2023 Vault Rankings
- Firm Culture#17
- Pro Bono#17
At a Glance
“Friendly, diverse, collaborative culture and flexibility with respect to location and hours.”
“The chance to gain meaningful experience across a mixed intellectual property practice. I could not build such a rich expertise of patent litigation, while still maintaining a patent prosecution docket anywhere else.”
“Lack of transparency about firm decisions and work-life balance that needs improvement.”
“Feast-or-famine workload and schedule.”
Finnegan is synonymous with intellectual property—a true full-service IP firm with experts in every industry and technology. Considered one of the world’s top intellectual property law firms, Finnegan employs more than 700 people, including nearly 300 IP professionals, befitting its role as an IP giant.
Marc Finnegan and Douglas Henderson teamed up in 1965 to open a shop in Washington, DC, that practiced only intellectual property law. The firm’s focus has not changed, although its scope has expanded to cover virtually every aspect of patent, trademark, and copyright law, including counseling, prosecution, licensing, portfolio management and litigation. Finnegan also represents clients in IP issues relating to advertising, trade secrets, European patents and trademarks, international trade, portfolio management, the Internet, e-commerce, government contracts, antitrust and unfair competition. The firm now boasts five U.S. offices and five international offices. Since opening its Tokyo office in 1988, when it became one of the first U.S. patent firms to have a lawyer actively practicing in Japan, the firm has staked a position in some of the world’s leading technology and innovation centers, including Atlanta, Boston, London, Munich, Palo Alto, Reston, Seoul, Shanghai, and Taipei.
As one would imagine, a firm like Finnegan has an A-list roster of regular clients, including: Caterpillar; Eli Lilly and Company; FedEx; Google; IBM; Nestlé; Otsuka Pharmaceuticals; Philips; Toshiba Corp.; Toyota Motor Corp.; Vertex Pharmaceuticals; Under Armour; and Unilever.
While it’s true that the firm’s professionals handle the full array of IP legal issues, there is no question that patent law is where the firm reigns supreme: more than 90 percent of Finnegan attorneys work primarily on patent matters. With a practice centered on intellectual property, the firm has had over 650 IP-related district court cases filed in the past five years, has over 250 litigators, including career trial attorneys, and over 300 of the firm’s legal professionals hold degrees in scientific disciplines, with more than 60 PhDs. Moreover, over 225 of Finnegan’s legal professionals are registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), European Patent Office (EPO), the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA), the U.K. Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
Finnegan’s trademark practice is renowned in its own right, involved in more than 25,000 trademark applications and registrations around the world. The trademark team litigates high-profile cases involving a range of iconic brands and is at the forefront of the domain-name business, having handled more than 500 Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy arbitrations and litigating nearly 100 civil domain name matters. Annually, the firm files or defends as many as 200 new U.S. oppositions and cancellations at the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and at any given time has approximately 300 to 400 active U.S. oppositions and cancellations.
Finnegan works on a wide variety of pro bono matters, including civil, criminal, and asylum representation. In addition, through its Veteran’s Assistance Program, the firm handles appeals in the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC), and the Federal Circuit. Finnegan’s attorneys have handled more than 1,000 appeals from Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) decisions.
Why Work Here
901 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 408-4000
Managing Partner: Erika Arner
Recruiting Chairs: David K. Mroz (Washington, DC), Trenton A. Ward (Atlanta), Cory C. Bell (Boston), Jeffrey D. Smyth (Palo Alto), Daniel C. Tucker (Reston)
Total No. Attorneys (2022):
250 - 500
No. of Partners Named 2022:
1,850 billable hours plus 100 pro bono hours and 50 shadowing hours, or 2,000 billable hours
1st year: $215,000
2nd year: $225,000
3rd year: $250,000*
Summer Associate: $4,135/week
*if billed 2,000 hours or prorated version thereof.
Director of Legal Recruitment
No. of U.S. Offices: 5
No. of International Offices: 6
Palo Alto, CA
Washington, DC (HQ)
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.