Executive Q&A from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Firm Name: Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP (numbers as of 9/17/12)
Total number of attorneys: 1,000+
•Number of partners: 359
•Number of of counsel: 123
•Number of associates: 609
•(Number of lawyers working part-time): 103
Please provide the number of attorneys in each office:
•Los Angeles: 60
•New York: 188
•Orange County: 20
•San Francisco: 187
•Silicon Valley: 81
•Washington, D.C.: 78
•Global Operations Center: 44
•Hong Kong: 42
** These numbers do not include trainee attorneys in Europe and Asia
Minimum billable hour requirement: N/A . No minimum billable hour requirement.
How is the firm managed?
Orrick has been led by Chairman and CEO Ralph Baxter since 1990. The firm's board, comprising partners from different geographies and practices, focuses on maintaining a strong internal culture, recruiting top talent, maintaining long-term client relationships, and strategic expansion, both domestically and internationally. Orrick is comprised of five business units (Corporate, Energy & Infrastructure, Finance, Intellectual Property, and Litigation), each with a dedicated business unit leader.
What are some of the most interesting new developments at the firm?
Recent Firm Highlights Include:
•Orrick is recognized by Law360 as one of the “Global 20” leading firms
•The Financial Times selected Orrick among the top five most innovative U.S. law firms in 2011
•August 2009: Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has been named one of the 2009 Best Law Firms for Women by Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers. Orrick is honored to be recognized by these organizations for its attention to work/life balance and women's issues. This is the second year that Orrick has been named to this prestigious list.
•September 2012: Orrick opened an office in Brussels, expanding our global reach to 25 locations across nine continents.
•Yale Law Women named Orrick as a Top 10 Family Friendly Firm in 2012.
•Orrick received a 100 percent rating in the 2012 Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, a report card on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality in corporate America. This is the seventh consecutive year Orrick has received a perfect rating.
Please briefly discuss your firm's pro bono initiatives:
Orrick lawyers work on a wide variety of advocacy, counseling and transactional matters on behalf of individuals and organizations that could not otherwise afford legal representation. The firm has a commitment to supporting diverse causes with tangible human stakes, including high-profile immigration disputes and civil rights litigation, all while championing grassroots global development through an innovative social sector finance initiative. In the past year, the firm secured asylum for a family threatened with death at the hands of Albanian mobsters after petitioning the U. S. Supreme Court, won millions for a Tennessee family devastated by groundwater contamination, successfully guided a major civil rights suit to a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in its favor, advised countries, including Libya, Syria and Egypt in connection with constitutional and other government reform, and represented dynamic nonprofits deploying capital to the poor in areas of health, water, education, energy, water, and microfinance.In 2011, more than 82% of U.S.-based attorneys billed 20 or more pro bono hours for a total of more than 63,000 pro bono hours. Our international offices also participated significantly in our pro bono program billing more than 7,000 hours in 2011.
As a result of its multifaceted pro bono program, the firm was honored with the following recognition for its pro bono efforts in 2011:
TrustLaw Impact Award – given to the firm for its innovative research and advocacy work to promote microfinance in Europe.
Orrick was honored by the D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference at its “40 at 50” breakfast for being one of a small group of D.C. firms that had at least 40 percent of its lawyers perform 50 or more pro bono hours in 2010.
LawWorks Best Contributions by a Law Firm – Orrick was shortlisted for this award for the strong contributions made to charities and low-income individuals in the UK, particularly from the property, litigation and employment law groups in the London office.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area Living the Dream Award – the firm received the award in recognition of the substantial time and resources it has devoted to pro bono work supporting and impacting the lives of low-income citizens.
Bay Area Legal Aid Pro Bono Achievement Award – honored during National Pro Bono Week for the firm’s devotion to representing low-income clients, particularly in the immigration area.
Legal Aid Society of New York Pro Bono Publico Award given to the firm for its work on a pending federal court class action case on behalf of fourteen children alleging that the commissioner of the state agency that detains them violated their constitutional and federal statutory rights by failing to provide them with adequate mental health services and mis- and overusing physical restraints.
CAIR Coalition Law Firm of the Year – given to the firm for its work and commitment to this Washington, D.C.-based organization that represents and defends detained immigrants.
