2022 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“My colleagues are brilliant lawyers and spectacular humans.”
“The work and early responsibility are unparalleled.”
“Realistic path to partnership.”
“The hours are very long.”
“As an associate, you can't control your case assignments.”
About Susman Godfrey
Since its founding in 1980, Susman Godfrey has established itself as the nation’s premiere litigation firm. Susman Godfrey has more than 130 partners and associates across four offices—its original Houston location as well as offices in Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. The firm handles huge cases across the country for both plaintiffs and defendants.
Susman Godfrey boasts blue-chip clients, such as Walmart, Chevron, KKR, NBC Universal, and General Electric, and has also won historic plaintiffs’ verdicts in class actions and for smaller entities, such as the $706 million verdict 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. The firm’s contingency-fee model has since 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 massive disputes with leanly staffed teams. The firm deploys its resources efficiently—covering most depositions and hearings with a single attorney. 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).
Stand-Up & Then Relax
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. The firm celebrates its victories with extravagant dinner celebrations. And to maintain a close-knit atmosphere, the firm also hosts annual attorney 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.
Despite 2020’s global pandemic, work continued to boom at Susman Godfrey. In fact, the firm had one of the best years in its history. The regular, in-person summer program was revamped for the virtual era to give summer associates meaningful work assignments, opportunities to observe our trial practice, and one-on-one social connections with Susman Godfrey lawyers, including virtual wine and cheese tastings, cooking classes, firm trivia and game nights, NBA watch parties, and more. The 2021 summer program will remain remote but feature opportunities for in-person observation of live hearings and events and activities with Susman Godfrey lawyers.
For the 2022 summer program, the firm will continue to recruit all-star candidates through the schools’ OCI programs and looks forward to welcoming its summer associates in person. The firm also engages in ongoing recruitment of candidates during their clerkship year for full-time associate positions.
News & Awards
- Secured a $706.2 million landmark jury verdict in Texas state court for real estate analytics company HouseCanary in a misappropriation of trade secrets, fraud, and breach of contract case against Title Source Inc.
- Successfully represented Uber in the trade secrets “tech trial of the century” against Google’s Waymo, which sought almost $2 billion in damages. SG was retained just months before trial and immediately convinced the court to strike all of Waymo’s experts’ damages opinions, leaving Waymo with no damages expert for trial. After SG’s opening statements and the presentation of four days of evidence, the case settled favorably.
- On behalf of Walmart, successfully challenged the constitutionality of certain provisions of Puerto Rico’s onerous Alternative Minimum Tax. The district court struck down the statute as unconstitutional, violating the dormant commerce and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution and the Federal Relations Act. SG then successfully defended the judgment on appeal to the First Circuit.
- In 2021, filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News on behalf of Dominion Voting Systems over alleged false claims by Fox that Dominion rigged the 2020 presidential election. The case, which has been covered by major news outlets like The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and The Daily Beast, is in its early stages.
- Top Litigation Boutique for the Tenth Year in a Row, 2021—Vault
- 16 partners recognized, including 3 named to Hall of Fame (more than any other litigation firm), 2021—Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America
- Elite Trial Lawyers: Class Actions Law Firm of the Year, 2020—National Law Journal
- Appellate Hot List, 2020—National Law Journal
- Boutique Law Firm of the Year, 2019—American Lawyer
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 651-9366
Managing Partners: Neal Manne and Kalpana Srinivasan
Hiring Partner: Abby Noebels and Davida Brook
Total No. Attorneys 2021:
150 - 250
No. of Partners Named 2021:
Base Salary (2021)
1st year: $210,000
2nd year: $220,000
3rd year: $245,000
4th year: $280,000
5th year: $310,000
6th year: $335,000
7th year: $355,000
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
Product Liability, Property Damage, & Personal Injury
Qui Tam & False Claims Act
Shareholder & Securities
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.