Venable LLP at a Glance


  • “Excellent mentors”
  • “Responsibility associates are given”
  • “Ability to manage time”


  • “Bonus structure”
  • “Domestic footprint”
  • “Transparency from firm management”

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.


May 2017
Startup Hookup

Venable created a partnership with the University of California, Berkeley startup accelerator program known as SkyDeck. Through the partnership, attorneys from the firm's San Francisco office mentor startup companies and prepare them to go to market. Many of those companies have become direct clients of Venable. The purpose is to provide high-quality legal work up front to lay a solid foundation for future success. Venable's deep knowledge of regulated industries has been a particular draw for the companies, as almost all are working in industries where regulatory experience can help companies stay focused and seek to drive revenue.

February 2017
Musical Chairs

After ten years as Chair, Jim Shea passed the torch to Stu Ingis, a DC-based partner whose practice focuses on data privacy and security. Stu has been with the firm over ten years and served for five years as the Partner-in-Charge of the Washington Office. He represents companies in the media, communications, information services, advertising, and retail industries before Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, and other federal and state agencies. He has represented clients in testimony before congressional committees and in congressional investigations. Stu will continue to have an active practice in his new role.

New HQ

Venable's new flagship office, which is in a newly constructed, high-performance building with LEED Platinum certification enhances the firm's commitment to exceptional client service and its investment in the local community. Some of the highlights include conference rooms with the latest technology for both in person and virtual meetings, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a healthy-choice café and self-serve market and all glass interiors to complement Venable's collegial and collaborative environment. One carryover from the former building is rooftop bocce court, so the firm can continue its tradition of friendly - albeit highly competitive - bocce tournaments among attorneys and staff.

December 2016
Top in Tech

U.S. News-Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" named Venable the Technology Law Firm of the Year. Only one law firm in each practice area earns the prestigious Law Firm of the Year honor. Winners are selected based on overall performance in the research process that includes client feedback and peer evaluations. Venable's Technology Law practice covers a broad range of transactions involving technology and intellectual property, joint development projects, collaboration arrangements, licensing, and strategic sourcing agreements. It also notes that attorneys in this practice often act as outsourced general counsel to technology companies and have active counseling practices.

September 2016
Law Rocks

Noise in the Basement, Venable's DC office "house band," won the Battle of the Bands, beating out 14 other attorney bands. In addition to their top score from the judges, Venable also was the top fundraiser among all the bands, bringing in more than $20,000. Venable's charity designee was Together We Bake, a workforce training program for women in need of a second chance. Although Law Rocks' Battle of the Bands is new in DC, its ties to Venable are much deeper as one of the US Co-Founders, Brandt Mori, is an attorney in the San Francisco office.

August 2016
Artful Lawyers

Venable announced the launch of a new Art Law Practice Group with an emphasis on artist representation, collector counseling, art licensing, artist and collector estate planning, charitable donations of art, taxes, and business representation of galleries, dealers, appraisers, and agents. The group includes attorneys with backgrounds as artists, dealers, and distributors, who have written extensively on their field and taught art law. Venable counts some of the world's most famous artists among its clients, but also represents journeymen and up-and coming artists.

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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 2017: 676

  • Base Salary
    All offices
    1st year: $180,000
    Summer associate: $3,460/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    33 out of 34 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Corporate Law & Business Transactions • Government & Regulatory Affairs • Litigation • 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