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2024 DIVERSITY DATABASE UNDERWRITER Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP

Our Survey Says


Gunderson is a hyper-focused firm that does one thing very well: venture capital work, particularly with tech startups. Although grades and law school prestige are important, Gunderson expects that those who wish to work there be able to demonstrate via extracurriculars or prior work experience a genuine interest in that practice area. Associates say that this is not a firm for people who want to shut the door and work; the culture is very social, and folks who enjoy that will flourish at the firm. Partners are said to be very friendly and approachable, although transparency in firm-level decision making is cited as a growth area. Although the normally reasonable billable hour requirement has been out of reach for some associates with the broader downturn in the tech world, they happily report that they still received partial bonuses and are very satisfied with their overall compensation. Work is substantive and appropriate to an associate’s level, and given the nature of Gunderson’s focus, it becomes very client-facing early and often. Associates report no problems with the firm’s tech infrastructure and say the shift to remote work during COVID was very easy. The firm’s wellness efforts receive high marks, as do both the formal and informal training structures the firm has in place. Although associates report some confusion and doubt around the viability of making partner, other exit opportunities—particularly going in-house to firm clients—are cited as both excellent and realistic. The firm launched a formal pro bono program within the last year, and though this is still regarded as a significant growth area, part of the difficulty is due to the firm’s particular focus rather than a lack of commitment from leadership. The firm is said to be moving in the right direction in terms of diversity, although, as with every firm, work remains to be done. All told, if you’re a sociable person interested in the startup world, Gunderson might be a great fit for you.

Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP

550 Allerton Street
Redwood City, CA 94063
Phone: (650) 321-2400

Firm Stats

Administrative Partner: David Young
Hiring Partners: Marcia Hatch (Ann Arbor); Wes Watts (Austin); Nevin Fox, Michael Hacker (Boston); Hilary Adams, Adan Muller, Aaron Rubin (NY); Alexa Belonick, Jesse Birbach, Stephanie Lane (San Francisco/Redwood City); Cody Peterson (LA); Heather Aune, Ryan Gunderson, John Tolpa (San Diego)
Total No. Attorneys (2023):
250 - 500
No. of Partners Named 2023:
Billable-Hour Requirement:
1,950 hours

Base Salary

1st year: $215,000
2nd year: $225,000
3rd year: $250,000
4th year: $295,000
5th year: $345,000
6th year: $370,000
7th year: $400,000
8th year: $415,000
9th year: $425,000
Summer Associate: $4,135/week

Employment Contact

Colleen McNulty
Director of Legal Recruiting
(650) 321-2400
General Recruiting Email:

No. of U.S. Offices: 8

No. of International Offices: 3

Major Office Locations

Ann Arbor, MI
Austin, TX
Boston, MA
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Redwood City, CA (HQ)
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA I
São Paulo

Major Departments

Corporate & Securities
Data Privacy
Debt Financings & Secured Transactions
Executive Compensation
Latin America
Employment & Labor
Licensing, Strategic Partnering & Commercial Transactions
Life Sciences
Mergers & Acquisitions
Public Offerings/Public Companies
Venture Capital & Growth Equity Fund Formation and Representation
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.