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Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP

At a Glance


“Great camaraderie with fellow associates”

“The challenging work and learning opportunities”

“The opportunity to do top-notch patent prosecution work and also have a relatively great work/life balance”


“Lack of understanding of what it takes to be a partner”

“Compensation is lower than big firms”

“Lack of diversity and transparency”

About Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP

Premier Chicago intellectual property firm Marshall, Gerstein & Borun advises a diverse client roster made up of Fortune 500 corporations, startups, small to mid-sized companies, nonprofits, universities, research institutions, and independent inventors in its specialty areas of patent, trademark, and copyright protection and litigation. Located in Chicago’s Willis Tower, the firm is an enduring part of both Chicago’s skyline and the IP legal landscape.

Major Players in Intellectual Property

Founded in 1955 as Merriam & Lorch in the Chicago Board of Trade building, Marshall, Gerstein & Borun originally focused on the electrical, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries. Over the next 57 years, the firm branched out and today covers patents in a wide array of industries including nanotechnology, genetics, optics, biochemistry, microbiology, computer and software engineering, and medical devices. The firm works with clients in 100 countries and on six continents. It has advised Procter & Gamble for 30 years, Amgen since its founding in 1980, GE, Pfizer, Hollister Inc., Merck Serono, Newell Rubbermaid Inc., and Northwestern University, among others.

The firm and its attorneys have been recognized as leaders in their field by publications such as Chambers USA, Fortune, Intellectual Asset Management Magazine, Intellectual Property Today, and Corporate Counsel.  

Bring it All the Way to the Supreme Court

The firm has played a major role in historic Supreme Court cases in IP law, such as Walker Process Equipment, Inc. v. Food Machinery & Chemical Corp., University of Illinois Foundation v. Blonder-Tongue Laboratories, Inc., and more recently, the landmark Amgen cases—Amgen Inc. v. Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Amgen Inc. v. F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., and Amgen, Inc. v. Hospira, Inc.

A Culture of Science

Only those with scientific and technical educational backgrounds need apply: staffing deals and cases with attorneys who understand the complexities of the inventions behind the patents is of prime importance to Marshall Gerstein. Over 90 percent of the firm’s attorneys hold degrees in science or engineering, and many of those attorneys have past technical and scientific work experience at companies and institutions like Abbott Laboratories, AT&T, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Motorola, Inc., and the U.S. Air Force. In addition, over 80 percent of the firm’s agents and technical specialists have Ph.D.’s or other advanced technical degrees.

Samurai Warriors Will Protect your Patent

One client was so grateful for his Marshall Gerstein attorneys’ tenacious representation that he gifted them with a samurai suit of armor. The client, a surgery professor whose invention expanded skin tissue for the purpose of reconstructive surgery, explained that his attorneys had “represented him as loyally and fiercely as any Samurai warrior.” As to his choice of samurai armor, the client explained he doubted a samurai sword would have made it past security.

Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP

233 South Wacker Drive
6300 Willis Tower
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 474-6300


Chairman and Managing Partner: Jeffrey S. Sharp
Recruiting Chair: Julianne Hartzell
Total No. Attorneys 2019:
50 - 100

Base Salary

1st year: $180,000
Summer associate: $3,000/week

Summer Program

Summer Associate Offers:
2 out of 3 (2018) (2Ls)

No. of Summer Associates:
4 total (3 2Ls; 1 1L)

Major Office Locations

Chicago, IL
Raleigh, NC

Major Departments & Practices

Biotechnology & Life Sciences
Chemical Sciences
Cleantech & Renewables
Consumer Products
Design Patents
Electrical & Computer Technologies
Industrial & Mechanical Technologies
Internet & Cyberlaw
IP Litigation
IP Transactions
Materials Science
Medical Devices
Non-Profit Technology Transfer
Patent Prosecution
Post-Grant Patent Proceedings
Trade Secrets