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Shartsis Friese LLP

At a Glance


“People, level of responsibility, respect, work-life balance.”

“Quality of work and client base; associate ability to handle all substantive aspects of work and to lead when ready.”


“Space—offices are dreadful.”

“IT issues; small number of other associates to support.”

About Shartsis Friese LLP

Shartsis Friese is a mid-size San Francisco firm with just south of 70 lawyers among its ranks.The firm distinguishes itself from its big firm competitors with careful growth, low partner/non-partner ratio, lower billing rates, and minimal turnover—without a fall-off in results.

An Independent Spirit

Shartsis Friese was founded in 1975 by Arthur J. Shartsis, Mary Jo Shartsis, and Robert Charles Friese. Arthur Shartsis was a third-year associate at Morrison & Foerster when he pitched to Friese, a Securities and Exchange Commission attorney, about the possibility of starting their own firm. For nearly 45 years, the firm’s collegial, efficient, small-firm platform has attracted a number of strong, independent-minded partners and associates from other firms who have established high-quality, sophisticated practice niches. The senior partners will tell you that the way the model has developed is no accident—this is what the founders had in mind when they started. 

With no official managing partner (the firm is run by a six-person management committee, of which one member is an associate representative), Shartsis Friese has an undoubtedly unconventional management philosophy. Despite several offers, the firm has staunchly refused to merge with larger firms—and why bother? The firm out-earns many of the larger firms that want to acquire it and takes on no debt. Sound good? Better polish up that resumé: Shartsis Friese follows a policy of controlled growth, selecting only a few attorneys out of a resumé pool of hundreds each year. 

High Stakes

Shartsis Friese specializes in complex litigation, investment funds, real estate, corporate, venture capital, taxation, securities enforcement defense, intellectual property, and family wealth planning. The firm regularly handles high-profile cases and deals with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. Its coveted client list includes Oracle, Simpson Manufacturing, Netflix, Twitter, Penumbra, Arista Networks, Sysmex, Waste Connections, and Partner Fund Management. 

For the Good of the Bay

It’s not all about the bottom line for Shartsis Friese: In 2004, the firm founded the Shartsis Friese LLP Public Interest Fellowship, which subsidizes a staff attorney position at a selected local organization providing legal services to indigent people in the San Francisco Bay Area for a two-year period. The Fellowship has been awarded to Bay Area Legal Aid, the East Bay Community Law Center, Centro Legal de la Raza, Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, the Family Violence Law Center, Open Door Legal, and Swords Into Plowshares. The firm also provides significant volunteer services and financial support to numerous other organizations.

Shartsis Friese LLP

One Maritime Plaza
18th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 421-6500

Firm Stats

Managing Partner: Arthur J. Shartsis
Recruiting Chair: Kajsa Minor
Total No. Attorneys (2022):
50 - 100
No. of Partners Named 2022:
Billable-Hour Requirement:

Base Salary

1st year: $210,000
2nd year: $220,000
3rd year: $235,000
4th year: $265,000
5th year: $290,000
6th year: $310,000
7th year: $330,000
8th year: $340,000
9th year: $350,000
Summer Associate: $4038.50/week

Employment Contact

Jason White
Recruiting Coordinator
(415) 421-6500
general recruiting email:

No. of U.S. Offices: 1

No. of International Offices: 0

Major Office Locations

San Francisco, CA

Major Departments

Family Wealth Planning
Intellectual Property
Investment Funds & Advisors
Real Estate
Securities Enforcement Defense
Venture Capital