2020 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“Hours can be brutal.”
“Lack of transparency.”
“Very high pressure to succeed and overachieve.”
About Cooley LLP
With more than 1,000 lawyers practicing across the U.S., Europe, and China, Cooley is synonymous with tech and venture capital work. The firm is also well regarded for its cyber/data/privacy, IP, M&A, private equity, cleantech, and securities practices.
Cooley was founded by Arthur Cooley and Louis Crowley in 1920 in San Francisco. Six decades later, the firm opened an office in Palo Alto, the epicenter of American technology. The rest is history. The firm began working with venture capitalists, life sciences companies, and emerging technology startups, representing the likes of Adobe Systems and Gilead Sciences; it also took Genentech and Amgen public in 1980 and 1983, respectively. The firm also advised on the formation of Draper, Gaither and Anderson, the West Coast’s first venture capital partnership. In other words, the firm built a strong tech foundation and continues to be a leader in the space today.
Start ’Em Up
Cooley lawyers work in a variety of industries. The firm works in the technology sphere, including such areas as AI, big data, cloud solutions, cybersecurity, digital currency and blockchain, fintech, and more. But the firm’s experience extends much broader to such areas as aviation, cleantech, communications and media, education, food and beverage, life sciences and health care, national security, and retail, to name some.
The No. 1 firm for Emerging Companies and Venture Capital in Vault’s practice area ranking, Cooley is a go-to firm for all aspects of startups and early-stage companies. The firm handles more than 1,000 venture capital financings each year, advising both investors and companies. The firm’s lawyers work through the whole life cycle of a startup and offer a multidisciplinary approach, integrating experience in financing, IP counseling, licensing, M&A advice, and more. And through the firm’s web resource Cooley Go, startups can receive in-depth information on everything from getting started, raising funds, building a team, creating a board, and selling their businesses.
Cooley also has a bustling corporate practice, with a strong M&A team of more than 180 lawyers. The firm has worked on more than 1,300 M&A deals in the past seven years. On the private equity side, the firm handles everything from buyouts, going private transactions, growth equity investments, minority investments, and spinoffs—to name a handful. Meanwhile, on the litigation side, the firm has experience in myriad areas, including antitrust, environmental law, IP, privacy and cybersecurity, restructuring, securities litigation, tax, and more.
Best in Class
If you ask Fortune, Cooley is a great place—the firm has ranked within Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For for six years straight. And we can see why—the firm tries to go the extra mile for its associates. It offers a shadowing program, internal career coaches, and a liaison for those taking leave. The firm even helps its associates get shut eye—it offers new parents smart sleeper rentals on the firm. Now that’s what we call a perk.
News & Awards
Cooley advised leading analytics platform Tableau on its agreement to sell to Salesforce in a $15.7 billion all-stock transaction, which is expected to close early in Q4. The combination will enable companies around the world to tap into data across their entire business and surface deeper insights to make smarter decisions; drive intelligent, connected customer experiences; and accelerate innovation.
Cooley moved to 55 Hudson Yards in New York, proudly at the heart of the largest private real estate development in U.S. history and the biggest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center. Cooley’s workforce and clients will enjoy flagship, state-of-the-art office space among many of the biggest names in business and tech.
Cooley advised inventor of blue jeans and iconic apparel company Levi Strauss & Co. on its $623 million initial public offering. Levi Strauss & Co., whose securities now trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LEVI,” was founded in San Francisco 166 years ago.
A Cooley team helped to stop one of the leaders of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, from using his Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy to prevent a civil case against him from proceeding. The case is part of Cooley’s ongoing pro bono work seeking civil damages for 10 people injured in the violence that erupted at the 2017 rally.
- Junior Seau v. NFL – Cooley helped the family of late NFL player Junior Seau secure a confidential settlement in their litigation against the NFL, which alleged Seau took his own life because of brain injuries sustained during his NFL tenure.
- David Elliot et al v. Google – In an important “genericide” trademark suit, Cooley achieved a significant victory that prevented Google from losing its eponymous trademark.
- In re: Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation – A Cooley team successfully advised Facebook on a $15 billion multidistrict litigation that alleged the company unlawfully tracked users’ browsing activity after they signed off.
- 100 Best Companies to Work For - 2019 (Fortune)
- 60 Best Law Firms for Women - 2019 (Working Mother)
- Best Law Firm of the Year Finalist - 2018 (The American Lawyer)
- Transatlantic Litigation Team of the Year - 2018 (Transatlantic Legal Awards)
- Pro Bono Publico Award - 2018 (American Bar Association)
3175 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone: (650) 843-5000
Chairman: Steve Neal
CEO: Joe Conroy
Chief Legal Talent Officer: Carrie Wagner
Total No. Attorneys 2019:
1K - 1.5K
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
4th year: $255,000
5th year: $280,000
6th year: $305,000
7th year: $325,000
8th year: $340,000
9th year: $350,000
Summer associate: $3,654/week
No. of Summer Associates:
87 total (77 2Ls; 9 1Ls; 1 SEO) (2019)
Chief Legal Talent Officer
See firm website for more information.
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Palo Alto, CA
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
Antitrust & Competition
Health Care & Life Sciences Regulatory
Intellectual Property Litigation
Insurance & Reinsurance
Life Sciences Corporate Partnering & Licensing
Mergers & Acquisitions
Patent Prosecution and Counseling
Privacy & Data Protection
Trademark, Copyright & Advertising
White Collar & Regulatory Defense
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.