At a Glance
“Commitment to pro bono.”
“The people are very kind and respectful.”
“Lack of transparency on partnership.”
“The hours (both number and unpredictability).”
About Jenner & Block LLP
From its Windy City roots, Jenner & Block has grown to a firm of more than 500 lawyers in offices in Chicago; London; Los Angeles; New York; and Washington, DC. The client roster is a blend of established corporate institutions—including General Dynamics, General Electric, and General Motors—and trendy players in the worlds of business, the arts and entertainment, and technology.
A Litigation Star Is Born
The firm now known as Jenner & Block was founded in 1914 as Newman, Poppenhusen & Stern by a trio of lawyers with big-name Chicago firm pedigrees. In its early years, the firm advised the city’s banks, mortgage houses, and blue-collar corporations. Once the 1920s roared around, however, the firm took on a decidedly more high-profile identity as litigator Edward Johnston developed into one of the nation’s foremost antitrust attorneys. With a victory in the landmark 1925 U.S. Supreme Court case of Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association v. United States, in which he dismantled the Justice Department’s argument that the exchange of information by trade association members constituted a violation of antitrust law, Johnston cemented the firm’s reputation for powerhouse litigation.
Collaboration Is Key
With more than 400 litigators and dispute lawyers, Jenner & Block has leading international litigation and arbitration practices. The firm has made a name for itself handling high-profile investigations. Jenner also boasts a top-notch appellate team, which has secured victories at appellate courts of all levels on a variety of issues and has recorded more than 100 arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, including a landmark win for LGBT-rights in Lawrence v. Texas. The firm’s litigation department is “fully integrated,” which means lawyers work across sub-practices and regions with a focus on collaboration.
While the firm is most known for its litigation prowess, Jenner’s corporate department is no slouch either. The practice is oriented around M&A but covers an array of complex transactions and counsels for a wide range of clients, from large public companies, to middle-market and emerging companies, closely held family businesses, and private equity and other funds and investors.
Focus on Others
Pro bono is a major part of Jenner’s culture, with 100 percent of its attorneys dedicating more than 20 hours of pro bono work in 2018—more than 83,000 hours in one year. The firm has been ranked the No. 1 pro bono firm by The American Lawyer a whopping nine times and is among the top 10 firms for pro bono in Vault’s ranking. There is no cap to how many pro bono hours count toward attorneys’ billables at the firm. And the work is wide ranging, including everything from asylum to criminal matters to domestic violence to FOIA, and much more. The firm shares its pro bono news on a blog very cleverly named The Heart of the Matter.
News & Awards
On June 11, Judge John Robert Blakey of the Northern District of Illinois dismissed the lawsuit challenging construction of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC), providing a significant victory for the delayed project on Chicago’s south side. In Protect Our Parks, Inc. v. Chicago Park District, the plaintiffs alleged that creating the OPC in Jackson Park—and allowing the Obama Foundation to operate the center under an agreement that the Chicago City Council unanimously approved—would violate the Public Trust Doctrine and certain other laws. Judge Blakey issued a 52-page decision.
Jenner & Block again won a significant victory in the California Court of Appeal on behalf of three groups that assist low-income and minority homeowners when the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, upheld its original decision, issued in July 2018, in favor of the National Asian American Coalition, COR Community Development Corporation and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. The Court of Appeal justices remanded the plaintiffs’ case back to the trial court with directions to the court to issue a writ of mandate requiring California Governor Gavin Newsom (as successor to former Governor Jerry Brown) to transfer more than $331 million from the State’s general fund to a settlement fund established to provide aid to financially distressed homeowners following the subprime mortgage crisis.
Jenner & Block Partner Adam G. Unikowsky won his eighth case before the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision in Washington State Department of Licensing v. Cougar Den, Inc., the first case of the Roberts Court to interpret an Indian treaty. In the previous term, Mr. Unikowsky argued Sveen v. Melin and Artis v. District of Columbia, winning both cases. In the 2016-2017 term, he argued three cases on behalf of pro bono clients and won them all: Howell v. Howell; Honeycutt v. U.S.; and Kokesh v. SEC. In the 2015-2016 term, he won Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle and V.L. v. E.L.
Firm client Lonza Group AG, one of the world’s leading suppliers to the pharmaceutical, biotech. and specialty ingredients markets, entered into an agreement with Platinum Equity whereby Platinum Equity will acquire Lonza’s Water Care business and operations for US$630 million. In a separate transaction, Lonza acquired a controlling stake in Octane Biotech, a medical technology company with the advanced bioreactors, bioprocesses and biomaterials for regenerative medicine, with the right to acquire full ownership.
- In the past four years, the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court practice has had 21 merits cases and has prevailed in 15 of 17 oral arguments, winning another three cases summarily.
- Won a significant victory for Northwestern University when a judge dismissed with prejudice a proposed class action that accused the university of mismanaging workers’ retirement savings.
- Recovered $120 million for Olin Corporation during a jury trial in a high-stakes environmental insurance and contribution case.
- Represented General Dynamics in its $9.7 billion acquisition of publicly traded CSRA, a high-tech IT solutions business. The transaction included assuming $2.8 billion in CSRA debt.
- The American Lawyer A-List (2018)
- The American Lawyer #1 U.S. Pro Bono Law Firm (2018)
- National Law Journal Appellate Hot List 2018
- Best Places to Work for LGBTQ 2019
- 100% Rating, Corporate Equality Index (2015-2019)
Why Work Here
Why Work at Jenner & Block?
At Jenner & Block, lawyers work in an environment distinguished by exceptional people, challenging work and a steadfast drive to develop superior talent. Now in our second century of service, we approach the practice of law not as a job, but as a calling to serve our clients, the profession and the community. Our culture demands dedication to excellence and ethics. While we have four offices across the United States and an office in London, we encourage all of our lawyers to enjoy strong camaraderie and teamwork across practice groups and offices.
Our firm and our lawyers are guided by several core values. We exceed client expectations while adhering to the highest ethical and professional standards. We serve the communities in which we live and work. We foster superior talent by providing opportunities for continuous learning and by promoting diversity and maintaining an inclusive environment where everyone feels respected and is able to contribute.
353 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: (312) 222-9350
Co-Managing Partners: Katya Jestin and Randy Mehrberg
Chief Talent Officer: Charlotte L. Wager
Total No. Attorneys 2019:
500 - 750
1st year: $190,000
Summer associate: $3,653.85/week
Summer Associate Offers:
48 out of 48 (2Ls) (2019)
No. of Summer Associates:
48 total (All 2Ls) (2019)
Legal Recruiting Manager
(312) 840 7472
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Antitrust and Competition Law
Appellate and Supreme Court
Aviation and Aerospace
Communications, Internet and Technology
Complex Commercial Litigation
Content, Media and Entertainment
Environmental and Workplace Health and Safety
Food and Beverage
Government Controversies and Public Policy Litigation
Investigations, Compliance and Defense
Mergers & Acquisitions
Patent Litigation and Counseling
Public International Law
Restructuring and Bankruptcy
Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.