2019 Vault Rankings
“Collegial and collaborative work environment”
“The firm's commitment to pro bono”
“Lack of diversity”
“Unpredictable hours at times”
“Low/no technology budget”
Hailing from the land of red socks and chowder, Foley Hoag has stayed close to its Boston roots. With only four locations—in Massachusetts, New York, DC, and Paris—the firm is smaller than many of its BigLaw competitors. But Foley Hoag has made a name for itself with its strong practice and progressive history.
Foley Hoag began during the Second World War, when Henry Foley and Garrett Hoag set up shop in Boston in 1943. As the firm progressed, so did its commitment to diversity. In 1979 the late Charles J. Beard II was named partner at Foley Hoag, becoming the first African-American to be named partner in a Boston law firm, for which he was later honored in 2001 by the Boston Lawyers Group. Beard specialized in cable television regulation and business law and also served for many years on the firm’s Hiring Committee and as the firm’s marketing partner. In 1980, The Foley Hoag Foundation launched; it was the first—and remains the only—foundation established to focus exclusively on the improvement of race relations in Boston. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $2 million in grants to more than 300 organizations. The Foundation’s mission has recently broadened to support programs addressing inequality in its various forms, including racial, ethnic and gender disparities in both Greater Boston and metropolitan Washington, DC.
Foley Hoag has also counted several barrier-breaking women among its partnership. Judge Sandra Lynch became the first female chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. She was also the first woman to chair Foley’s litigation department and helped defend W.R. Grace & Co. in its 1980s toxic tort suit (a case better known as the subject of A Civil Action). Another noteworthy Foley alumna is former partner Gloria Cordes Larson. Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts inaugurated Larson as its seventh president in July 2007—the college’s first female president. At Foley, Larson co-chaired the government strategies group; she also led Governor Deval Patrick’s business advisory cabinet and transition team during her tenure at the firm.
Pro Bono Presence
Foley Hoag’s pro bono program has been a centerpiece of the firm since its representation of the plaintiffs in the 1970s lawsuit that brought desegregation to the Boston public schools. On average, pro bono projects total approximately five percent of the firm’s total work, and firm attorneys regularly average over 100 hours each of pro bono annually, all of which count toward that all-important billable hour requirement. Foley Hoag’s pro bono projects cover a wide range of topics, including political asylum, civil rights and fair housing.
While the firm is committed to pro bono, its core practices obviously drive the firm. Among its robust practice areas are litigation, environmental, intellectual property, corporate, bankruptcy, hedge funds, energy and international litigation and arbitration. The firm is also well known for its entrepreneurial services practice with its Boston headquarters located in the Seaport District, Boston’s new “innovation district” and the center of the region’s emerging companies and venture capital communities.
Foley Hoag has been a major presence in the Boston legal and business community since Henry Foley and Garrett Hoag set up shop in 1943. The firm quickly earned a progressive reputation: In 1979, Charles J. Beard II, a Foley Hoag business lawyer and a pioneer in the legal field of cable television regulation, became the first African-American to be named partner in a major Boston law firm.
Just one year later, The Foley Hoag Foundation was established in the aftermath of Boston’s school busing crisis, a period of profound racial tension. The foundation was the first—and remains the only— foundation to focus exclusively on the improvement of race relations in Boston; so far, it has awarded 495 grants totaling nearly $1.54 million. In addition, the Emerging Enterprise Center at Foley Hoag opened in 2006 to support the entrepreneur and venture capital communities with legal and business consulting services.
Foley Hoag was one of the earliest to develop active practices in such cutting-edge areas as energy technology and renewables, and various life sciences disciplines. The firm is also well known for its unusual presence in the area of public international law, representing clients before the International Court of Justice and other international bodies. In the past several years, the firm has been hired by Nicaragua in border disputes with Costa Rica and Colombia, by Ecuador in a claim against Colombia for aerial spraying of pesticides, and by Uruguay in defense of an environmental claim by Argentina. Most recently, Paul Reichler, who leads this practice, represented the Republic of Georgia in filing suit in The Hague against Russia, and obtained an historic ruling ordering a halt to ethnic cleansing.
Read more about some of our latest victories and accolades.
Put simply, “Foley Hoag is a great place to work.” With a unique combination of substantive work, “wonderful” mentors and consistent work-life balance, associates have nothing but positive things to say about life at their firm. “The people are great, the work is interesting, I'm learning all the time, and I am encouraged to maintain something of a life outside the office,” notes a Boston contact. Weekend work, the bane of most associate’s existence, is a rarity at Foley Hoag and any last-minute projects can usually be taken care of from home. A junior contact adds, “Everyone is very kind and helpful, but also very professional. Most partners make associates feel like valuable team members rather than underlings.” The firm’s overall culture, too, is described as “friendly, academic and open,” ensuring that associates consistently feel like “valuable team players rather than underlings.”
To read more about the unique culture at Foley Hoag click here.
155 Seaport Boulevard
Boston, MA 02210
Phone: (617) 832-1000
Employer Type: Private
Managing Partners: Jeffrey Collins and Kenneth Leonetti
Recruiting Chair: Meredith Haviland
Total No. Attorneys 2018: 271
Boston, MA; Washington, DC; New York, NY
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
Summer associate: $3,462 per week (in 2018)
10 out of 10 (2Ls) (2017)
Boston, MA (HQ)
New York, NY
Bankruptcy & Restructuring
Business Crimes & Government Investigations
Corporate Finance & Securities
Corporate Social Responsibility
Energy, Technology & Renewables
Environmental Compliance Litigation
General Business Counseling
International Litigation & Arbitration
Labor & Employment
Licensing & Strategic Alliances
Life Sciences & Health Care
Mergers & Acquisitions
Professional Liability Litigation
Real Estate/Land Use & Development
Trademark, Copyright & Unfair Competition