2019 Vault Rankings
- Pro Bono#20
- New York#40
“Lots of women and opportunities for women”
“The collegial, collaborative culture is tops!”
“Work-life balance and flexibility here is probably as good as it gets”
“The bonus system”
“Lack of transparency regarding hours expectations and compensation”
“Hours can get crazy”
Morgan Lewis has branched out from its Philadelphia roots to build an international network of lawyers in thirty offices reaching from Boston to Singapore and San Francisco to Dubai. The firm’s strengths include litigation, labor and employment, employee benefits, intellectual property, energy, and a variety of regulatory areas.
From Brotherly Love to Global Love
Morgan Lewis was founded nearly a century and a half ago in Philadelphia in 1873 by Charles Eldridge Morgan, Jr., a Civil War vet, and Francis Draper Lewis, a cotton merchant’s son. Ten years later, Morgan and Lewis hired Morris Rex Bockius, who became a driving force behind the firm for nearly four decades. In the early 1880s, the firm’s fortunes soared when it acquired United Gas Improvement Company as a client; the company eventually grew into the largest gas and electricity operation in the United States and remains a Morgan Lewis client to this day. Based largely on the profile it built from representing United Gas, Morgan Lewis brought key large East Coast newspapers, railroads, paper companies, rail companies, and financial institutions into the fold in the ensuing decades. The firm has expanded beyond its long-held East Coast clients and now represents more than half of the Fortune 100 companies, while at the same time maintaining relationships with its long-term clients.
The firm’s geographic reach continued to grow over the course of the 20th Century. In 2013, the firm undertook a major West Coast expansion, with the addition of 150 new attorneys and three new California offices. The firm also expanded in Texas, solidifying its presence in Houston and Dallas; in the Midwest with a Chicago office; and on the East Coast in Boston. In recent years, Morgan Lewis has pursued a more global approach to growth, steadily establishing significant operations in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Dubai, adding to its long-standing presence in China, Japan, and Europe. Now, the firm is one of the largest law firms in the world, and the largest in the United States, through combinations with Bingham McCutchen and the Stamford Law Corporation, which offer clients global access to broad capabilities across a comprehensive spectrum of services and industries addressing virtually every aspect of corporate operations. It’s also the largest firm in the world run by a woman, Jami Wintz McKeon.
MLB and MLB
The firm’s site is now Morganlewis.com, but it was the original owner of the domain MLB.com, which it registered in 1994. Perhaps fortuitously, MLB the law firm was the outside counsel for another famous MLB—Major League Baseball. In 2000, the firm gifted the league the MLB.com domain name. And the connections between the two MLBs don’t end there. In 1998, MLB commissioner Bud Selig hired two Morgan Lewis partners, Rob Manfred and Frank Coonelly, to serve as in-house labor relations counsel. Manfred would eventually take Selig’s job as commissioner when he retired in 2015, and Coonelly is now the President of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Impacting the Community
Morgan Lewis contributes approximately 100,000 pro bono hours annually to over 1,200 pro bono clients. In addition to its year-round pro bono and community service initiatives, all 30 Morgan Lewis offices collaborate on an annual Community Impact Week, a global firm initiative comprising 150 community service and pro bono–related programs. More than 1,500 lawyers and staff participate in the program.
IN THE NEWS
For its eighth consecutive year, Morgan Lewis examined the most critical issues and developments affecting businesses and professionals working in or with today’s rapidly evolving technology industry in a month-long series of nearly 40 global webinars. More than 5,000 leaders in the tech space registered for the 2018 programs—a record number for the annual initiative.
Morgan Lewis led a two-month investigation into alleged sexual harassment and misconduct by former National Public Radio (NPR) senior vice president culminating in a nine-page report detailing what the organization’s management knew about the allegations. As reports of workplace sexual harassment by high-profile individuals and high-level executives continued to capture attention in 2017, Morgan Lewis formed a multidisciplinary Workplace Harassment Crisis Taskforce of 30 lawyers—most of them women—led by global Labor and Employment Practice leader Grace Speights and firm Chair Jami Wintz McKeon.
Morgan Lewis secured a major victory on behalf of Aruba Networks, Inc. in an appraisal action in the Delaware Court of Chancery. In a post-trial opinion based on two seminal 2017 Delaware Supreme Court rulings (Dell, Inc. v. Magnetar Global Event Driven Master Fund Ltd and DFC Global v. Muirfield), the Chancery Court found for the first time that the pre-deal trading price of a company’s common stock represented the appropriate fair value of the company, as opposed to the higher deal price or the even higher price advocated by the appraisal petitioners based on a discounted cash flow valuation.
The Federal Circuit affirmed a nearly $4 million fee award under the Equal Access to Justice Act in response to a 2008 class action filed by Morgan Lewis and NVLSP on behalf of nearly 5,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, with severe PTSD related to their time in the service, whose disability ratings were illegally set at a very low level, denying them retirement benefits. The firm’s award will fund three fellowships with Equal Justice Works, as part of which participants will dedicate two years of full-time work providing legal services to veterans.
Morgan Lewis represented food, uniform, and facilities services giant Aramark in its $1 billion acquisition of uniform and linen rental and supply company AmeriPride Services Inc. The combination created a leading uniform services provider with enhanced scale and capabilities, serving nearly 500,000 customers in North America.
It was another big year for gender diversity at Morgan Lewis. The firm became one of 30 leading law firms in the United States to pilot the Mansfield Rule, a gender diversity initiative that measures whether firms are actively considering diverse candidates for at least 30% of open leadership and governance roles, and joined Ellevate Network’s global community of 90,000 women focused on advancing women in the workplace and helping companies succeed in supporting the development of female leaders. In 2018, the firm went on to elect 31 new partners, more than half of which were women, and legal publication Law360 named Morgan Lewis among the top 10 “Best Law Firms for Women” and top 10 “Ceiling Smashers” as part of its annual Glass Ceiling Report.
At Morgan Lewis, our greatest strength is the company we keep. If you want to be an exceptional lawyer with superior legal skills, a collaborative spirit, and a commitment to the advancement of the legal profession, we invite you to learn more about Morgan Lewis, where working collaboratively is in our DNA.
Our talented lawyers know that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That supporting and appreciating individuals is necessary for team success. That clients value insight, empathy, and trustworthiness as much as legal advice. We are motivated every day to harness our collective power to deliver exceptional service to our clients around the globe.
1701 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 963-5000
Employer Type: Private
Chairman: Jami Wintz McKeon
Firmwide Hiring Partner: Christina Edling Melendi
Total No. Attorneys 2018: 1,951
All U.S. Offices
1st year: $190,000
Summer associate: $36,500/summer
74 out of 75 (2Ls) (2018)
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Orange County, CA
San Francisco, CA
Century City, CA
Silicon Valley, CA
Antitrust & Competition
Corporate & Business Transactions
Labor & Employment
Telecommunications, Media & Tech