2019 Vault Rankings
“People are down to earth and not uptight”
“Really interesting cases”
“Flexibility of doing work from wherever you want”
“Bonuses are not Perkins' strong suit.”
“Lack of formal training”
Perkins Coie got off to a good start: founded in 1912, the Seattle-based firm’s earliest clients included one William E. Boeing Sr., founder of the eponymous aeronautics company. The relationship with Boeing contributed to Perkins Coie’s reputation for representing high-tech and cutting-edge ventures in what has become one of the nation’s technology hotspots. The firm’s intellectual property practice—including patent prosecution, patent litigation, and trademark and copyright protection and litigation—now includes more than 200 attorneys.
Perkins Coie likes to say that it provides “counsel to great companies,” and a look at its client list will confirm that that’s true. Firm clients include household names like Microsoft, Facebook, craigslist, Starbucks, Amazon, and Google.
Although the firm has stayed true to its Seattle roots with the largest office still in Seattle, the firm has expanded to include sixteen domestic offices, including four offices and almost 200 attorneys in California, as well as large offices with more than 100 attorneys each in the Chicago and Washington, DC offices.
Perkins Coie has one of the largest and most prestigious political law groups in the country. Perkins Coie recently won three major voter rights’ cases before the U.S. Supreme Court that challenged the methods used to draw congressional districts. During the last presidential administration, the firm represented President Barack Obama in his personal matters and federally required financial disclosure reports. It was a Perkins Coie partner who contacted Hawaii's health department in April 2011 to request the president's long-form birth certificate, which he released in an effort to squelch chatter about his citizenship.
Going back one more administration, Perkins Coie made headlines with its 2006 Supreme Court victory in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, in which the Court ruled that the Bush Administration’s use of military commissions to try terrorism suspects was unconstitutional. The firm came to represent Guantanamo detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan as a pro bono client through an associate who had been a student of Georgetown Law Professor (and later Acting Solicitor General) Neal Katyal, who chose Seattle as the venue of choice for Hamdan’s case.
If You Start Me Up
Perkins Coie has become a go-to firm for tech startups over the past few decades, including advising Amazon on its IPO in 1997. More recent successes include advising Zillow in its initial formation and funding and helping Facebook shut down spammers, hackers, and phishers—even winning more than $700-million in damages from the so-called “Spam King.” The firm has courted new startup clients through its “startupPerColator” website that helps new companies generate the legal documents needed to form a Delaware "C" corporation free of charge. And in 2016, Perkins Coie made news for offering a 15% discount on fees to tech startups with a female founder, helping to even the playing field in a male-dominated industry.
IN THE NEWS
Perkins Coie was again ranked by Chambers & Partners as one of the top law firms in the United States. One hundred and thirty Perkins Coie attorneys were individually recognized by Chambers as leaders in their field, with 32 attorneys earning the top “Band 1” ranking within their practice areas. Many of the firm’s practice groups were specially recognized including political law, intellectual property, privacy & data security, and startups & emerging companies.
For the 16th consecutive year Perkins Coie was listed among the nation’s “Best Places to Work.” According to Fortune magazine, attorneys at Perkins Coie described the firm culture as “open,” “friendly,” “diverse,” and “team-oriented,” noting that there really are “no jerks” allowed. Respondents highlighted the “great challenges, great atmosphere and great bosses” at the firm. In a separate survey, Fortune magazine also named Perkins as one of the top 50 best workplaces for parents.
Perkins Coie partnered with long-term client Adobe to create an innovative, joint 1L diversity fellowship that provides a diverse first-year law student the unique opportunity to spend part of the summer in the firm’s Palo Alto office and part of the summer in-house at the client’s headquarters. The fellowship is among the ways Perkins Coie is working to build diversity while strengthening client relationships.
Perkins Coie was featured in the Law360 article, “The Firms That Dominated At The Federal Circuit In 2017.” The article noted Perkins Coie’s 8–1 record in patent cases in the Federal Circuit during 2017. Perkins Coie tied for fifth in total victories, and its won–loss record tied for second-best of all listed firms.
Perkins Coie’s appellate attorneys were undefeated at the U.S. Supreme Court during the 2016-2017 term and delivered major wins in two significant voting rights cases, earning the firm a spot as one of Law360’s 2017 Appellate Groups of the Year. Perkins Coie achieved a third win in oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the North Carolina congressional redistricting case, Cooper v. Harris.
Perkins Coie was the first law firm selected as a Founding Steward by the Sovrin Foundation, a private sector, international nonprofit organization established to govern the world’s first self-sovereign identity (SSI) network. The firm’s work with the Sovrin Foundation was recognized by LegalTechNews as an example of how law firms are leveraging technology to bolster client relationships.
Founded in Seattle in 1912, Perkins Coie LLP has grown to more than 1,000 lawyers in 19 offices across the United States and Asia. The firm represents great companies across a wide range of industries and stages of growth—from startups to FORTUNE 500 corporations.
Firm and Practice Accolades
1201 Third Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: (206) 359-8000
Employer Type: Private
Managing Partner: John M. Devaney
Hiring Partners: Sarah C. Gillstrom (Anchorage), Donna L. Barnett (Bellevue), Kelly A. Cameron (Boise), Jeannil D. Boji (Chicago), Steve Smith (Dallas), Brian P. Kinnear (Denver), Charles Samel (Los Angeles), Autumn N. Nero (Madison), Schuyler G. Carroll (New York), Julie Schwartz (Palo Alto), Karin S. Aldama (Phoenix), Christopher W. Rich (Portland), Thomas N. Millikan (San Diego), James W. McTarnaghan (San Francisco), Justin L. Moon (Seattle), Kate S. Keane (DC)
Total No. Attorneys 2018: 1,057
Salaries vary among offices based on location.
38 out of 42 (2Ls) (2017)
Seattle, WA (HQ)
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Palo Alto, CA
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
Corporate Governance & Securities
Emerging Companies & Venture Capital
Environment, Energy & Resources
Financial Transactions & Restructuring
Insurance Coverage Litigation
Investigations & White Collar Defense
Labor & Employment
Privacy & Data Security
Real Estate & Land Use
Technology Transactions & Privacy
Trademark & Copyright