2020 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“Flexible work schedule/work from home.”
“Transparency of internal promotion.”
“The billable-hours requirement.”
“Hours and unpredictability.”
About Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
With 800 attorneys across 16 offices around the world, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is a global player with very deep tech roots. The firm has become a leader in tech licensing transactions, technology financings and M&A, and intellectual property.
Running Circles Around Everyone
Wilson Sonsini began as a simple three-man shop in Palo Alto under the name McCloskey, Wilson & Mosher. It was founded by John Wilson, Pete McCloskey, and Roger Mosher; McCloskey departed shortly thereafter in order to take a seat in Congress. Larry Sonsini became a name partner in 1973 after working at the firm for seven years. John Goodrich and Mario Rosati came on board in the early 1970s, and after Mosher’s departure, the firm took its current name of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
One of the early hallmarks of the firm was its “Three Circles” business model, which focuses on representing enterprises through all stages of their growth.
All About Tech
Wilson Sonsini focuses on five major practice areas—antitrust, corporate, IP, litigation, and regulatory and compliance—with a host of sub practices. The firm’s technology experience has become as diverse as the industry itself. The firm now works with clients in the semiconductor, software, renewable energy, networking, media, fintech, social media, biotech, medical device, data storage and cloud, and consumer tech sectors. It also has a strong corporate finance practice that works closely with financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Last but hardly least, the Wilson Sonsini venture capital practice has grown in tandem with early clients like Sequoia Capital, Mayfield, and Oak Investment Partners. To date, Wilson Sonsini has worked with thousands of companies and has helped raise billions of dollars. The firm has represented more than a hundred venture capital and private equity firms—many of which it helped create.
The firm boasts a strong IP practice—ranked among the top 10 in Vault’s Intellectual Property Practice Area Ranking. The patents and innovations team has 180 attorneys, patent agents, and scientific advisors who work on everything from patent applications and patent prosecution to patent litigation and patent portfolio management to licensing and regulatory submissions and FDA-related submissions. Firm attorneys are also regulars before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Unique to the firm is its technology transactions practice, which focuses specifically on commercial transactions that are driven by intellectual property. Fifty of the firm’s lawyers focus exclusively on this practice. The group works with startups and tech clients across such industries as 3D printing, big data, biotech, digital media entertainment, e-commerce, fintech, health IT, open source, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, and many more.
Ready to Launch
Corporate first and second years in the firm’s Bay Area offices can participate in Launch—a work allocation system for the corporate and securities practice. Associates in this program will receive a variety of assignments across the practice, rather than specializing in one specific area. A staff coordinator manages the workflow and provides regular feedback.
News & Awards
In September 2018, WSGR joined other U.S. law firms in announcing an initiative to deliver free legal services worth $15 million by 2020 to advance sustainability across the globe. The first-of-its-kind initiative, Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy, offers pro bono legal assistance to entrepreneurs and community-based nonprofits taking on key sustainability challenges across multiple economic sectors, in energy, transportation, and land use. WSGR and six other Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy founding members committed to provide legal services worth at least $2 million by the end of 2020.
In February 2019, WSGR announced the formation of SixFifty, a new software subsidiary. Backed by WSGR, SixFifty is developing automated tools designed to make legal processes efficient and affordable. SixFifty operates in tandem with attorneys from WSGR to provide companies the optimal combination of automation and human expertise.
WSGR announced in October 2018 a partnership with Paladin, a groundbreaking pro bono platform with a mission to increase access to justice for clients in need. The partnership will expand the firm’s attorneys’ opportunities for growth and participation in pro bono work. Paladin’s software solution will help WSGR continue to deliver rewarding pro bono opportunities to its attorneys by way of increased efficiency and real-time communication. WSGR will use the platform to streamline the process of providing targeted opportunities to its attorneys in various locations and areas of interest, as well as to assist in tracking ongoing engagement in firm pro bono initiatives.
In August 2018, WSGR opened a London office to provide U.S. access and support to UK-based technology and life sciences companies, extending the firm’s practice into one of the world’s top technology markets.
- In June 2019, represented REVOLVE, a next-generation fashion retailer for millennial consumers, in its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.
- In March 2019, represented Careem, a pioneer in the Middle East’s ride-hailing economy, in its $3.1 billion sale to Uber.
- Represented Lyft in its IPO on Nasdaq in March 2019. Also represented Lyft in its $600 million Series I financing round in June 2018.
- In December 2018, secured wins for Mylan against Sanofi in inter partes reviews at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), clearing a significant hurdle towards marketing of Mylan’s proposed long-acting insulin glargine vial product.
- Ranked No. 4 in The American Lawyer’s 2019 Diversity Scorecard.
- Ranked No. 1 for the total number of rounds of equity financing raised on behalf of clients in 2018 by Dow Jones VentureSource.
- Named an Outside Counsel: Top Tier Firm in the 2019 Outside Counsel Rankings by Above The Law (ATL), which were generated exclusively by commercial litigation finance firm Lake Whillans.
- Ranked No. 15 in the list of “global elite” law firms in the 2019 edition of GCR 100, published by Global Competition Review.
- Ranked No. 2 among the top five law firms serving startups based on the amount bulled to startup clients by Kruze Consulting, 2019.
Why Work Here
What You May Not Know About Us
WSGR fosters an entrepreneurial and collaborative environment across its attorney ranks. We understand the importance of mentorship and strive to promote career growth and help our attorneys build leadership and relationship skills with clients and colleagues. We want to inspire them to think about the best strategies to enhance their practices.
WSGR’s culture encourages independence and responsibility from an early stage. We motivate our attorneys at each step of the way, helping them to contribute at a sophisticated level across all work areas and increase accountability and ownership levels.
In addition to having a robust M&A and capital markets practice, we represent and advise clients on a broad array of other legal matters, including litigation, intellectual property, employment law, taxation, employee benefits, and more. Some details:
650 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone: (650) 493-9300
Board Chair: Katharine Martin
Managing Partner: Douglas Clark
Hiring Partners: Andrew Hoffman, Maura Rees, Kathy Rothman
Total No. Attorneys 2019:
750 - 1K
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
4th year: $255,000
5th year: $280,000
6th year: $305,000
7th year: $325,000
8th year: $340,000
9th year+: $350,000
Summer associate: $3,654 per week
Summer Associate Offers:
48 out of 48 (2Ls) (2018)
No. of Summer Associates:
48 total (All 2Ls) (2018)
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Palo Alto, CA (HQ)
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA (Financial District)
San Francisco, CA (SOMA)
Employee Benefits & Compensation
Energy & Infrastructure
Export Control & Sanctions
Finance & Structured Finance
Mergers & Acquisitions
Patents and Innovations
Privacy & Data Protection
Regulatory & Compliance
Securities & Governance Litigation
Tax & Tax Equity
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.