Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati at a Glance


  • “Agreeable billable hours requirement.”
  • “Cool tech clients”
  • “People are very laid back and easy to work with”


  • “Early stage start up clients can be very demanding”
  • “Outdated technology (ironically)”
  • “Practice areas are very segregated”

The Buzz

  • “Best of Silicon Valley”
  • “Great exit opportunities”
  • “Very hierarchical”
  • “Losing ground to other top firms in the Valley”

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.


May 2016
Digging Diversity

Continuing its tradition of garnering high rankings for diversity, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati recently ranked No. 3 in The American Lawyer's 2016 Diversity Scorecard, with 26.2 percent minority attorneys and 19.8 percent minority partners in 2015. This year's result continues the firm's history of high rankings, which includes three consecutive years in which WSGR ranked No. 1 overall.

General Counsels' Pet

NYSE Governance Services and FTI Consulting announced the results of the 2016 America's Best Corporate Law Firms study, a comprehensive ranking of the top 25 national corporate law firms by U.S. corporate directors and general counsel of publicly traded companies across the country. WSGR ranked No. 16 nationally as identified by directors and No. 15 nationally as identified by general counsel.

February 2016
How Ad-Venture-ous

In Dow Jones VentureSource's legal rankings for issuer-side venture financing deals in 2015, WSGR was ranked No. 1 overall for the total number of rounds of equity financing raised on behalf of clients.

January 2016
It's Science!

Law360 named Wilson Sonsini Goodrich& Rosati among its Life Sciences Groups of the Year, noting that WSGR was at the forefront of one of the largest IPOs in the history of the life sciences industry in 2015, guiding cancer treatment developer NantKwest Inc. to a $207 million debut. The firm also was ranked first in the inaugural Life Sciences Law Firm Index published by litigation finance firm Lake Whillans.

December 2015
Very Competitive

For the sixth consecutive year, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati was named to Global Competition Review's "Global Elite," the publication's list of the world's top 20 law firms for competition law. Of note, the publication characterized the group as "perhaps the best antitrust and competition practice for high-tech matters in the world."

May 2015
Minority Report

In May 2015, WSGR ranked No. 1 on Law360's first-ever list of the 100 best U.S. law firms for racial minority attorneys. In addition to achieving the top overall ranking, WSGR was recognized as the best law firm for Asian American attorneys and as one of the five best law firms for minority partners.

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Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

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


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman: Larry W. Sonsini
  • Managing Partner: Douglas Clark
  • Hiring Partners: Michael Coke, Maura Rees, Lisa Stimmell
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 750

  • 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
    58 out of 58 (2Ls) (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Antitrust • Appellate Litigation • 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 Finance • Exports • 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 • Life Sciences • 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