Skip to Main Content
Carlson Caspers Vandenburgh & Lindquist, PA logo

Carlson Caspers Vandenburgh & Lindquist, PA

Our Survey Says


Add Carlson Caspers to your application list if you want to do sophisticated intellectual property work, and especially if you don’t want to live in a large metropolitan area. Based in Minneapolis, the firm hires largely from the University of Minnesota, but more importantly looks at academic achievement, technical knowledge, and a desire to put down roots in-state. Employees are friendly, and camaraderie comes easy in the small office. People enjoy time with each other, both at work and at social events. Partners treat associates well, welcome associate input on cases, and encourage associates to assume greater work product responsibility. The firm does not offer any official training for new associates, but expects them to seek skill development sessions on their own and to learn by doing—often with senior attorney guidance for certain tasks. These ad hoc teaching situations take the place of any official mentor/mentee arrangements. Work assignments are high quality and challenging, with some rudimentary tasks mixed in, and are dispensed fairly based on associate availability. Carlson Caspers has a reasonable billable requirement of 1,800 hours, though associates can expect busy days and weeks at times; however, it’s still possible to balance work and life. Salaries are good for a midsize market and production bonuses can be significant. Firm technology allows attorneys to be efficient, either from home or in the office. Not much is offered in terms of wellness initiatives, and the firm allows, but does not necessarily encourage, pro bono work. There are concerted efforts to improve diverse recruiting and hiring practices, though retention is still an issue. Promotion to partner seems to be expected, though some associates have luck moving to other firms or in-house.


The below associate quotes are derived from Vault's Annual Associate survey, which took place from late January 2020 to early April 2020.


  • “The hiring process is quite competitive. The firm looks for outstanding candidates from top-tier schools. However, excellent candidates from lower-ranked schools are also considered. Technical backgrounds and personal skills are two of the most important attributes the firm considers.”
  • “Our firm values strong academic credentials, a strong scientific and technical background, and people who are personable and will be good team players.”
  • “Once a candidate is selected for an interview, the process is largely about making sure the fit is right for both sides. Interviewers will often try to gauge how well a candidate can communicate past research or technical material.”


Firm Culture and Associate/Partner Relations

  • “Very familial atmosphere. Many people eat lunch together and there are occasional happy hours. The firm holiday party and summer events are always very enjoyable.”
  • “I have always been treated as a respected professional. From early on in my career, I have been expected to substantively contribute to the firm's work, and my input has been valued. There is less hierarchy than I had expected—good ideas and good work are valued and used from where they originate. The members of the firm all get along well. There are several firm-sponsored events throughout the year, including a number during the summer with our summer clerks.”
  • “Associate/partner relations at our firm are excellent—associates are treated as valuable parts of the team and are given meaningful roles on cases. The firm is committed to developing its associates. The firm is not transparent is its decision-making. There are annual performance reviews that help guide associates, but the firm's performance, finances, and internal promotion/pay scale are not disclosed (at least not at the associate level).”
  • “Partners have always treated me with respect and have valued my work. I consider many of them friends.  Transparency is there if one asks, but it is not always volunteered unsolicited. Formal performance reviews are conducted annually and focus primarily on how the firm and partners can help associates develop. Other feedback is freely available when asked for.”

Hours and Compensation

  • “The work is fairly flexible, and I think the work hours are as good as you could hope for in high-level IP litigation. When cases reach critical points, you need to work long hours, but that is not all the time and there is almost no feeling that associates need to work just to bill hours.”
  • “I have rarely experienced times when I did not have sufficient work. That said, the firm genuinely cares about not burning out its lawyers. There are, of course, some very busy periods, but I believe the firm wants its lawyers to have full lives—not just in the office.”
  • “Compensation is good and includes a substantial bonus as well as 401(k) match and additional substantial profit sharing at the end of each year.”

Training, Mentoring, and Quality of Work

  • “There is little formal training at the firm, but it will pay for outside training. Informal training is there whenever it is needed. Typically, associates work very closely with partners, so informal training happens continually and quite naturally.”
  • “Training and mentoring are informal and vary depending on the partner and/or project. Many of the attorneys at the firm are very willing to advocate for associates, [and overall,] the training and mentoring at the firm are quite good.”
  • “All of my time is spent on substantive legal work that matters. I have done everything from document review, to preparing for and taking depositions, writing dispositive motions and briefs, working with experts, participating at trial, arguing motions in federal court, and working on appeals.”
  • “I feel that I'm given a lot of opportunity to work on substantive legal work at my skill level and to be involved in a meaningful way in cases.”

Career Outlook

  • “Partnership is absolutely attainable for associates. High-quality work appears to me to be the main consideration.”
  • “Most people who begin at the firm as associates are made partners eventually. People who leave the firm are almost always able to find a job at other firms in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area if they want them.”



  • “The firm has made a conscious and serious effort over the past number of years to actively recruit, develop, and retain diverse lawyers. [Many] of our newest attorneys are women, and there is an increasing number of ethnically diverse lawyers.”
  • “The firm has made serious efforts in the last several years to improve in these respects.”
Carlson Caspers Vandenburgh & Lindquist, PA

225 South 6th St., Suite 4200
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: (612) 436-9600

Firm Stats

Managing Partner: J. Derek Vandenburgh
Hiring Partners: Brian Hayes and Alexandra Olson
Total No. Attorneys (2023):
1 - 50
No. of Partners Named 2023:
Billable-Hour Requirement:

Base Salary

1st year: $180,000

Employment Contact

Mary Laschansky
Office Manager

No. of U.S. Offices: 1

No. of International Offices: 0

Major Office Locations

Minneapolis, MN

Major Departments

Intellectual Property
Patent Counseling & Litigation
Patent Prosecution
Data Privacy & Technology
Hatch–Waxman Act
Monetization & Transactions
Post Grant Proceedings
Trademark, Advertising, & Unfair Competition
Trade Secrets
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.