WilmerHale at a Glance


  • “Flexible schedule”
  • “Interesting, charismatic people”
  • “Great training”


  • “Long hours”
  • “Almost impossible to make partner”
  • “A lot of document review work”

About WilmerHale

Since Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP and Hale and Dorr LLP merged to become WilmerHale in 2004, the firm has established itself as one of the preeminent litigation shops in the nation. In addition to a renowned IP trial practice, the firm is known for its securities enforcement and white collar work, as well as for its emphasis on regulatory advice and litigation. Moreover, it has nationally recognized practices in Antitrust and Competition, Appellate Litigation, Bankruptcy and Reorganization, Commercial Litigation, Financial Services, Government Law, Intellectual Property, International Arbitration, International Trade, Mergers & Acquisitions, Capital Markets, and Tax.

A Happy Union

Richard Hale joined Dudley Dorr and several other Boston lawyers to open a practice in 1918. By the time three Washington, DC attorneys opened shop as Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering five decades later, Hale and Dorr had established its place amongst the true blue New England law firms. Hale and Dorr-led by Joe Welch and assisted by Jim St. Clair-also helped bring down Joseph McCarthy before a national television audience in the legendary U.S. Army-McCarthy congressional proceedings.

The men behind (relative) upstart Wilmer, however, were also making their presence known. Founder John Pickering got off to a particularly audacious start-his first case was before the Supreme Court-and all three founders had 20-plus years under their belts by the time they set out on their own. Within a decade of opening, the firm had added a former SEC chair to develop its securities practice, structured a progressive pro bono policy and established an office in London. Meanwhile, Hale and Dorr maintained its very public image as partner Jim St. Clair-while temporarily disassociating himself with the firm-advised President Nixon during his Watergate travails, even appearing on a Time magazine cover for his efforts. Both firms would achieve increasing fame and fortune as the years passed, with IPOs, civil rights cases, governmental investigations, corporate defenses, and other high-profile work fueling payroll growth and international expansion. Post-merger, WilmerHale serves as primary outside counsel for approximately 100 publicly-traded companies while focusing on a diverse range of practices, including securities defense, investment management, securities regulatory issues, and Dodd-Frank work.

Intellectual Lawyers for Intellectual Property

The foundation of WilmerHale's success is its IP practice. The firm combines technical expertise-more than 180 of its IP lawyers and technology specialists hold scientific and technical degrees-with BigLaw firepower. Annually, the firm secures hundreds of patents and trademark registrations worldwide. One factor behind the department's excellence has been the firm's sophisticated multi-jurisdictional representation of an all-star roster of high-profile IP clients, including Apple, Abbott Laboratories, Intel, Broadcom Corp., Boeing, Boston Scientific, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Monsanto, Novartis, Oracle, Pfizer, and Wyeth.

Outside the Lines

WilmerHale is near the top of virtually every "who's who" list of prestigious BigLaw firms, but it also prides itself on qualities beyond profits per partner. The firm has been quick to embrace alternative fee arrangements for its clients, offering flexible fee options for its clients for matters handled by the Regulatory, Intellectual Property, Corporate, Labor and Employment, and Litigation practice groups. The firm understands their clients desire quality, predictability, efficiency, and sustainable savings, and have made significant investments in effective legal matter management. Continuing its progressive thinking, WilmerHale has undertaken numerous green initiatives, ranging from using recycled paper and water pitchers to installing bicycle racks and light sensors in certain offices. 

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1875 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 663-6000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Co-Managing Partners: Susan W. Murley and Robert T. Novick
  • Hiring Partners: Mark Ford (Boston); Natalie Hanlon Leh & Andy Spielman (Denver); Randall Lee (Los Angeles); Alan Schoenfeld & Erin Sloane (New York); Mark Flanagan (Palo Alto); Jonathan Paikin (Washington)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 1,059

  • Base Salary
    All offices
    1st year: $180,000
    2nd year: $190,000
    3rd year: $210,000
    4th year: $235,000
    5th year: $260,000
    6th year: $280,000
    Summer associate: $3,500/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    104 out of 105 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Intellectual Property: Copyright • Due Diligence and Opinions • Intersection of Antitrust and IP • Licensing and Technology Transfer • Litigation • Patent • Post-Grant Patent Proceedings • Proprietary Information and Trade Secrets • Protecting Intellectual Property in International Markets • Trademark, Trade Dress and Domain Names
    Litigation/Controversy: Anti-Discrimination and Fair Lending • Antitrust Litigation • Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation • Bankruptcy Litigation, Regulation and Policy • Business Trial Group • Cross-Border Investigations and Compliance • False Claims Act • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Anti-Corruption • Government and Regulatory Litigation • Government Contracts Litigation • Intellectual Property Litigation • International Arbitration • International Litigation • Investigations and Criminal Litigation • Securities Litigation • UK Investigations and Criminal Litigation • WilmerHale Discovery Solutions
    Regulatory and Government Affairs: Antitrust and Competition • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Working Group • Cross-Border Investigations and Compliance • Cybersecurity, Privacy and Communications • Defense, National Security and Government Contracts • Energy, Environment and Natural Resources • European Union Regulatory Group • Federal Inspector General Investigations • Financial Institutions • International Trade, Investment and Market Access • Public Policy and Legislative Affairs • Strategic Response
    Securities: Alternative Investment • Broker-Dealer Compliance and Regulation • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Working Group • Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Working Group • Futures and Derivatives • Investment Management • Litigation and Enforcement
    Transactional: Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring • China Corporate • Corporate • Debt Finance • Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits • Fund Formation • German Corporate • Labor and Employment • Real Estate • Tax • Technology Transactions and Licensing • UK Corporate
    Additional Industries: Aviation • Capital Markets • Education • Energy and Cleantech • Financial Services • FinTech • Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals • Insurance • Life Sciences • Manufacturing • Media and Entertainment • Nanotechnology • National Security: Defense and Intelligence • Native American Law • Professional Services • Subprime Market • Telecommunications • Venture Capital

Major Office Locations

  • Boston, MA • Denver, CO • Los Angeles, CA • New York, NY • Palo Alto, CA • Washington, DC Beijing • Berlin • Brussels • Frankfurt • London