Do pro bono hours count toward billing requirements or associate bonuses?
Yes. Orrick's commitment to legal volunteerism is absolute. In 2011, our pro bono program was ranked No. 10 by AmLaw and we were recognized in September 2012 as having the law firm pro bono program of the year by Law 360.
How are associates assigned to departments?
Practice areas are primarily chosen based on associates' interest and the needs of each business unit. Orrick believes that attorneys perform at their highest level when they are practicing in an area they truly enjoy.
Please describe the firm's compensation package by year, including bonus:
With regard to compensation, the firm has salary bands tied to each of the partner-track associate levels -- Associates earn between $160,000 and $185,000, Managing Associates earn between $210,000 and $205,000, and Senior Associates earn $250,000. Orrick's bonus program -- based upon quality of work, productivity/efficiency, and contribution to the firm and business unit -- is designed to allow for partner-track associates to be compensated at or above market pay. In 2011, the bonus program allowed for associates to earn up to 8% above the market depending on level and performance assessment.
What benefits and perks do attorneys at your firm receive?
Orrick's benefits package is one of the most comprehensive in the industry. It's designed to benefit every member of the firm and target each individual's diverse needs.
To help accommodate each firm member's family, eligible dependents include a spouse or qualified domestic partner (same-sex or opposite-sex), unmarried dependent children, stepchildren and domestic partner's children.
In addition to paid holidays, flexible time off, 401k, and comprehensive health care coverage, which includes vision and dental, Orrick provides additional benefits and perks not always available at other firms:
•Payment for Bar Fees and approved CLE courses
•Medical and Dependant Care Pre-Tax Benefit Plan
•Short-and Long-Term Disability Coverage
•Back-Up Childcare Program
•529 College Savings Plans
•Paid Adoption Leave
•Paid Non-Primary Caregiver Leave (aka Paternity Leave)
•Financial Planning Seminars
Does the firm offer maternity leave?
Yes. Orrick has a pregnancy/disability and childcare leave policy that provides for 18 weeks (the period of presumed disability) of paid leave for the birth mother. Up to four months of unpaid childcare leave may be given to any attorney in connection with providing childcare for pre-schoolage children. As birth mothers may take the four months of unpaid leave immediately following 18 weeks of paid pregnancy/disability leave, the policy effectively provides for seven months of consecutive leave for birth mothers.
What is the main focus of your firm's summer associate program?
Orrick's summer program gives future associates a realistic idea of what it would be like to have a career at Orrick. We keep our summer associate classes small in order to provide focused and personal attention, practical training, varied assignments, extensive feedback, and hands-on experience with real client matters, topped off with a variety of great social events. The goal is to give summer associates a straightforward look at Orrick, its people, its culture, and its clients, to see if it's a good fit for both Orrick and the summer associate. Orrick's summer program is the single-most important source for associate recruitment. The firm hires summer associates with strong academic records and a focused dedication to performing cutting-edge legal work. Other factors the firm considers include participation in Law Review and Moot Court, as well as student activities and previous work experience. Orrick also takes into consideration attributes it believes are important to be successful in the practice of law, such as leadership ability, independence, poise, and maturity. The weight given to any one factor varies with each application. For example, previous legal and non-legal work experience can be important if it is relevant to the practice area in which the candidate has expressed an interest.
At which schools does the firm participate in on-campus recruiting?
Most of the firm's summer associates come from the top nationally ranked law schools, as well as first-tier law schools within geographical proximity of individual offices. Orrick also recruits at diversity job fairs and specialty practice area job fairs.
Orrick's current OCI targets include the following:
•University of California/Davis
•University of California/Hastings
•University of Chicago
What kinds of personalities thrive at your firm?
Orrick values team players over big egos and collaboration over competition. We are a firm where great people do great work. Orrick seeks lawyers who are intelligent, confident, ambitious, have an entrepreneurial zeal, and don't take themselves too seriously! They should have a strong commitment to the firm's core values of excellence and integrity, cooperation and individual respect, enthusiasm and a pursuit of improvement that make Orrick a great place to work.
How is your firm's culture?
