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McDermott Will & Emery

At a Glance


“Great experience early in your career.”

Genuinely good people who are easy to get along with.”


“Unlimited PTO has been tricky to navigate in practice.”

“Partners are sometimes difficult to get a hold of.”

About McDermott Will & Emery

A Chicago institution since the 1930s, McDermott Will & Emery has broadened its gaze in recent decades 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. Only seven years later, the third and final name partner was added: 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 include 16 lawyers. In the following years and into the 21st century, the firm expanded both domestically and internationally. Today, McDermott is home to more than  1,400 lawyers across  23 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, complementing its more traditional practices like M&A, antitrust, healthcare, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and insurance. 

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

The firm also has a standout 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 the energy, life sciences, and 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 within the blogosphere. The firm also offers three regular podcasts: Governing Health, Of Digital Interest, and Collaborative Transformation: Driving the Deal.


News & Awards

  • Bolstering Climate Action: Carbon Protect™ Insurance Reduces Risk in Carbon Markets - With the goal of insuring certain carbon credits in the voluntary carbon market, Oka approached our team about developing a first-to-market carbon insurance product. McDermott helped them with their goal to make carbon credits less risky and more appealing to investors, ultimately driving climate action.
  • Defending Diversity: Pro bono efforts uphold a historic Black church’s right to operate in Texas.
  • Knocking Down Class Action Allegations and Appeal: Forward-thinking legal strategy results in complete junk-fax class action win for national network of medical practices
  • Crafting a Brand Vision: Fishers Island Lemonade Sells to E.&J. Gallo
  • #1 Law Firm for Associate Satisfaction, 2024, Vault
  • Top Workplace, 2024, USA Today
  • Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+, 2024, Human Rights Campaign Foundation
  • Top 10 Most Innovative Law Firms, 2023, Financial Times
  • Top Firm for Career Development, 2023, Chambers Associate
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 (2024):
1K - 1.5K
No. of Partners Named 2023:
Billable-Hour Requirement:

Base Salary

Base Salary 2024 Year 1: $225,000
Year 2: $235,000
Year 3: $260,000
Year 4: $310,000
Year 5: $365,000
Year 6: $390,000
Year 7: $420,000
Year 8: $435,000

Employment Contact

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

No. of U.S. Offices: 14

No. of International Offices: 8

Major Office Locations

Atlanta, GA
Austin, TX
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.