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Our Survey Says


Cooley has historically been thought of as one of the more balanced BigLaw firms, and that sentiment doesn’t seem to have changed even as the market has soured a bit from the scorching highs of the pandemic. Associates say the firm’s hours requirement (and the bonus structure tied to it) are reasonable and predictable, although some express a desire for Cooley to join those of its peers who have done away with such requirements altogether. The general sentiment is that partners are approachable and respectful and that the firm is direct and transparent about the decisions it makes. Both the formal and informal training structures receive high overall marks, and work is reported to be always substantive and appropriate to associate experience levels. Technology works well, and remote work is fully supported, although some associates lament the lack of a tech stipend. Compensation is market with above-market bonuses available for high performers. Cooley receives very high marks on attorney wellness compared to peer firms, with an array of wellness programs readily available and widely used by those who responded to our survey. Associates give the firm high marks for its diversity efforts and for its frank acknowledgment of where improvements can still be made. There is no limitation on the pro bono hours that associates can count toward their billable hour requirement, something that many find very valuable and encouraging. The partnership process is reported to be transparent, well understood, and possible for anyone to walk if they will commit to doing the work.


3175 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone: (650) 843-5000

Firm Stats

Chairman & CEO: Joe Conroy
Vice Chair: Mike Lincoln
Chief Legal Talent Officer: Carrie Wagner
Total No. Attorneys (2023):
1K - 1.5K
No. of Partners Named 2023:
Billable-Hour Requirement:
1,950 hours

Base Salary

1st year: $225,000
2nd year: $235,000
3rd year: $260,000
4th year: $310,000
5th year: $365,000
6th year: $390,000
7th year: $420,000
8th year: $435,000
Summer Associate: $225,000 annualized, paid semi-monthly

Employment Contact

Carrie Wagner
Chief Legal Talent Officer
(703) 456-8115
Recruiting contacts for all locations can be found in the careers section of

No. of U.S. Offices: 12

No. of International Offices: 6

Major Office Locations

Boston, MA
Denver, CO
Chicago, IL
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Palo Alto, CA
Reston, VA
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
Santa Monica, CA
Seattle, WA
Washington, DC |
Hong Kong

Major Departments

Antitrust & Competition
Commercial Litigation
Capital Markets
Emerging Companies
Financial Services Regulatory
Fund Formation
Health Care & Life Sciences Regulatory
Intellectual Property Litigation
Life Sciences Corporate Partnering & Licensing
Mergers & Acquisitions
Patent Prosecution and Counseling
Privacy & Data Protection
Public Companies
Securities Litigation
Tax Transactional/Controversy
Technology Transactions/Outsourcing
Trademark, Copyright & Advertising
Venture Capital
White Collar & Regulatory Defense
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.