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Wilson Sonsini

At a Glance

Uppers

“The extremely interesting and relevant clients.”

“Early responsibility and mentorship.”

“Pro bono.”

Downers

“Long hours.”

“Demands.”

“Not having enough [time] to take on every interesting project.”

About Wilson Sonsini

With 950 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 154 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.

COVID-19 Update

Wilson Sonsini is committed to hiring exceptional candidates who have the passion to work with our innovative clients. While the firm will continue to work remotely in the U.S. through the end of 2021, we have likewise adapted to the remote environment by moving our traditional in-person recruiting process online. Candidates can expect to learn about the firm and our client base and get to know our attorneys through a variety of virtual opportunities including pre-recorded videos, live webinars, live presentations with breakout rooms and traditional programming through Career Service Offices. Additionally, we plan to connect with law students through student group programming partnerships, hosting virtual attorney coffee chats, virtual meet and greets, as well as tried and true direct outreach to our attorneys.

News & Awards

NOTABLE CASES
  • In 2021, Wilson Sonsini advised Roblox Corporation in its direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • In 2020, in a unanimous 8-0 decision, Wilson Sonsini prevailed in a key U.S. Supreme Court case, Carney v. Adams, restoring Delaware’s politically balanced judiciary. The firm represented Governor Carney in the matter.
  • In 2020, Wilson Sonsini served as lead antitrust counsel to Deutsche Telekom, parent company to T-Mobile, in its historic $26 billion merger with Sprint Corporation.
  • In 2016, the firm advised LinkedIn in its $26.2 billion acquisition by Microsoft.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
  • Beacon of Justice Award, 2021—National Legal Aid and Defender Association
  • “Best Place to Work” for LGBTQ equality/100% Rating, Corporate Equality Index, 2021—Human Rights Campaign
  • GDR 20 “Elite” Law Firm, 2020—Global Data Review
  • No. 11, “Global Elite” law firms, 2020—Global Competition Review
  • Mansfield Plus 3.0 Certified, 2020—Diversity Lab
  • No. 1 (Most Diverse Law Firm), Diversity Snapshot, 2020—Law360

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: 

Wilson Sonsini

650 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone: (650) 493-9300

Firm Stats

Board Chair: Katharine Martin
Managing Partner: Douglas Clark
Hiring Partners: Wendy Devine, Andrew Hoffman, John McGaraghan, Kathy Rothman, Joshua Soven
Total No. Attorneys 2021:
750 - 1K
No. of Partners Named 2021:
15
Billable-Hour Requirement:
1950

Base Salary

1st year: $205,000
2nd year: $215,000
3rd year: $240,000
4th year: $275,000
5th year: $305,000
6th year: $330,000
7th year: $350,000
8th year: $365,000
9th year+: $375,000
Summer Associate: $3,942 per week

Employment Contact

Elizabeth Pond
Senior Manager, Firmwide Law School Recruiting Manager
(650) 493-9300
epond@wsgr.com
Cherie Beffa
Director, Attorney Recruiting
(650) 493-9300
cbeffa@wsgr.com
attorneyrecruiting@wsgr.com

No. of U.S. Offices: 11

No. of International Offices: 5

Major Office Locations

Austin, TX
Boston, MA
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Palo Alto, CA (HQ)
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA (Financial District)
San Francisco, CA (SOMA)
Seattle, WA
Washington, DC
Wilmington, DE I Beijing
Brussels
Hong Kong
London
Shanghai

Major Departments

Antitrust
Capital Markets
Corporate Governance
Emerging Companies
Employee Benefits & Compensation
Employment Litigation
Energy & Infrastructure
Export Control & Sanctions
Finance & Structured Finance
Fund Services
Greater China
Intellectual Property
Mergers & Acquisitions
Patents and Innovations
Patent Litigation
Privacy & Data Protection
Regulatory & Compliance
Complex Litigation & Investigations
Tax & Tax Equity
Technology Transactions
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.