We have a reputation for excellence in our people and work opportunities, attracting bright, well-rounded individuals who could practice law at any law firm, but choose to work at Orrick. Orrick lawyers portray a unique combination of not only excellent legal skills, but something more: a solid work ethic and a well-rounded personal character. Orrick lawyers embody the firm's core values for excellence, integrity, enthusiasm, pursuit of improvement, respect, and cooperation. Orrick's 2009 Vault "Top New York Firms" profile says "Orrick's firm culture is perhaps best summed up by Elvis Costello: 'What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?' Associates genuinely seem to enjoy working at Orrick. "Associates work in a culture of mutual respect and collegiality, both among associates and partners and associates. Associates are respected and given a great deal of responsibility,' reports an insider from the New York office. Another says, 'At Orrick, we don't just pay lip service to 'firm culture.' We take it seriously. Seriously."
Please describe your firm's diversity recruitment and retention programs.
Since 1990, Orrick's Diversity and Inclusion Committee, one of the first in a major law firm, has advised management on a broad range of initiatives to ensure that Orrick is successful in hiring, retaining and promoting diverse lawyers. Partners and associates on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee take action to ensure that Orrick's lawyers are diverse and positioned to thrive personally and professionally.
Our diversity and inclusion committees are actively involved in the firm’s recruiting efforts, orientation, summer program, training and mentoring programs, and pro bono and community activities. Diverse lawyers play an integral role in managing the firm (as members of the firm’s board, office and practice group leaders, and committee chairs among others) and shaping its future. We are committed to bringing diverse perspectives to bear in every aspect of firm life and ensuring that we provide an inclusive and supportive environment for all.
Innovative Policies, Practices and Programs. At Orrick, we constantly challenge ourselves to introduce new programs to help us effectively attract, retain and promote diverse individuals. As a consequence, we are among the most diverse large firms in the United States. A few of the more distinctive elements of our diversity program include the following.
- Affinity Groups, Parents' and Veterans' Forums and Mentoring Program
- Women's Initiative, Committee and Mentoring Circles
- Diversity Liaisons to each Practice Group's Associate Review Committee
- Unconscious Bias Training for all Partners and Of Counsel
- Alternative Work Schedule Policy, Flexible Working Arrangements and On-Ramping Program
- Custom Track Options
- Pipeline Initiatives to Support Diverse Youth (including the Orrick founded Bay Area Diversity Career Fair for 2nd Year Law Students)
- Paid Membership in Diverse Professional Associations
- Associate Development Benchmarks and Career Guidance Counselors
- Supplier Diversity Program
Orrick is ranked by leading publications and organizations as one of the law firms most committed to diversity:
Vault: Top 25 Best Law Firms for: Diversity, Diversity for Minorities, and Diversity for LGBT – 2013
New York City Bar Diversity Champion: Lorraine McGowen, Orrick’s Diversity Chair – 2012
Minority Corporate Counsel Association: 3-Time Winner Sager Award for Diversity
Human Rights Campaign: 100% Rating Corporate Equality Index – 6th Consecutive Year
Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyer: 3-Time Winner Best Law Firms for Women
Yale Law Women: Top 10 Family Friendly Firms – 2012
Multicultural Law Magazine: Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity – 6th Consecutive Year and Top 100 Law Firms for Women – 5th Consecutive Year
Minority Law Journal: Ranked 23rd out of 194 firms for overall diversity – 2011
Intel Diversity Success Award – 2009
Morgan Stanley: 2-Time Winner of the “Large Law Firm of the Year for Diversity” Award
Who are some of Orrick's clients?
Orrick's world-class client list ensures that our lawyers have opportunities to engage in client work that moves markets and makes headlines. Orrick's deep long-term client relationships and culture of teamwork enable our lawyers to develop intimate knowledge of our clients' businesses and legal needs, which translates into better service and better results.
Orrick clients include, Acer, Bank of America, Cisco Systems, Citi, Deutsche Bank, DHL, eBay, eHarmony, Facebook, Fiat, Finmeccanica, Fujitsu, Goldman Sachs, Intel, J.P. Morgan Chase, Levi Strauss, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, NVIDIA, Oracle, PG&E, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Renault, Sears, Telenor, Total, and Vivendi.