2021 Vault Rankings
- Pro Bono#3
At a Glance
“Culture, culture, culture.”
“Training and support.”
“Quality of work and ability to take ownership of matters.”
“Transparency at the firm could be improved in connection with internal promotion.”
“Sometimes tight deadlines.”
“Unpredictability of hours.”
About Ropes & Gray LLP
With more than 11 offices across the U.S., Europe, and Asia, Ropes & Gray is an international firm that prides itself in handling cutting-edge work. A regular atop legal industry rankings, the firm is adept at assisting clients in complex, highly regulated industries like asset management, health care, life sciences, private equity, and technology.
A Tale of Two Harvard Grads
John Codman Ropes and John Chipman Gray, a couple of Harvard Law School grads, founded the firm in Boston in 1865. The Great Depression saw the firm develop its bankruptcy practice, the New Deal sparked the firm’s labor practice, and the creation of the SEC added financial reports to its services. By the 1960s, the firm had grown to nearly 75 attorneys. Today, the firm is home to more than 1,400 lawyers advising across more than 60 practice areas.
Boardrooms and Courtrooms
While its practice is wide ranging, Ropes & Gray is best known for its work in private equity. Ranked among the top 10 in Vault’s Private Equity practice area ranking, the firm’s private equity practice has also been recognized by the likes of Chambers USA, IFLR1000, The Legal 500 U.S., and U.S. News & World Report’s Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.” The firm has claimed Law360’s honor of Private Equity Practice Group of the Year three times—most recently in 2019. To summarize, Ropes & Gray is a private equity powerhouse. With around 180 lawyers focused on the practice, the firm assists private equity clients with acquisitions, compliance matters, financings, and more.
Ropes & Gray also boasts a strong asset management practice, combining the firm’s deep experience in hedge funds, private investment funds, and registered funds. The firm is particularly attuned to evolving trends and regulatory matters. Offering a multi-disciplinary approach, Ropes & Gray assists asset management clients in a range of areas, including business restructuring, compliance, labor and employment, M&A, and securities litigation—to name some.
On the litigation side, the firm is home to around 400 litigators whose work is wide ranging. The firm has been recognized time and again for its work in privacy and data security, securities litigation, and white collar defense. On the appellate side, the firm smashed ground as co-counsel in the marriage equality case Obergefell v. Hodges before SCOTUS, which extended marriage rights to same-sex couples across the United States.
Ropes & Gray develops deep ties with its lawyers for the length of their careers—from starting as summer associates to exploring opportunities outside of the firm. Notably, many attorneys return to the firm—more than 50 attorneys have returned to the firm since January 2012. These “re-ttorneys” bring valuable experiences back to the firm after stints in-house, within government, or elsewhere. But as some attorneys return, others launch. The firm’s GO (“Global Opportunities”) program offers firm lawyers the opportunity to work in a new city at one of the firm’s other offices or temporarily for one of the firm’s clients.
As a global firm, Ropes & Gray is used to working remotely. We still actively engage with law students over virtual platforms like Skype and Zoom, and we continue to speak on panels, host presentations, and conduct informational and formal interviews. To provide a rewarding summer program during the pandemic, the firm emphasized “live” and online trainings covering practice groups, legal skills and pro bono. A key element of the program was a four-week mock M&A transaction, which simulated the complexity of a public deal and partnered summers with senior attorneys. To offer exposure to a variety of practice areas and lawyers, we assigned small groups of summer associates to “pods” of partners, counsel and associates spanning different practice groups. Summer associates also experienced client work through pro bono assignments, introducing them to a key element of our firm culture.
News & Awards
Ropes & Gray is a charter member of the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, announced on June 24. The group of more than 215 law firms is committed to working together, in partnership with legal services organizations, to identify and dismantle structural and systemic racism in the law.
Small businesses and nonprofits are facing an especially challenging time as the COVID-19 pandemic affects their ability to stay afloat. Across the U.S., Ropes & Gray lawyers are providing pro bono legal services to help small businesses and nonprofits apply for federal and state relief and to overcome other legal obstacles in connection to the crisis.
In January, Julie Jones became chair of Ropes & Gray and David Djaha became the firm’s managing partner. Julie is the first woman chair in the firm’s 155-year history and one of very few among leading law firms. In addition to driving a high-performance culture, they continue to lead the firm in its longstanding commitment to public service, a hallmark of Ropes & Gray.
For the third consecutive year, Ropes & Gray has been named to Law360’s list of “Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys.” In the publication’s 2019 Glass Ceiling Report, Ropes & Gray was in the top 10 firms with higher representations of female attorneys than their peers. The firm is comprised of 45 percent women attorneys, and women make up 30 percent of the firm’s partnership, above legal industry averages.
- Advised Bain Capital on the sale by Toshiba Corp. of its semiconductor business. Lawyers from multiple offices and practices steered the $18 billion transaction, Asia’s largest leveraged buyout and private equity deal ever.
- Represented the NFL in a strategic partnership to provide immersive experiences at marquee events.
- Advised biotechnology company Novavax, Inc. in a $200 million transaction with RA Capital Management. Novavax is developing a vaccine for COVID-19.
- Represented the Alibaba Group in a strategic partnership with Switzerland-based Richemont, a leading luxury goods group, to bring the retail offerings of YOOX Net-A-Porter Group to Chinese consumers.
- The “A-List,” Top-Three, 2017-2019—The American Lawyer
- Private Equity, Health Care, Fund Formation, White Collar and Securitizations Practice Groups of the Year, 2019—Law360
- Law Firm of the Year, “Private Funds / Hedge Funds,” 2019—U.S. News–Best Lawyers
- Appellate Hot List, 2019—National Law Journal
- Best Law Firms for Women, 2017-2019—Law360, The National Law Journal
Why Work Here
WHAT TO EXPECT
The vast majority of entry-level attorneys at Ropes & Gray start their careers at the firm as summer associates, which is why we structure our 10-week summer program to offer a realistic sense of daily life at the firm. Summer associates handle challenging work on actual client matters as part of a comprehensive program designed to offer both professional and personal growth.
Training and Development
Ropes & Gray associates can count on the firm to help them enhance their professional development. We provide:
- Career Support Each associate is assigned an associate development partner (ADP), who works closely with the appropriate practice group associate development manager (ADM) to support each associate’s development and advancement.
- Challenging Work We offer associates exposure to numerous partners and progressively greater responsibilities, with ADPs and ADMs collaborating to ensure that each associate receives a steady stream of work and real-time performance feedback.
800 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02199-3600
Phone: (617) 951-7000
Chairperson: Julie Jones
Managing Partner: David Djaha
Hiring Partner: Peter Erichsen
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
1K - 1.5K
No. of Partners Named 2020:
1st year: $190,000
Summer associate: $3,653.85/week
Chief of Attorney Talent
No. of U.S. Offices: 6
No. of International Offices: 5
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Silicon Valley, CA
Washington, DC I Hong Kong
Data, Privacy & Cybersecurity
Litigation & Enforcement
Mergers & Acquisitions
Private Equity Transactions
Real Estate Investments & Transactions
Securities & Public Companies
Tax & Benefits
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.