2019 Vault Rankings
Hailing from the Windy City, Schiff Hardin has more than a century of experience. With around 300 attorneys across 7 domestic offices, Schiff Hardin covers a full range of practice areas, including construction, corporate, finance, environmental, energy, intellectual property, litigation, products liability and mass torts, restructuring, and trusts and estates, to name a handful.
Chi-town Roots with Expanded Horizons
Schiff Hardin has been a part of Chicago’s history since 1866 when two Chi-town lawyers hung a shingle. The pair defended the Chicago Board of Trade after the Great Fire in 1871. In 1872, the firm worked with the city to install steam-powered cable cars to replace horse-drawn carts, and later, it represented the Chicago Transit Authority. By the 1920s, Schiff Hardin represented many energy and public utility companies in the area. And in 1974, Schiff Hardin literally moved up when it became one of the first tenants in the newly completed Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower), which was then the world's tallest building.
Still a strong presence in Chicago, the firm was named a 2018 Law360 Illinois Powerhouse.
While Chicago was its first home, over the years the firm has expanded its client base to include not just Midwest-based businesses (many of which are now multinational corporations) but also global enterprises and the people who run them.
Schiff's litigation and transactional work ranges from bet-the-company cases and high-profile deals to smaller matters on which associates take the lead. The firm's low associate-to-partner ratio means junior associates work directly with partners and get early opportunities to appear in court and participate in negotiations. Associates also receive extensive training on public speaking, negotiations, depositions, and motion practice as well as a business development workshop and in-house writing coaching.
Fast-Paced Intellectual Property Litigation
Schiff Hardin's intellectual property group offers comprehensive IP services, including patent litigation, patent prosecution, post-grant proceedings, trademark prosecution, trademark litigation, trade secrets, Hatch-Waxman, copyright, and IP transactional work. The firm now represents several of the largest generic drug manufacturers in the world in cases that are often worth hundreds of millions of dollars. In the past three years, members of the firm’s IP group have tried 21 cases.
Walking the Diversity Walk
Led by Marci Eisenstein—one of the few female managing partners among the AmLaw 200, a Chicago Business Journal’s 2018 Women of Influence, and Crain’s Chicago’s Notable Women Lawyer—Schiff is committed to being an inclusive workplace. More than half of the firm’s Executive Committee members are diverse attorneys. And with an eye on lowering implicit bias in recruiting, the firm has implemented panel interviews.
Schiff’s diversity efforts seem to be paying off. For eight years running, the firm has earned a perfect score in Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2018 Corporate Equality Index, also earning the honor of a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.” And Working Mother, Law 360, Equality Illinois, and Vault’s own Best Law Firms for Diversity have recognized the firm for its diversity.
233 South Wacker Dr.
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 258-5500
Employer Type: Private
Managing Partner: Marci A. Eisenstein
Recruiting Chair: David C. Blickenstaff
Total No. Attorneys 2019: 300
1st Year: $180,000
Summer associate: $3,450/week
14 out of 14 (2018)
Chicago, IL (HQ)
Ann Arbor, MI
Lake Forest, IL
New York, NY
Newport Beach, CA
San Francisco, CA
Antitrust & Trade Regulation
Bankruptcy, Restructuring & Creditors’ Rights
Class Action Litigation
Corporate & Securities
Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
Energy & Public Utilities
Labor & Employment
Private Clients, Trusts & Estates
Private Equity & Venture Capital
Reinsurance & Insurance
Securities & Futures Regulation
Sustainable Energy & Climate Change
White Collar Crime & Corporate Compliance