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McDermott Will & Emery

Our Survey Says


Associates love McDermott. It’s not enough to note that the firm’s culture is described in overwhelmingly positive terms; associates feel that the firm goes all in on nurturing that culture. Although the hiring process is as competitive as one might expect from a top BigLaw firm, McDermott takes a holistic approach to hiring, focusing as much (or more) on personality and fit as on law school and grades. As a result, while the T14 is well represented at McDermott, the firm draws from a wider pool of law schools to find its ideal candidates. Getting back to culture, associates use words like “excellent” and “impeccable” to describe an environment of warm comradery among all levels of attorneys and staff. Firm leadership is highly transparent, and partners are deeply supportive of both development and work-life balance, making associates feel valued. Salary is market, and although bonuses are tied to the 2,000 billable hour requirement, McDermott offers significantly above-market bonuses for higher billers. Additionally, 100 pro bono hours (and more with permission) count towards the requirement, as do hours for DEI work and “mindfulness,” which encompasses health and wellness time for associates. In terms of substantive work, many associates feel they are “punching above their weight” as compared to associates at other firms. Although associates appreciate billable credit for diversity-related initiatives, they acknowledge that the firm still has a ways to go to diversify the partnership. With two tiers of partnership, making partner feels very attainable. For associates who wish to seek other paths, McDermott makes a career counselor available and offers extensive connections within its network to help associates find their ideal place. 

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.