Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati at a Glance

Uppers

  • “Interesting and dynamic client base”
  • “Ability to work remotely”
  • “Opportunities to lead”

Downers

  • “Limited mentorship”
  • “Unpredictability of hours”
  • “Lack of transparency from management”

About Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati built its reputation advising some of the major tech and life sciences industries as well as the banks and venture capitalists keeping those bold experiments flush with greenbacks. It follows, then, that the firm is known for its deep roots in the tech sector and for its prominence in the historic IPOs, mergers, and litigation that shook and shaped a new economy.

Rising with a Valley

The Valleyspeak that made Wilson Sonsini's name wasn't the "like, totally!" variety. Rather, it was the firm's thorough comprehension of its clients' businesses and its capacity to talk the talk of Silicon Valley's burgeoning industries. As these fields gradually took form, the firm began representing companies in all phases of growth. Since its founding in 1961, Wilson Sonsini has become a leader in tech licensing transactions, technology financings and M&A, and securities class actions.

The firm began as a simple three-man shop in Palo Alto. It was founded by John Wilson, Pete McCloskey, and Roger Mosher; McCloskey departed shortly thereafter in order to take a seat in Congress. Larry Sonsini became a name partner in 1973 after working at the firm for seven years. John Goodrich and Mario Rosati came on board in the early 1970s, and after Mosher's departure, the firm took its current name of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Its head office is still in Palo Alto, though it has grown selectively with 14 other offices across the United States, China, and Europe.

The Go-to Guy

It was Larry Sonsini who carved the firm's modern path, visualizing its IT future and aggressively cultivating its client base. Described by one private equity client quoted in Fortune magazine as "the Larry Bird of Silicon Valley," "the go-to guy … the ice-in-his-veins, blue-collar, scramble-for-the-ball, great-teammate, no-ego, championship-caliber guy," Sonsini enjoys great loyalty from clients, many of whom are charter members of the West Coast tech illuminati. The resident expert on tech issues for the NYSE's board of directors since 2001, Sonsini smoothed the way for Google's 2004 IPO and led Pixar's $7.4 billion acquisition by Disney in 2006. Though Sonsini stepped down as CEO in 2005, he continues to hold rank as the firm's chairman.

Sonsini has led the firm in advising on some of the biggest tech deals around. The firm helped launch the IPOs of Apple, Sun Microsystems, Netflix, Rackspace, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Infosys. It has also advised on M&A and other transactions, including Hewlett-Packard's merger with Compaq, Salesforce.com's $2.5 billion acquisition of ExactTarget, and LinkedIn's $26.2 billion sale to Microsoft.

Every Tech You Can Imagine

Wilson Sonsini's technology experience has become as diverse as the industry itself. The firm now works with clients in the semiconductor, software, renewable energy, networking, media, biotech, medical device, and consumer tech sectors. It also has a strong corporate finance practice that works closely with financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Last but hardly least, the Wilson Sonsini venture capital practice has grown in tandem with early clients like Sequoia Capital, Mayfield, and Oak Investment Partners. To date, Wilson Sonsini has worked with thousands of companies and has helped raise billions of dollars. The firm has represented over a hundred venture capital and private equity firms-many of which it helped create.

IN THE NEWS

May 2017
Life Sciences Luminaries

The life sciences practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati was ranked No. 1 in the Lake Whillans Life Sciences Law Firm Index for the second consecutive year in 2017. The annual index identifies the most active and relevant law firms for life sciences companies. In addition to the overall recognition, WSGR ranked No. 1 in the patent category, where the firm was noted for prosecuting more than 500 applications annually for a variety of pharmaceutical and life sciences technologies.

All Lined Up

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a securities class action filed against WSGR client Align Technology, maker of the Invisalign teeth aligning system. The significant opinion marked the first time the Ninth Circuit has ruled that the U.S. Supreme Court's Omicare ruling applies to Section 10(b) fraud claims of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. It is also the first goodwill accounting case that the Ninth Circuit has decided, holding that judgments about goodwill accounting should be treated as opinion statements.

April 2017
Venture Victors

Dow Jones VentureSource's legal rankings for Q1 2017 issuer-side venture financing deals placed WSGR ahead of all other firms by the total number of rounds of equity financing raised on behalf of clients. The firm also topped VentureSource's legal rankings for full-year 2016 issuer-side venture financing deals.

Major M&A

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati represented AppDynamics, a privately held application intelligence software company, in its $3.7 billion acquisition by Cisco. The AppDynamics transaction follows several other major M&A transactions on which the firm has advised in the past year, including Gartner's $2.6 billion acquisition of CEB, GoDaddy's $1.79 billion acquisition of Host Europe Group, LifeLock's $2.3 billion acquisition by Symantec, and Brocade's $5.9 billion acquisition by Broadcom.

January 2017
No Competition

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati was featured among the top competition practices in the U.S. as part of Law360's annual "Practice Groups of the Year" series. WSGR was recognized for obtaining key wins in antitrust litigation, including an international comity case that may be the largest-ever antitrust case involving Chinese companies, and seeing major mergers to completion, including Altera's $16.7 billion purchase by Intel.

September 2016
Leading Change

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati was honored by the California Bar Foundation as the law firm recipient of the 2016 Leading Change Diversity Award, which honors leaders in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. WSGR was recognized for its "continued commitment to greater diversity and inclusion, including consistently ranking at the top of The American Lawyer's list of law firms with the highest number of associates and partners of color."

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Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

650 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone: (650) 493-9300

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman: Larry W. Sonsini
  • Managing Partner: Douglas Clark
  • Hiring Partners: Michael Coke, Maura Rees, Lisa Stimmell
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 800

  • Base Salary
    All offices
    1st year: $180,000
    2nd year: $190,000
    3rd year: $210,000
    4th year: $235,000
    5th year: $2360,000
    6th year: $280,000
    7th year: $300,000
    8th year: $315,000
    9th year+: $325,000
    Summer associate: $3,462 per week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    54 out of 54 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Antitrust • Appellate Litigation • Biotech • Board and Internal Investigations • Broker-Dealer • Capital Markets • Class Action Litigation • Consumer Litigation • Commercial Litigation • Corporate Governance • Cybersecurity • Employee Benefits and Compensation • Employment Litigation • Energy and Infrastructure • Export Control and Sanctions • Federal Trade Commission • FCPA • Finance and Structured Finance • Fund Services • Global Generics • Government Investigations • Greater China • Intellectual Property • Intellectual Property Litigation • Internet Law and Strategy Litigation • Investment Adviser • Medical Devices • Mergers & Acquisitions • National Security/CFIUS • Patent Litigation • Patents and Innovation • Post-Grant Review • Privacy & Data Protection • Private Equity • Real Estate • Restructuring • Securities and Governance Litigation • Shareholder Activism • Start-Ups and Venture Capital • Tax and Tax Equity • Technology Transactions • Trade Secret Litigation • Trademark and Copyright • Trial • White Collar

Major Office Locations

  • Palo Alto, CA (HQ) • Austin, TX • Boston, MA • Los Angeles, CA • New York, NY • San Diego, CA • San Francisco, CA (Financial District) • San Francisco, CA (SOMA) • Seattle, WA • Washington, DC • Wilmington, DE Beijing • Brussels • Hong Kong • Shanghai