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Venable LLP

At a Glance


“Early responsibility.”

“Great work-life balance and great firm culture.”

“I have a lot of opportunities for interesting work.”


“Bonus compensation.”

“Lack of transparency.”

“Lack of specific training.”

About Venable LLP

The venerable, mono-monikered Venable is a titan of the mid-Atlantic I-95 corridor (where seven of its nine offices are located) and is home to nearly 800 lawyers. Venable complements a conventional BigLaw practice with Beltway-specific work. 

A Morphing Midsized Regional

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. The firm has grown substantially since the millennium, thanks largely to a series of mergers to bolster its Beltway contingent, tech offerings, and litigation department. These changes landed the firm two locations in California and one in New York. And in 2018, the firm bolstered its IP practice by merging with Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, doubling its NYC presence.

Venerable Specialists

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 being the group’s overwhelming forte. They’ve defended entities as widely varied as Wal-Mart, Merck, ExxonMobil, Perdue Farms, and Ford Motor Co.

The firm has a strong IP team that focuses on a range of areas, including copyrights, domain names, ITC matters, licensing, litigation, patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and unfair competition. Many of its attorneys are armed with technical degrees—from applied molecular biology and biochemistry to computer engineering and electrical engineering to molecular genetics and organic chemistry, and more—and some served as USPTO examiners before coming to the firm.

With an eye toward helping early-stage companies, Venable has developed Venable Venture Services, which helps startups with all of their multidisciplinary needs. Among areas the firm counsels on are corporate structure, employment issues, financing, IP transactions and counseling, and regulatory issues.

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 11 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.

News & Awards

  • Venable represented Wal-Mart in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Samara Bros. Inc., a landmark trade dress case in which the U.S. Supreme Court established that manufacturers must prove that consumers believe that the look of a product automatically identifies its creator in order to gain trademark protection for a product design.
  • Venable serves as counsel to the Center for Cybersecurity Policy and Law, a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization that develops, advances, and promotes best practices and educational opportunities among cybersecurity professionals. To educate policymakers with respect to these and related pressing cybersecurity issues, Venable leads the Center in a full range of advocacy measures on behalf of the industry, including submitting written comments, offering testimony at congressional and regulatory hearings, drafting legal and policy white papers, engaging with policymakers directly, and holding events.
  • Venable advised its longtime private equity client, GenRock, in acquiring (1) a portfolio of 70 Moe’s Southwest Grill restaurants from four unaffiliated sellers, and (2) a portfolio of 62 Sonic drive-in restaurants, along with 23 associated real estate properties. Venable also represented GenRock in obtaining financing for the transactions. These transactions, totaling $135 million, added the Moe’s and Sonic brands to its restaurant portfolio holding company, Quality Restaurant Group, one of the largest privately-owned restaurant groups in the country.
  • For more than 30 years, Venable has been lead counsel for a class of several thousand Baltimore City foster children, litigating and monitoring federal consent decrees requiring comprehensive reforms of Baltimore’s foster care system.  Following a trial and an unsuccessful appeal by the state, a consent decree was entered in 1988. The state did not comply and Venable and co-counsel petitioned for contempt. The state fought this unsuccessfully all the way to the Supreme Court.  Venable has actively monitored compliance since 2010 and led child-welfare reform efforts throughout Maryland. 
  • Six Fellows inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers
  • 72 attorneys ranked, 2021—Chambers USA
  • 18 Venable national practice areas ranked Tier 1, 2020—U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”
  • 14 Venable practice areas ranked, including Tax: Not-for-Profit (nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations); M&A/Corporate and Commercial: M&A: Middle-Market (sub-$500 million); and Media, Technology and Telecoms: Cyber Law (including data privacy and data protection), 2021—Legal 500
Venable LLP

600 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 344-4000

Firm Stats

Managing Partners: Lawrence H. Gesner & Daniel P. Moylan
Hiring Partner: Robert J. Bolger
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
750 - 1K
No. of Partners Named 2021:
Billable-Hour Requirement:
1,900 hours, except for associates in the Preceptor Program. The Preceptor Program includes entry-level associates and associates who were judicial clerks but have not yet practiced law. The billable-hour requirement for this group is 1,800 hours for their first year. All associates are expected to work a combined total of 2,200 hours each year.

Base Salary

All offices: 1st year: $205,000
2nd year: $215,000
3rd year: $225,000

Employment Contact

Melissa N. Meyer
Director of Associate Recruiting
(202) 344-4521
General Recruiting Email: associate

No. of U.S. Offices: 9

No. of International Offices: 0

Major Office Locations

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

Major Departments

Corporate Law & Business Transactions
Government & Regulatory Affairs
Technology & Intellectual Property
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.