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Dorsey & Whitney LLP

At a Glance


“Work life balance”

“The people and the substance of the work”

“Respectful firm culture”


“Lack of transparency”

“The compensation (not market)”

“We sometime run a bit lean on staff and associates, meaning workload can be very demanding”

About Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Dorsey & Whitney was founded in 1912 when William Lancaster, a prominent Minneapolis lawyer, joined forces with David Simpson, a Minnesota Supreme Court justice. The pair established their practice for one very simple reason: the First National Bank of Minneapolis, of which Lancaster was a director, needed a reliable law firm to handle its growing business.

Introducing Dorsey

Today Dorsey is one of the largest law firms in the United States, with a client list that includes more than one-third of the Fortune 100 and more than half of Minnesota’s public companies. Key clients include U.S. Bank, General Mills, UnitedHealth Group, 3M, Delta Air Lines, St. Jude Medical, Hormel, Mayo Clinic, Canon and SUPERVALU Inc.

The name Dorsey became connected with the firm in 1913 when James Dorsey joined as an associate. He took the reins after Lancaster and Simpson passed away and drove the firm's growth through expanded corporate, banking, and financial services practices. In fact, Dorsey was so interested in the world of finance, he left the firm to try his hand at investment banking; eventually he gave that up and returned to law.

Several partners have passed through the Dorsey doors (and across its letterhead), but the name Dorsey & Whitney was finalized in 1981. At the time, Arthur Whitney, who led the firm's public finance practice, was one of Dorsey's oldest surviving partners. The firm’s ranks have also included such notable attorneys as Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, Professor William Prosser, and Vice President Walter Mondale.

General Practice with Boutique Depth in IP

Over the last decade, the firm has dominated the mergers and acquisitions scene, advising on transactions large and small, from multinational acquisitions to small family business sales. The firm’s securities litigation and enforcement department is also highly regarded, having represented financial institutions, broker/dealers, issuers, underwriters, and individuals nationwide.

Though it is a general practice firm, Dorsey & Whitney has a notable intellectual property practice. Besides IP litigation, Dorsey offers specialized IP services like licensing, patent prosecution, and brand management. It also fields a dedicated team of clean tech IP attorneys who serve emerging companies (think carbon capture and sequestering technology, tidal technology, and fuel cells and next-gen batteries).

Equality History

People around the world learned Dorsey's name in April 2009, when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of Dorsey's plaintiffs in a landmark decision that overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The case, which Dorsey handled pro bono in partnership with Lambda Legal, was an unprecedented victory for marriage equality in the United States.

But that's not the only reason Dorsey is known internationally. The firm's small but active international practices are divided into regional units, including Europe, Canada, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, India and Israel. The India practice is run out of the Hong Kong office, Latin American matters are coordinated between California and New York, and attorneys across the U.S. and in London work in the Israeli practice group.

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

50 South Sixth Street
Suite 1500
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: (612) 340-2600

Firm Stats

Managing Partner: Bill Stoeri
Hiring Partner: Bryan Keane

Base Salary

1st year: $140,000
Summer associate: $2,700/week
Other locations
: Varies by location

Summer Program

Summer Associate Offers:
15 out of 18 (2Ls) (2018)

Employment Contact

Harry Poulos
Director of Lawyer Recruiting
(612) 492-5165

Major Office Locations

Minneapolis, MN (HQ)
Anchorage, AK
Costa Mesa, CA
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Des Moines, IA
Missoula, MT
New York, NY
Palo Alto, CA
Salt Lake City, UT
Seattle, WA
Washington, DC
Wilmington, DE | Beijing
Hong Kong

Major Departments

Benefits & Compensation
Corporate & Transactions
Finance & Restructuring
Intellectual Property
Labor, Employment, & Immigration
Public Finance
Real Estate
Regulatory Affairs
Tax, Trusts, Estates & Non-Profits