip Morris in 1962. Hardy's performance in that case attracted attention from the rest of the industry-five of the six largest tobacco companies eventually hired the firm to helm their litigation defense. The firm quickly gained a reputation for being incredibly thorough in pre-trial investigation and preparation and soon after was tapped by the pharmaceutical and medical device industry for its litigation expertise, which was followed by the automotive industry looking to Shook for litigation defense strategies.

Shook Hardy & Bacon has since grown exponentially in the last few decades thanks in large part to its successes on behalf of tobacco, pharmaceutical and medical device and automotive companies, but also more recently for its growth into intellectual property, environmental and toxic tort, and labor and employment litigation. In 1990 the firm had just 155 lawyers, but by 2008 it had more than 500-with nearly 120 attorneys devoting their practice to intellectual property and environmental and toxic tort law. Although it now has offices in Texas, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC and abroad in Switzerland and England, Shook Hardy & Bacon still calls Kansas City its home. Both local and national publications ranging from The American Lawyer to the Kansas City Business Journal have given accolades to the firm.

A Scientific Defense

With a robust scientific infrastructure in place, Shook Hardy & Bacon's litigation practice represents the likes of the Altria Group, Pfizer, Inc., Bausch & Lomb and E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Company, as well as companies like Microsoft, The Coca-Cola Company, Toyota, and Ford Motor Company. Eli Lilly hired the firm to handle litigation stemming from oral contraceptive and vaccine lawsuits, and Shook Hardy & Bacon has also warded off class action against Sanofi-Aventis for alleged side effects of Ambien, a sleeping pill.

One of the firm's most unique assets is its sturdy behind-the-scenes science team staffed by more than 140 research analysts and paraprofessionals, many of whom have graduate degrees in specialized fields like biochemistry, neuroscience, engineering, genetics and physiology.

Branching Out

Shook, Hardy & Bacon's litigation successes go beyond the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries. The firm has established a national intellectual property practice, and has expanded into food and beverage matters as well.

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Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.

2555 Grand Boulevard
Kansas City, MO 64105
Phone: (816) 474-6550
Fax: (816) 421-5547


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman: John F. Murphy
  • Hiring Partner: Amy Crouch
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 497

  • Employment Contact
    Colleen M. Liesmann
    Director of Legal Recruiting
    Phone: (816) 474-6550
    Fax: (816) 421-5547

  • Base Salary
    Orange County and San Francisco
    1st year: $145,000
    Summer associate: $2,750/week Kansas City and Tampa
    1st year: $120,000
    Summer associate: $2,300/week Miami
    1st year: $140,000
    Summer associate: $2,700/week Washington, DC
    1st year: $150,000
    Summer associate: $2,850/week Chicago and Houston
    1st year: $160,000
    Summer associate:  $3,050/week Seattle
    1st year: $130,000
    Summer associate: $2,500/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    24 out of 24 (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Pharmaceutical and Medical Device
    Food, Beverage and Agribusiness
    Insurance and Reinsurance
    Life Sciences and Biotechnology
    Banking and Financial Services
    Cosmetics and Personal Care Products
    Design and Construction
    Fire Protection and Alarms
    Software and Telecommunications
    Product Liability
    Intellectual Property
    Business Disputes
    Employment Litigation and Policy
    Data and Discovery Strategies
    Business Transactions

Major Office Locations

  • Kansas City, MO (HQ)
  • Chicago, IL
  • Denver, CO
  • Houston, TX
  • Miami, FL
  • Orange County, CA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Tampa, FL
  • Washington, DC
  • Geneva
  • London
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