2020 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“Talented, yet down-to-earth lawyers.”
“Working on front-page matters.”
“The work/life balance is great for a firm of this size.”
“Poor partnership prospects.”
“Demands on time.”
With 1,000 lawyers across the U.S., Asia, and Europe, WilmerHale is a litigation powerhouse, known especially for its work in IP, securities, and appellate litigation, as well as its life sciences and technology experience. The firm counsels in a range of industries, including aviation; big data, Brexit; education; energy, environment, and natural resources; financial services; health care; insurance; media and entertainment; national securities; professional services; and technology.
Beantown Meets the Beltway
WilmerHale was formed in 2004 when Hale and Dorr LLP and Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP joined forces. Legacy firm Hale & Dorr dated back to 1918. Among other things, the firm was known for its work in government matters. Firm lawyer Joseph Welch represented the U.S. Army in the legendary U.S. Army-McCarthy congressional proceedings. And Jim St. Clair left the firm in the ’70s to become Special Counsel to Richard Nixon during Water Gate.
Wilmer Cutler & Pickering was launched in the ’60s in DC. Like Hale & Dorr, the firm had experience working in government—its attorneys were counsel to Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, to drop a few names. And the firm laid the groundwork for a future commitment to pro bono as the first signatory to the ABA’S Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge.
Doing It All
WilmerHale is a full-service shop, handling everything from antitrust and bank regulation to bankruptcy and cybersecurity to M&A and IP to tax and white collar—and many more in between.
The foundation of WilmerHale’s success is its IP practice. The firm combines technical expertise—more than 120 of its lawyers hold scientific and technical degrees—with BigLaw firepower. Annually, the firm secures hundreds of patents and trademark registrations worldwide. One factor behind the department’s excellence has been the firm’s sophisticated multi-jurisdictional representation of an all-star roster of high-profile IP clients, including Apple, Abbott Laboratories, Intel, Broadcom Corp., Boeing, Boston Scientific, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Monsanto, Novartis, Oracle, Pfizer, and Wyeth.
The firm is also well known for its Appellate & Supreme Court Litigation practice. WilmerHale attorneys have argued more than 140 cases before SCOTUS and are regulars before state and federal appellate courts. The firm has been named to The National Law Journal’s Appellate Hot list every year for over a decade.
In the life sciences area, the firm brings a multi-disciplinary approach. Clients include biotechnology, pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and medical device companies. The group works across such areas as corporate finance, licensing, M&A, patent issues and IP counseling, regulatory matters, and more.
In 1992, Hale & Dorr lawyers donated money to establish the WilmerHale Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, which is a clinical teaching facility through which Harvard law students help people in the community in such areas as estate planning, domestic violence, tax, housing, predatory lending, and veterans law. Firm attorneys also work with the clinic, providing hundreds of hours of pro bono service.
Why Work Here
At WilmerHale, we take great pride in a culture that expects and teaches its lawyers to practice law at the highest level. We believe that superb legal skills can be developed through a combination of broad work experiences, strong mentoring relationships and sound formal training by experienced practitioners. The firm’s comprehensive lawyer development and training programs offer competency-based approaches to evaluation, promotion, compensation, and overall professional development; a robust mentoring program; supportive training; and flexible career paths.
1875 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 663-6000
Co-Managing Partners: Susan W. Murley and Robert T. Novick
Hiring Partners: John Hobgood & Sarah Petty (Boston); Ben Fernandez(Denver); Chris Casamassima (Los Angeles); Alan Schoenfeld & Erin Sloane (New York); Michael Mugmon (Palo Alto); Jonathan Paikin (Washington)
Total No. Attorneys 2019:
1K - 1.5K
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
4th year: $255,000
5th year: $280,000
6th year: $305,000
Summer associate: $3,700/week
Summer Associate Offers:
85 out of 85 (2Ls) (2018)
No. of Summer Associates:
88 total (85 2Ls; 3 1Ls) (2018)
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Palo Alto, CA
Washington, DC I Beijing
Regulatory and Government Affairs
*See firm website for additional departments and specific practice areas and industries