WilmerHale at a Glance


  • “Flexibility in terms of hours and location”
  • “Interesting and collegial colleagues”
  • “Commitment to public service and pro bono”


  • “Unpredictable and long hours”
  • “Slim prospects for partnership”
  • “Stressful compensation system”

The Buzz

  • “Strong appellate practice”
  • “Excellent at trade law”
  • “Early burnout”
  • “Underrated in NY”

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 defense 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 a diverse range of practices, including securities defense, investment management, securities regulatory issues, and issues arising from the Dodd-Frank Act.

IP Excellence

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.



Protecting Your Privacy
WilmerHale's Strategic Response and Cybersecurity, Privacy and Communication practice groups-joined by notable senior laterals-worked with Target and other household-name clients to respond to many of the most significant cyber breach incidents in recent history. The firm expanded its capabilities in the cybersecurity, defense, education, healthcare and intelligence sectors, and led the field representing a multitude of clients in congressional investigations. Fortune 500 companies, corporate executives and high-ranking public officials retain the firm for representation in internal corporate investigations; government investigations, including grand jury, congressional and inspector general investigations; criminal litigation, including trials and appeals; and related civil and administrative proceedings.


Supreme Victories
The firm argued eight Supreme Court cases for the 2014-2015 term that tackled fundamental questions relating to patent law, bankruptcy, immigration and election redistricting. Five partners argued in this term, showcasing a depth of next-generation talent within the practice. WilmerHale is likely to hold this term's record for the firm with the most arguments by the most attorneys. In the 2013-2014 term, the firm's lawyers presented oral argument in seven cases, and obtained victories in five-four of those with unanimous rulings-capping off a remarkable few months in which our litigators also clinched a series of intellectual property litigation wins at the Federal Circuit.

National Recognition
In the 2014 and 2015 "Best Law Firm" rankings by U.S. News and Best Lawyers, several of WilmerHale's securities practices are ranked in the first tier nationally, as well as in Boston, New York and Washington DC. Practices ranked include derivatives and futures law, mutual funds law, private funds/hedge funds law, securities/capital markets law, securities litigation and securities regulation. The firm's practice includes litigation, criminal and civil enforcement, regulatory and legislative work for some of the world's most prominent companies, including Big 4 accounting firms, hedge funds, Cisco, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS.

February 2015

What Do Pro Bono, Appellate Law and IP Have in Common?
For the third consecutive year, Law360 has named WilmerHale a Pro Bono Firm of the Year for its successful track record in pro bono cases and the ongoing dedication of its lawyers to advocacy for those most in need. The firm was also recognized among Law360's Appellate and IP Groups of the Year. This marks the fourth consecutive year that WilmerHale's appellate practice has been honored and is the third recognition for the firm's IP practice.

Supply Room Heaven
WilmerHale is representing Staples, Inc. in its acquisition of Office Depot. The two companies announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Staples will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Office Depot. The transaction values Office Depot at an equity value of $6.3 billion.

October 2014

Keeping the Polls Open
WilmerHale and its co-counsel, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), secured a landmark civil rights victory when the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas struck down Texas's highly restrictive voter photo identification law on the grounds that it violated the federal Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution. Following a period of full discovery and a two-week bench trial, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. Her 150-page opinion affirmed each and every claim raised. While the decision was stayed and is currently on appeal in front of the Fifth Circuit, WilmerHale continues to support LDF on this historic matter.

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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
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 1,101

  • Employment Contact
    Washington, DC
    Melissa Grossman
    Legal Recruitment Manager
    Phone: (202) 247-3259 Boston 
    Karen Rameika
    Legal Recruitment Manager
    Phone: (617) 526-5565 New York
    Nancy Gray
    Legal Recruitment Manager
    Phone: (212) 295-6439 Palo Alto
    Nancy Lam
    Legal Personnel and Recruitment Manager
    Phone: (650) 858-6139 Los Angeles
    Terri Janezeck
    Legal Recruitment Specialist
    Phone: (213) 443-5373 Denver, CO
    Nancy Lam
    Legal Personnel and Recruitment Manager
    Phone: (650) 858-6139

  • Base Salary
    All offices
    1st year: $160,000
    2nd year: $170,000
    3rd year: $185,000
    Summer associate: $3,100/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    86 out of 89 (2014)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Due Diligence and Opinions
    Intersection of Antitrust and IP
    Licensing and Technology Transfer
    Post-Grant Patent Proceedings
    Proprietary Information and Trade Secrets
    Protecting Intellectual Property in International Markets
    Trademark, Trade Dress and Domain Names
    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
    Intersection of Antitrust and IP
    Investigations and Criminal Litigation
    Securities Litigation
    UK Investigations and Criminal Litigation
    WilmerHale Discovery Solutions
    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
    Financial Institutions
    International Trade, Investment and Market Access
    Strategic Response
    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
    Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring
    China Corporate
    Debt Finance
    Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits
    Fund Formation
    German Corporate
    Labor and Employment
    Real Estate
    Technology Transactions and Licensing
    UK Corporate
    Capital Markets
    Energy and Cleantech
    Financial Services
    Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals
    Life Sciences
    Media and Entertainment
    National Security: Defense and Intelligence
    Native American Law
    Professional Services
    Real Estate
    Subprime Market
    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
  • Oxford
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