Susman Godfrey L.L.P.

Since its inception just over 20 years ago, the young firm of Susman Godfrey has quickly established itself as one of the Southwest's premiere litigation firms. Its 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, and was soon joined by Lee Godfrey. The two had a vision of trying commercial cases on contingency, a practice then largely confined to personal injury cases.

The firm's very first case, widely known as the Corrugated Container antitrust trial, resulted in one of the nation's highest-ever antitrust jury verdicts and established the firm as a go-to option for plaintiffs in antitrust cases. In 1980, the newly-formed seven-attorney firm represented the plaintiffs in a suit alleging that 40 corrugated box manufacturers fixed prices. All but one of the defendants settled. That proved to be a costly mistake for the remaining defendant, Mead Paper. Following a three-month trial, the jury returned a verdict affirming that Mead had conspired to fix prices for at least 12 years. The jury awarded nearly $1 billion in damages (in addition to the settlements, which were in excess of $500 million). The firm has since represented such companies as Gateway, Novell and Caldera in successful private antitrust actions against Microsoft. 

Every small-to-midsized firm likes to think of itself as a boutique-a smaller, specialized firm that attracts high-end clients and recruits high-end lawyers. Count Susman Godfrey, however, as one of the true boutiques. The litigation star maintains five offices-its Houston headquarters, a smaller Dallas branch, two offices on the west coast and a branch in New York-that house a total of 107 attorneys. Its small size notwithstanding, the firm handles truly megawatt cases. Its associates earn as much as (or often more than) their peers at much larger firms.

Theater of Law

Because of the scientific and technological basis of much of the firm's work, a large percentage of Susman Godfrey attorneys, unsurprisingly, have technical backgrounds. The firm also places a special emphasis on research and writing backgrounds: a majority of its attorneys were members of their schools' law reviews and nearly all clerked for federal judges (including eight for justices of the U.S. Supreme Court). If you make partner at the firm, you can expect to go through a ritual fitting for your very own pair of designer cowboy boots, as per firm tradition.

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Susman Godfrey L.L.P.


1000 Louisiana
Suite 5100
Houston, TX 77002-5096
Phone: (713) 651-9366
Fax: (713) 654-6666
www.susmangodfrey.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partners: Stephen D. Susman and Neal Manne
  • Hiring Partner: David Peterson
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 104

  • Employment Contact

    Kimberly Young
    Attorney Development Manager
    Phone: (713) 653-7867
    Email: kyoung@susmangodfrey.com


  • Base Salary

    1st year: $175,000
    2nd year: $175,000
    3rd year: $180,000 (Houston, Dallas, Seattle); $185,000 (New York, Los Angeles)
    4th year: $200,000 (Houston, Dallas, Seattle); $210,000 (New York, Los Angeles)
    5th year: $210,000 (Houston, Dallas, Seattle); $230,000 (New York, Los Angeles)
    6th year: $230,000 (Houston, Dallas, Seattle); $250,000 (New York, Los Angeles)
    7th year: $245 (Houston, Dallas, Seattle); $265,000 (New York, Los Angeles)
    Summer associate: $3,200/week


  • Summer Associate Offers

    10 out of 15 (2013)


  • Major Departments & Practices

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

Major Office Locations

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

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