2021 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“Incredible early responsibility.”
“The partnership prospects.”
“Hours are high.”
“Because you are thrown into the deep end on day one, the pressure to succeed is high, but the reward is always worthwhile.”
About Susman Godfrey LLP
Since its founding four decades ago, Susman Godfrey has established itself as one of the nation’s premiere litigation firms. Susman Godfrey has more than 115 attorneys in four offices—its original Houston location and rapidly growing offices in Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. With its legal firepower, the firm handles truly megawatt cases across the country on both the plaintiff and defense sides. Susman Godfrey boasts blue-chip clients, such as Walmart, Chevron, KKR, and General Electric, and has also won historic plaintiffs’ verdicts for smaller entities, such as the $706 million counterclaim verdict that the firm secured for HouseCanary in 2018.
In 1980, Steve Susman formed a Houston firm following his success in the Corrugated Containers case, which produced the largest verdict in antitrust history at the time. Susman was soon joined by Lee Godfrey in 1982. The two had a vision of trying commercial cases on contingency and other alternative fee arrangements. The firm has reaped the benefits of this high-risk/high-return model by carefully selecting its cases and winning some of the largest jury verdicts in the United States. In the 1990s, the firm’s contingency-fee model expanded into an entire spectrum of risk-sharing fee arrangements, from reverse contingent fees on the defense side to flat fees and hybrids with both fixed or hourly and contingent components.
Lean Mean Litigation Machine
Susman punches far above its size, taking on huge disputes with leanly staffed teams. The firm has a 77:52 partner-to-associate ratio and deploys its resources efficiently. The firm covers most depositions and hearings with a single attorney, and many trial teams are comprised of only two to three lawyers. In terms of recruiting attorneys, the firm seeks candidates with stellar grades from top schools. Most Susman Godfrey attorneys were members of their schools’ law reviews, and nearly all clerked for federal judges (including 11 for justices of the U.S. Supreme Court). Associates that make partner at Susman Godfrey are fitted for a pair of genuine Texas cowboy boots, per firm tradition.
Stand-Up & Then Relax
Litigation associates at most firms wonder what they can do to gain standup experience; at Susman Godfrey, standup opportunities start on day one and are part of associates’ day-to-day lives. Associates regularly handle trial examinations, hearings, depositions, and client meetings. And the firm celebrates its victories with firmwide emails and dinner celebrations. To foster a collegial atmosphere, the firm also hosts annual retreats as well as “mini-retreats” to give its lawyers much-needed time to de-stress and bond over activities like skiing, scuba diving, hiking, and rafting.
Although the firm is busy as ever, the nationwide health crisis has kept Susman Godfrey lawyers working remotely, including the 2020 summer associates who joined the firm to work from locations all across the country. The regular, in-person summer program was revamped for the Zoom era to give summer associates meaningful work assignments, opportunities to observe our trial practice, and one-on-one fun connections with Susman Godfrey lawyers. For the 2021 summer program, the firm will continue to recruit all-star candidates through the schools’ OCI programs, in such form that they may take. The firm also recruits candidates during their clerkship year for full-time associate positions.
News & Awards
In July 2020, the firm lost Susman Godfrey Founder and Managing Partner Steve Susman due to complications from a bicycle accident. With great sadness, the firm recognized and celebrated Steve’s life and legacy, which profoundly changed the nature of law practice itself and the decades of lawyers who worked with and were mentored by Steve. He taught Susman Godfrey lawyers and many other lawyers around the country that being fierce and effective advocates actually requires treating one’s adversaries with honesty, professionalism, and respect. We are forever grateful for his dedication to hard work, intellectual rigor, zealous and honest advocacy, entrepreneurial inventiveness, devotion to the legal system, and social consciousness.
In Steve’s absence, the firm carries on his legacy and commitment to practicing law the way he taught us, honoring the values he imparted, and treasuring the extraordinary camaraderie that he built among his peers.
Just by example, in recent months, the firm has accepted numerous accolades, including naming 17 partners to Lawdragon’s “Best of the Best” in America list, Benchmark Litigation’s recognition of 11 partners to its “Best and Brightest 40 and Under Hot List,” and recognition of numerous lawyers as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars across all of our offices. And on August 10, 2020, the firm named Los Angeles partner Kalpana Srinivasan as the fourth managing partner in the firm’s history. She will serve alongside Houston partner Neal Manne, who shared managing partner duties with Steve since Lee Godfrey’s retirement in 2013.
- In re Corrugated Containers, a landmark plaintiffs’ price-fixing antitrust win, in which the firm helped recover $500 million on behalf of plaintiffs in settlements and after a three-month jury trial.
- TitleSource Inc. v. HouseCanary, in which Susman Godfrey secured a record-setting $706.2 million counterclaim verdict for client HouseCanary in a misappropriation of trade secret and breach of contract case.
- ODonnnell v. Harris County et al., in which Susman Godfrey led the fight in Houston to dismantle the unconstitutional system of money bail in misdemeanor cases, which disproportionately affected racial and ethnic minorities.
- Class Action Firm of the Year, 2020—The National Law Journal
- Tier 1: Antitrust; Tier 2: General Commercial Disputes, Energy Litigation, 2020—The Legal 500
- “Leading Locations” in Antitrust, Intellectual Properties, Litigation (General Commercial and Mainly Plaintiff), 2020—Chambers USA
- Tier One (Commercial Litigation, Antitrust, Intellectual Property, Patent Litigation, Securities Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation), 2020—U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyers Best Law Firms
- Specialty/Boutique Litigation Department of the Year, 2019—The American Lawyer
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 651-9366
Managing Partners: Neal Manne and Kalpana Srinivasan
Hiring Partner: Abby Noebels & Shawn Rabin
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
100 - 150
No. of Partners Named 2020:
1st year: $195,000
2nd year: $205,000
3rd year: $225,0004th year: $260,000
5th year: $285,000
6th year: $310,0007th year: $330,000
Summer Associate: $3,750/week
Attorney Development Manager
No. of U.S. Offices: 4
No. of International Offices: 0
Houston, TX (HQ)
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Class Action Litigation
Energy & Environmental
General Commercial Litigation
Shareholder & Securities
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.