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Venable LLP

At a Glance


“The people I work with are wonderful”

“Fairly relaxed work environment”

“Good work-life balance”


“Bonus structure needs improvement”

“Lack of transparency in decision-making”

“Unpredictable hours”

About Venable LLP

Call it a victory for career services: Venable, Baetjer & Howard was formed in 1900 when Richard Venable, a law professor in Baltimore, partnered with two of his former students.

Over 100 years later, Venable LLP is a mid-Atlantic force that, until the capital markets meltdown, had defined itself by aggressive expansion. A politically-connected firm, Venable complements a conventional BigLaw practice with Beltway-specific work.

A Morphing Midsized Regional

The venerable, mono-monikered Venable is a titan of the mid-Atlantic I-95 corridor (where seven of its nine offices are located). Venable specializes in corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property, and government affairs. The firm’s litigation practice carries a particularly heavy workload in products liability, toxic torts, and environmental law cases, with corporate defense the group’s overwhelming forte.

Venable has grown substantially since around the Millennium, thanks largely to a series of mergers. A 1999 buyout of Tucker Flyer LLP bolstered the firm’s Beltway contingent and preceded Venable’s campaign to increasingly target companies benefiting from government contracts. The acquisition also provided Venable with a convenient launching pad for dealings with tech clients in the bustling suburbs of northern Virginia. Six years later, the firm merged with Manhattan boutique Heard & O’Toole to provide litigation support in New York—the New York office now houses around 80 lawyers. A year later, Venable swallowed up smaller Los Angeles outfits Whitwell Jacoby Emhoff LLP and Gorry, Meyer & Rudd LLP, and in October 2013, the firm opened an office in San Francisco. The Cali additions represent the realization of Venable’s long-held aspiration of establishing a presence in the comparatively far-flung region.

The same year Venable made its grand Hollywood entrance, the firm took on a new look at the top: longtime managing partner James Shea switched over to the chairman’s seat, opening the door for lifelong Venable lawyer (and former associate White House counsel) Karl Racine to become the first black managing partner of an AmLaw 100 firm. One of Racine’s first acts as MP was the successful pursuance of the L.A. firms.

Political Power

Venable is no slouch when it comes to political experience—the firm’s past and current attorneys include a U.S. attorney general, a DC attorney general, two Maryland deputy attorneys general, four members of the Senate (Arkansas, Indiana, and two from Maryland), four members of the House (California, Arkansas, Maryland, and Michigan), a former head of the DEA, a secretary of transportation, an administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and eleven federal judges.

Perhaps most noteworthy among Venable’s who’s-who are Francis Murnaghan, who sat on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for 21 years, and Senator Paul Sarbanes, who co-sponsored the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and is father to John Sarbanes—a 17-year veteran of Venable and current member of the House.

On November 1, 2018, Venable combined with the intellectual property firm Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto.


June 2018

LGBTQ@Venable, the firm’s newest affinity group, and the Diversity Committee sponsored the Diversity and Inclusion Summer Reception with guest speaker Jim Obergefell, named plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 Supreme Court case affirming the right of same-sex couples to marry. The reception took place in the DC office. In addition to group members and firm attorneys and staff, the summer associates, several clients, and friends of the firm attended. Jim’s presentation was projected in Venable’s Baltimore, LA, SF, and NY offices. The event served not only as a kick-off event for the affinity group, but also as a celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month.

May 2018

BTI Consulting recently released BTI Brand Elite 2018: Client Perceptions of the Best-Branded Law Firms, where corporate counsel named Venable among the top law firms nationally. The firm was recommended first to peers and colleagues without prompting. Based on interviews with corporate counsel at some of the world's largest companies, BTI Brand Elite 2018 shows how law firms are branded in the eyes of their clients and potential clients. All firms recognized by BTI were the result of top-of-mind recognition and a specific unprompted client citation.

April 2018

The Recorder's Xiumei Dong took a tour of the firm's San Francisco office as it celebrated its open house on April 12, 2018 at 101 California Street. Also in attendance was San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell, who welcomed guests and congratulated Venable on its new office and its continued growth in the city. Since Venable opened its San Francisco office in 2013, the firm's local practice has grown nearly sixfold to 31 lawyers and 19 staff.

January 2018

Venable receives "Consumer Protection Group of the Year" recognition for 2017 from Law360. The firm was singled out for its counsel to influencers on advertising disclosures and for beating back notable Consumer Financial Protection Bureau actions, like its suit against debt service providers and its efforts to enforce a civil investigative demand against a college accrediting council. Law360 notes, "Venable LLP's consumer protection practice was involved in some of 2017's biggest defense wins to land it among Law360's Practice Groups of the Year."

December 2017

The Venable Foundation, Inc., the philanthropic arm of the law firm Venable LLP awarded an impact grant of $150,000 to benefit the Legal Aid Society New York to support its Homeless Rights Project, which helps to improve access to shelter for low-income New Yorkers.

November 2017

Four Baltimore-based attorneys represented Venable on Giving Tuesday during the Helping Up Mission, which aims to help people who are overcoming poverty, homelessness, and addiction. Venable teamed up with Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service for the clinic, which was free to all Helping Up Mission clients and was recognized for helping 33 clients.

Venable LLP

600 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004
Phone: (202) 344-4000


Managing Partners: Lawrence H. Gesner & Daniel P. Moylan
Hiring Partner: Robert J. Bolger

Base Salary

All offices
1st year: $180,000
Summer associate: $3,460/week

Summer Program

Summer Associate Offers:
37 out of 38 (2Ls) (2018)

Major Office Locations

Washington, DC (HQ)
Baltimore, MD
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Towson, MD
Tysons Corner, VA
Wilmington, DE

Major Departments & Practices

Corporate Law & Business Transactions
Government & Regulatory Affairs
Technology & Intellectual Property