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McDermott Will & Emery

Our Survey Says


For an exceptional workplace where people really seem to like each other and the work they do, McDermott may top the list. Recruiting has shifted toward T14 schools, while academic achievement, experience, and personality continue to be emphasized. Relationship building and socializing characterize office settings, and everyone seems to get along. Less hierarchy means that partners are approachable, supportive, and interested in associate well-being and development. This welcoming atmosphere extends to lateral hires, too, who emphasize their training and mentoring experiences. Overall, McDermott offers significant training programs, and partners and senior associates are dedicated to guiding and providing feedback to younger attorneys. Most associate work is meaningful and client-facing, with associates appreciating opportunities to be challenged. A free-market system means associates must seek out their own work, often pairing with partners who know the quality of their work product, and generally, there is enough work to go around. The firm sets a doable billable hour goal of 2,000 hours, which includes time spent on professional development, mindfulness, diversity-related activities, and pro bono work. Associates enjoy market salaries and above-market bonuses for exceeding billables or high ratings in performance reviews. McDermott technology is cutting-edge and always improving thanks to an excellent IT team. The firm prioritizes wellness through programming—including having a dedicated Director of Mental Health and Well-Being—and providing billable hour credit for 25 “mindfulness” hours. Pro bono work is also emphasized, and associates can be granted permission to have more than 100 hours considered billable. Efforts to increase and improve diversity through recruiting, programming, and affinity groups have been successful. Career prospects, whether as counsel, income partner, or equity partner, and opportunities for external moves are strong.

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.