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Downey Brand

At a Glance


“The people, the interesting and challenging work, and our clients.”

“Busy practice, casual atmosphere.”


“Hours can be long depending on deadlines.”

“The lack of diversity and the pay/bonuses.”

About Downey Brand

Founded in 1926, when Sacramento was still a young, burgeoning metropolis, the three-lawyer firm of Downey, Brand & Seymour constituted about three percent of the city’s 100 or so attorneys. The firm’s growth was slow early on, with only five attorneys in 1946. But it continued to grow over the decades, expanding to new offices and locations. Now with nearly 100 attorneys of its own, Downey Brand is Sacramento’s largest law firm.

Notable in NorCal

Downey Brand handles most every type of civil matter, though its practice reflects its location in the state’s capital and in the middle of the state’s agricultural heartland. The firm’s particular strengths include business, litigation, and natural resources, and its attorneys specialize in a wide variety of sub-specialties within these areas—more than 40 at last count. The firm is well established in northern California, with additional offices in San Francisco and Stockton. 

Litigating over Land—and Water

Downey Brand boasts a strong General Commercial Litigation practice. Many of the region's leading companies trust their most significant litigation to the firm—with good reason. Downey Brand’s attorneys have a proven record of successfully handling a wide variety of complex, high-stakes commercial and business cases, counseling both plaintiffs and defendants in business, construction, employment, eminent domain, environmental, family law, food and agricultural, intellectual property, products liability, land use, trust & estates, and water rights litigation. The firm also boasts an appellate & writ practice and even has a certified appellate specialist, Jay-Allen Eisen. Eisen has advised on more than 300 appeals and writs in his over 50-year career.

The firm also boasts a noteworthy Natural Resources practice, including such areas as air quality, energy, environmental enforcement defense, environmental remediation, land use, and water law. Its Environmental Litigation practice has been recognized nationally and in California by U.S. News – Best Lawyers®, and its Water Law, Natural Resource Law, and Energy practices—among others—have been recognized by U.S. News – Best Lawyers metro rankings. Among the firm’s clients are companies and individuals in a range of areas, including aerospace, energy, petroleum, maritime, mining, manufacturing, and agribusiness. Downey Brand attorneys are no strangers to matters involving toxins and pollutants, including site cleanup and remediation, water quality and waste discharge, cost recovery litigation, and defense of environmental enforcement actions. And in the land-use arena, they counsel on such areas as entitlements, zoning, the National Environmental Policy Act, and more. 

NorCal’s Corporate Counsel

With its headquarters in the state capital, Downey Brand serves as outside general counsel for many of Northern California’s leading companies, including privately held and family-owned companies, nonprofits, and publicly-traded companies. For other national and regional companies, Downey Brand’s corporate and business lawyers are called upon to act as special counsel to handle complex business and real estate transactions. Some of the firm’s recent experience includes advising a selling group on an $85 million cash-and-stock merger transaction, guiding a family-owned winery through reorganization, and achieving a dismissal for a financial institution in a multi-million-dollar breach of contract suit.

News & Awards

  • Best Places to Work, 2018-2023 – Sacramento Business Journal
  • Top 10 Best Midsize Law Firms to Work For, 2023 - Vault


Downey Brand

621 Capitol Mall
18th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 444-1000

Firm Stats

Managing Partner: Janlynn Fleener
Recruiting Partner: Rebecca Smith
Total No. Attorneys (2024):
50 - 100
No. of Partners Named 2023:
Billable-Hour Requirement:

Base Salary

Sacramento/Stockton 1st year: $ 155,000.00
2nd year: $ 160,000.00
3rd year: $ 167,000.00
4th year: $ 175,000.00
5th year: $ 185,000.00
6th year: $ 195,000.00
7th year: $ 207,000.00
8th year: $ 215,000.00
Summer Associate: $3,000.00/week San Francisco 1st year: $ 188,000.00
2nd year: $ 191,000.00
3rd year: $ 200,000.00
4th year: $ 205,000.00
5th year: $ 223,000.00
6th year: $ 233,000.00
7th year: $ 239,000.00
8th year: $ 246,000.00
9th year: $
Summer Associate: $3,615.00/week

Employment Contact

Maureen Cooper
Recruiting Director
(916) 520-5483

No. of U.S. Offices: 3

No. of International Offices: 0

Major Office Locations

Sacramento, CA (HQ)
San Francisco, CA
Stockton, CA

Major Departments

Appellate & Writ Practice
Bankruptcy & Insolvency
Corporate Law & Finance
Employment Law
Environmental Law
Family Law
Flood Protection
Food & Agriculture
Intellectual Property
Mergers & Acquisitions
Privacy & Data Security
Public Agencies
Real Estate and Land Use
Trusts & Estates
Water Law
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.