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McDermott Will & Emery

At a Glance


“Above-market compensation.”

“Real expectation that you should strive for work-life balance.”


“Lack of clarity on expectations.”

“The hours, but this is BigLaw.”

About McDermott Will & Emery

A Chicago institution since the 1930s, McDermott Will & Emery has, in recent decades, broadened its gaze to new markets in the United States and abroad. The strategy has paid off in spades, with McDermott firmly ensconced among the world’s largest and most elite law firms. 

A Windy Start

McDermott opened for business in 1934 as a tax firm run by Edward H. McDermott and William M. Emery. A mere seven years later, the third and final name partner was added in corporate specialist Howard A. Will. The firm’s name has remained the same ever since, a remarkable feat of continuity in the modern atmosphere of shortened firm names, legal mergers, and buyouts. McDermott added an Estate Planning division in 1941, and by 1944, the firm had burgeoned to 16 lawyers. Over the next half century and into the 21st century, the firm expanded both domestically and internationally. Today, McDermott is home to more than 1,200 lawyers across 20-plus offices around the world.

Flexing Their Practice Area Muscles

While the firm is still known for its strength in tax, McDermott’s reach has expanded over the decades. The firm counsels its clients on newer areas such as life sciences, renewable energy, and privacy law, which complement its more traditional practices like M&A, antitrust, health care, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and insurance. 

McDermott is a leader in healthcare law, holding the No. 1 spot in Vault’s Health Care rankings. The firm uses multidisciplinary, cross-border teams to handle its clients’ sophisticated issues. Hospitals, health private equity funds, digital health companies, home health agencies, hospices, medical device manufacturers—and more—call on McDermott for advice. 

The firm also has a stand-out IP department, with experience in copyright, domain names, International Trade Commission matters, patents and patent litigation, trade secrets, trademarks, and unfair competition. The firm is a regular before the USPTO, including in post-grant review proceedings. Among the industries the firm’s IP attorneys serve are energy, life sciences, media, and telecommunications.

Blogging About It

With 11 blogs on its website—including Antitrust Alert, Employee Benefits, Energy Business Law, FCA Update, Health and Life Sciences News, HR News Germany, IP Update, Of Digital Interest, Tax Controversy 360, Inside SALT, and Alcohol Law Advisor—McDermott shares the latest on a variety of legal topics with the blogosphere. The firm also offers three regular podcasts: Governing Health, Of Digital Interest, and Collaborative Transformation: Driving the Deal.

News & Awards




  • #1 Best Law Firms to Work For, 2022 and 2023—Vault
  • Top Workplace Cultural Awards for Innovation, Compensation and Benefits, Purpose and Values, Work Life Flexibility and Leadership, 2023—Top Workplaces
  • Best Law Firms for Women Hall of Fame, 2023—Seramount
  • Top 15 Most Innovative Law Firms, 2022—Financial Times
  • Law Firm of the Year Finalist, 2022—The American Lawyer
McDermott Will & Emery

444 West Lake Street
Chicago, IL 60606-0029
Phone: (312) 372-2000

Firm Stats

Chair: Ira J. Coleman
Co-National Hiring Partners: Eric Gilbert and Lisa Richman
Total No. Attorneys (2023):
1K - 1.5K
No. of Partners Named 2023:
Billable-Hour Requirement:

Base Salary

Base Salary 2023 Year 1: $215,000
Year 2: $225,000
Year 3: $250,000
Year 4: $295,000
Year 5: $345,000
Year 6: $370,000
Year 7: $400,000
Year 8: $415,000
Summer Associate: $ 4,134/Week

Employment Contact

Erika Gardiner
Director of Associate Recruiting
(202) 756-8282

No. of U.S. Offices: 13

No. of International Offices: 8

Major Office Locations

Atlanta, GA
Boston, MA
Chicago, IL
Dallas, TX
Houston, TX
Los Angeles, CA
Miami, FL
New York, NY
Orange County (Irvine), CA
San Francisco, CA
Silicon Valley (Menlo Park), CA
Washington, DC
Wilmington, DE |

Major Departments

Corporate & Transactional
Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
Global Privacy &
Intellectual Property
Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Private Client & Wealth Management
Regulatory, Government, & Lobbying Strategies
Strategic Solutions
White Collar
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.