Roots in California
Founded in Los Angeles in 1927, Sheppard Mullin has been providing top quality legal services to national and international clients for decades. The firm presently has 15 offices: seven in California (Los Angeles/Downtown and Los Angeles/Century City; San Francisco; Silicon Valley;Orange County; and San Diego/Downtown and San Diego/Del Mar), plus offices in New York, Washington, DC, Chicago, Shanghai, Beijing, London, Brussels and Seoul. The firm serves such notable clients as Bank of America, N.A., Focus Features LLC, MasterCard, Nordstrom, Inc., Northrop Grumman Corporation, The Pepsi Bottling Group, Inc., Samsung Group, TaylorMade Golf Company, Inc. and Yahoo! Inc..
Diversified and durable practice
Despite the ups and downs of the economy, Sheppard Mullin has prospered by continuously diversifying its practice areas. The firm specializes in ten key areas: Litigation (including White Collar defense); Corporate and Securities; Labor & Employment; Finance & Bankruptcy; Antitrust; Government Contracts; Entertainment, Technology and Advertising; Intellectual Property; Real Estate, Land Use & Environmental; and Tax. To address the changing nature of the legal practice and client expectations, the firm assembles interdisciplinary teams, some industry-specific (e.g., Life Sciences, Clean Technology, Fashion & Apparel, and Sports) and others that are client-specific.
Emphasis on attorney development
Sheppard Mullin focuses its recruiting efforts on law students who want to continue to learn and do important, challenging work from Day One. Similarly, when a practice group seeks a lateral associate, it looks for an attorney with a proven record of responsibility and success with prior employers. All associates are hired with the expectation that each has the potential to one day become a partner.
The firm staffs junior associates on legal matters of all sizes, so that they are given exposure, responsibility guidance and client contact at an early stage. A number of firm matters are staffed so that one associate works side-by-side with one partner. Associates also gain experience in firm administration by serving on in-house committees such as the Associates' Forum and the Pro Bono, Recruiting, and Summer Associates Committees.
Sheppard Mullin places a major emphasis upon associates' development of professional skills. The firm offers substantive training programs in both litigation and transactional work, with guidance from supervising lawyers. The program includes a hands-on exercise in negotiation and document drafting, as well as a trial in front of real judges.
Each practice group at Sheppard Mullin conducts an extensive training program for its associates. Training seminars are available on video, on demand, on a 24/7 basis. The firm also holds a day-long "Partnership College" for mid-level associates, as well as a course in Business Development and Marketing. The firm's generous policies regarding attendance at outside CLE courses and reimbursement of client development meal and event expenses enable even the most junior associates to start developing their skills from the get-go.
Sheppard Mullin believes that the best way for new attorneys to develop is for partners to take an interest in them individually and mentor them on the road to partnership. Every associate at the firm has a Partner Advisor who is responsible for helping him/her succeed. Associates are encouraged to write their own Professional Development Plan with input from their Partner Advisor, and update their plan annually.
To assist associates in their integration and professional growth, the firm has a Talent Management Team, who report directly to the Chief Human Resources Officer. The Talent Management Team oversees law student and lateral associate hiring as well as associate orientation and integration, mentoring, training and the annual evaluation process (formal evaluations take place twice during your first year, and annually thereafter).
Leader in diversity
Sheppard Mullin has a long-standing commitment to increasing and sustaining diversity in the legal profession. The firm has been named as one of the "Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity" annually since 2009 by Multicultural Law magazine.
The Diversity & Inclusion Committee is dedicated to providing quality training, mentoring and opportunities to all Sheppard Mullin attorneys. The firm’s Manager of Diversity & Inclusion, who is part of the Talent Management Team, manages existing diversity efforts and develop new internal and external initiatives.
The firm has a variety of affinity groups, which include the Diversity & Inclusion Attorney Network ("DIAN") for attorneys of color; "Out At Sheppard", the firm-wide LGBT attorneys group, Sheppard Mullin Women Lawyers Group; the Women Attorneys Leadership Council; and Parents at Sheppard.
Committed to the community
Sheppard Mullin encourages attorneys to use their skills to improve the communities in which they live and work. The firm has compiled an admirable record in community service and delivery of legal services to those in need, and its attorneys sit on the boards of community service organizations too numerous to mention.
Click here to learn more about the firm's widely recognized commitment to Pro Bono work.
In 2008, Sheppard Mullin announced the creation of a Sustainability Program focused on promoting the efficient use of energy, resources and materials throughout the firm. The Program's main goals are to decrease our offices' consumption of energy and resources and to advance Sheppard Mullin as a leader in environmental responsibility. The firm is enrolled in the Law Firm Eco-Challenge sponsored by the American Bar Association and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The firm was recognized in 2009 by Sustainable Industries magazine as one of the top law firms with practices focused on sustainable business on the West Coast.
The firm's downtown Los Angeles office, which was renovated in 2010, received LEED certification for its commitment to a "green" workplace. The new office incorporates measures to conserve water and electricity, increase access to daylight and views, enhance indoor air quality, increase employee productivity, and generally create a healthy and sustainable work environment.