Susman Godfrey LLP at a Glance

Uppers

  • “Early trial and litigation experience”
  • “Compensation”
  • “Realistic partnership track”

Downers

  • “Long hours”
  • “Pressure to succeed”
  • “Independence and responsibility is not for everyone”

The Buzz

  • “Best litigators in the world”
  • “Big pay check”
  • “Difficult place to work;”
  • “Crazy hours”

About Susman Godfrey LLP

Since its inception nearly 40 years ago, Susman Godfrey has quickly established itself as one of the country's premiere litigation firms. Its nationwide trial practice is diverse, but many of the firm's largest clients come from the energy and technology sectors.

Contingency Pioneers

In 1980, Steve Susman formed a Houston firm following his success in the Corrugate Containers case, the largest verdict in antitrust history at the time. Susman was soon joined by Lee Godfrey in 1982. The two had a vision of trying commercial cases on contingency, a practice then largely confined to personal injury cases.

The firm has reaped the benefits of this high-risk/high-return model by carefully selecting its cases and winning some of the largest jury verdicts in the country. In the 1990s, the firm's contingency fee model transformed into an entire spectrum of alternative fees, from reverse contingent fees on the defense side, to flat fees and hybrids with both fixed and contingent components. Susman Godfrey's roster of recent contingent fee successes includes: the Toyota Economic Loss Class Action Regarding Unintended Acceleration; the Vitamin C Antitrust Class Action; Sky v. Microsoft; Assured Guaranty v. Flagstar; TMST v. Barclays; The Lincoln Life and Annuity Company of New York v. Jonathan S. Berck, as trustee, et al.; and LyondellBasell/Allianz.

There is no costly pyramid structure at Susman Godfrey. The litigation star has 102 partners and associates in four offices-its Houston headquarters and rapidly growing offices in Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. With its legal firepower, the firm handles truly megawatt cases across the country.

Theater of Law

In recruiting attorneys, the firm focuses on hiring the best students coming out of the country's best law schools: a majority of its attorneys were members of their schools' law reviews and nearly all clerked for federal judges (including nine for justices of the U.S. Supreme Court). If you make partner at the firm, you'll be fitted for a pair of genuine Texas cowboy boots, per firm tradition.

IN THE NEWS

June 2016
Daily Journal

The Los Angeles Daily Journal has named Los Angeles partners Marc M. Seltzer and Steven G. Sklaver among the 30 "Top Plaintiffs Lawyers in California." In recognizing Seltzer, the Daily Journal noted his work, with his co-lead counsel, in securing initial settlements totaling nearly $225,000,000 in a landmark national class action case involving price-fixing by manufacturers of auto parts. The Daily Journal highlighted Sklaver's representation of a class of policyholders against Phoenix Life Insurance Company over allegations the insurer inappropriately raised its rates.

Show Me the Money

Susman Godfrey L.L.P. raised salaries for all existing partnership-track associates and new hires, effective July 1. Salaries will now range from $190,000 to $300,000, in addition to the firm's generous year-end bonuses that far exceed industry standards. "We pay our associates top salaries and bonuses because we expect-and receive-the best from them," said Stephen D. Susman, Susman Godfrey Managing Partner.

June 2016
See Me in My Chambers

Chambers and Partners named 10 attorneys from Susman Godfrey as "Leaders in their Field" and prominently ranked several of the firm's practices in its annual guide to U.S. law firms. Susman Godfrey added to its rankings year-over-year, with two more attorneys and one more office recognized than in 2015. Two Susman Godfrey partners received recognition from Chambers as "Up and Coming" attorneys: Brooke A. M. Taylor for Intellectual Property (Nationwide) and Arun Subramanian for Litigation: General Commercial (New York). Four of Susman Godfrey's offices were named as "Leading Locations," with Los Angeles joining the rankings this year.

May 2016
Hot Hot Hot!

Susman Godfrey LLP is named to The National Law Journal's 2016 Midsize Hot List. The NLJ also profiled Bill Carmody for the ranking, and quoted him saying about the firm "We do the biggest cases in America regardless of the side of the docket".

December 2015
Big Bonuses

Susman Godfrey gave exceptional bonuses in 2015. "In 2015 we had one of the best years in the history of the firm, and we wanted our bonuses to reflect that success," said managing partner Stephen Susman. "Two-thirds of our associates received a bonus of more than $100,000. Our smallest bonuses were $55,000, for the most junior associates who were here all year. That's more than double what the big firms paid their 2013 classmates."

November 2015
Benchmark Litigation

Susman Godfrey LLP, and 18 of its attorneys, were honored by Benchmark Litigation in its 2016 awards. The firm received "Highly Recommended" status for its Texas office and "Recommended" status for its New York office. Overall, the firm was ranked in Tier 2 for General Commercial Litigation. Eighteen attorneys received either "Local Litigation Star" or "Future Star" honors. Firm founder Stephen Susman and New York partners Bill Carmody and Jacob Buchdahl were awarded the highest level of recognition for an individual attorney as Litigation Stars in the United States. Only 100 attorneys in the United States received this award.

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Susman Godfrey LLP

1000 Louisiana
Suite 5100
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 651-9366

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partners: Stephen D. Susman and Neal Manne
  • Hiring Attorney: Eric Mayer
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 107

  • Employment Contact
    Kimberly Young
    Attorney Development Manager
    (713) 653-7867
    kyoung@susmangodfrey.com

  • Base Salary

    All offices
    1st year: $190,000
    2nd year: $190,000
    3rd year: $210,000
    4th year: $235,000
    5th year: $260,000
    6th year: $280,000
    7th year: $300,000
    Summer associate: $3,500/week


  • Summer Associate Offers
    5 out of 11 (2Ls) (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Antitrust
    Arbitration
    Bankruptcy                                                                                                             Business Disputes
    Class Action & Aggregate Litigation
    Employment                                                                                                             Energy & Environmental   
    General Commercial Litigation                                                                                     Intellectual Property                                                                                           Shareholder & Securities                                                       
     

Major Office Locations

  • Houston, TX (HQ)
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Seattle, WA

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