Venable LLP at a Glance


  • “Substantive work”
  • “Opportunities to advance and make partner”
  • “Work environment”


  • “Bonuses could be better
  • “Up-and-out mentality”
  • “Lack of work-life balance”

The Buzz

  • “Good group in finance laws”
  • “Very prestigious in Baltimore”
  • “Overstaffed”
  • “Sharp-elbowed”

About Venable LLP

Call it a victory for career services: Venable, Baetjer & Howard was formed in 1900 when Richard Venable, a law professor in Baltimore, partnered with two of his former students.

Over 100 years later, Venable LLP is a mid-Atlantic force that, until the capital markets meltdown, had defined itself by aggressive expansion. A politically-connected firm, Venable complements a conventional BigLaw practice with Beltway-specific work.  

A Morphing Midsized Regional

The venerable, mono-monikered Venable is a titan of the mid-Atlantic I-95 corridor (where seven of its nine offices are located). Venable specializes in corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property and government affairs. The firm's litigation practice carries a particularly heavy workload in products liability, toxic torts and environmental law cases, with corporate defense the group's overwhelming forte.

Venable has grown substantially since around the Millennium, thanks largely to a series of mergers. A 1999 buyout of Tucker Flyer LLP bolstered the firm's Beltway contingent and preceded Venable's campaign to increasingly target companies benefiting from government contracts. The acquisition also provided Venable with a convenient launching pad for dealings with tech clients in the bustling suburbs of northern Virginia. Six years later, the firm merged with Manhattan boutique Heard & O'Toole to provide litigation support in New York-the New York office now houses around 80 lawyers. A year later, Venable swallowed up smaller Los Angeles outfits Whitwell Jacoby Emhoff LLP and Gorry, Meyer & Rudd LLP, and in October 2013 the firm opened an office in San Francisco. The Cali additions represent the realization of Venable's long-held aspiration of establishing a presence in the comparatively far-flung region.

The same year Venable made its grand Hollywood entrance, the firm took on a new look at the top: longtime managing partner James Shea switched over to the chairman's seat, opening the door for lifelong Venable lawyer (and former associate White House counsel) Karl Racine to become the first black managing partner of an AmLaw 100 firm. One of Racine's first acts as MP was the successful pursuance of the L.A. firms.

Political Power

Venable is no slouch when it comes to political experience-the firm's past and current attorneys include a U.S. attorney general, a DC attorney general, two Maryland deputy attorneys general, four members of the Senate (Arkansas, Indiana and two from Maryland), four members of the House (California, Arkansas, Maryland and Michigan), a former head of the DEA, a secretary of transportation, an administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and eleven federal judges.

Perhaps most noteworthy among Venable's who's-who are Francis Murnaghan, who sat on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for 21 years, and Senator Paul Sarbanes, who co-sponsored the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and is father to John Sarbanes-a 17-year veteran of Venable and current member of the House.


April 2016
Doing Well, Doing Good

Venable continues its efforts to prevent violence against women. The Tahirih Justice Center, a national nonprofit organization protecting immigrant women and girls from gender-based violence, recognized three Venable attorneys as its Baltimore Pro Bono Attorneys of the Year. The Venable team was recognized for their work on behalf of a doctor from Gambia who fled to the U.S. to escape female genital mutilation. This was fourth time in the past four years that Tahirih has recognized Venable or one of the firm's attorneys as either its pro bono firm or pro bono attorney of the year.

Chambers' Choice

For the second time in three years, Chambers USA named Venable as a finalist in the Product Liability category for its annual Award for Excellence. Based on Chambers' research for its upcoming 2016 guide, Award for Excellence finalists are singled out for notable achievements over the past year, including outstanding work, impressive strategic growth, and excellence in client service. Last year, Chambers USA praised Venable's Products Liability and Mass Torts Practice Group for its "deep bench" and "handling [of] headline litigation in the drug and device sector, often playing a lead trial counsel role."

December 2015
Reversing 35 Years of Precedent

Venable and Maryland Legal Aid won a landmark decision in the Court of Appeals of Maryland establishing the power of the juvenile court in Maryland child welfare cases to order state agencies to provide needed services and care for clients. This decision reversed a 35-year-old line of intermediate appellate cases under which some judges declined to order state agencies to provide specific services, citing separation of powers concerns. Juvenile courts in Maryland now have more leeway to order state agencies to provide needed services.

September 2015
Writin' About It

Further expanding its client service offerings, Venable's Labor and Employment Group launched two blogs which focus on key employment law areas including employee mobility and trade secrets and employment class actions. Trade Secrets and Transitions provides important legal news and analysis on employee mobility and trade secrets. Topics include trade secrets, bad faith prosecution, confidentiality agreements, employee mobility, and non-compete agreements. The second blog, Class Action Perspectives for Employers, covers wage & hour class and collective actions, unfair competition, and employment practices (i.e. discrimination) class actions as well as representative actions under California's Private Attorney General ("PAGA") statute.

July 2015
PlentyofFish in the Dating World

Venable LLP co-advised, with Canadian business firm McMillan LLP, client PlentyOfFish Media, Inc. on its sale to The Match Group, a subsidiary of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI), for US$575 million in cash. PlentyOfFish, the Vancouver based online dating site, was founded in 2003 by CEO Markus Frind, and has over 100 million registered users and over 4 million active daily users. It has join Match's catalog of online dating products and services which includes, Tinder, OKCupid, Meetic, and OurTime.

May 2015
Business Really is Booming

Venable LLP continues to experience growth in its San Francisco and Los Angeles Offices. After opening its doors in October 2013, Venable's San Francisco office has more than doubled its headcount and the office recently relocated to a larger space. Similarly, the Los Angeles office, which opened in 2006, experienced extensive growth over the last two years bringing Venable's total California presence up from 44 attorneys to more than 75 attorneys and 130 employees overall.

- Show Less + Show Full Description

Venable LLP

575 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Phone: (202) 344-4000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partners: Lawrence H. Gesner & Daniel P. Moylan
  • Hiring Partner: Robert J. Bolger
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 648

  • Base Salary
    All offices
    1st year: $180,000
    Summer associate: $3,461/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    37 out of 38 (2Ls) (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Corporate Law & Business Transactions
    Government & Regulatory Affairs
    Technology & Intellectual Property

Major Office Locations

  • Washington, DC (HQ)
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Rockville, MD
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Towson, MD
  • Tysons Corner, VA
  • Wilmington, DE
- Show Less + Show More