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Susman Godfrey

At a Glance

Uppers

“Incredibly smart, kind, committed coworkers; fascinating cases; an eye-popping amount of early, substantive responsibility; unbeatable compensation; amazing support staff. There's no better place to work if you want to be a top-notch litigator.”

“Absolutely brilliant colleagues, exciting cases, and incomparable opportunities for young lawyers to learn by doing.”

Downers

“With a lot of responsibility comes long hours and stress about whether you are doing things properly. People are busy here and won't hold your hand through even tasks that you've never done before.”

“Hours are heavy, pressure is intense.”

About Susman Godfrey

Since its founding in 1980, Susman Godfrey has established itself as the nation’s premiere litigation firm. Susman Godfrey has more than 140 partners and associates across four offices—its original Houston location as well as offices in Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. The firm handles huge cases across the country for both plaintiffs and defendants. 

Susman Godfrey boasts blue-chip clients, such as Walmart, Chevron, KKR, NBC Universal, and General Electric, and has also won historic plaintiffs’ verdicts in class actions and for smaller entities, such as the $706 million verdict for HouseCanary in 2018.

Contingency Pioneers

In 1980, Steve Susman formed a Houston firm following his success in the Corrugated Containers case, which produced the largest verdict in antitrust history at the time. Susman was soon joined by Lee Godfrey in 1982. The two had a vision of trying commercial cases on contingency and other alternative fee arrangements. The firm has reaped the benefits of this high-risk/high-return model by carefully selecting its cases and winning some of the largest jury verdicts in the United States. The firm’s contingency-fee model has since expanded into an entire spectrum of risk-sharing fee arrangements, from reverse contingent fees on the defense side to flat fees and hybrids with both fixed or hourly and contingent components.

Lean Mean Litigation Machine

Susman punches far above its size, taking on massive disputes with leanly staffed teams. The firm deploys its resources efficiently—covering most depositions and hearings with a single attorney. The firm seeks candidates with stellar grades from top schools. Most Susman Godfrey attorneys were members of their schools’ law reviews, and nearly all clerked for federal judges (including 10 for justices of the U.S. Supreme Court). 

Stand-Up & Then Relax

Associates at most firms wonder what they can do to gain standup experience; at Susman Godfrey, standup opportunities start on day one and are part of associates’ day-to-day lives. Associates regularly handle trial examinations, hearings, depositions, and client meetings. The firm celebrates its victories with extravagant dinner celebrations. And to maintain a close-knit atmosphere, the firm also hosts annual attorney retreats as well as “mini-retreats” to give its lawyers much-needed time to de-stress and bond over activities like skiing, scuba diving, hiking, and rafting.

COVID-19 Update

Despite 2020’s global pandemic, work continued to boom at Susman Godfrey. In fact, the firm had one of the best years in its history. The regular, in-person summer program was revamped for the virtual era to give summer associates meaningful work assignments, opportunities to observe our trial practice, and one-on-one social connections with Susman Godfrey lawyers, including virtual wine and cheese tastings, cooking classes, firm trivia and game nights, NBA watch parties, and more. The 2021 summer program will remain remote but feature opportunities for in-person observation of live hearings and events and activities with Susman Godfrey lawyers.

 For the 2022 summer program, the firm will continue to recruit all-star candidates through the schools’ OCI programs and looks forward to welcoming its summer associates in person. The firm also engages in ongoing recruitment of candidates during their clerkship year for full-time associate positions.

News & Awards

NOTABLE CASES
  • Susman Godfrey represented Uber Technologies in the trade secrets “tech trial of the century” against Google’s Waymo, which sought almost $2 billion in damages. After being retained just months before trial, the Court granted SG’s motion to strike all of Waymo’s experts’ damages opinions, leaving Waymo with no damages expert for trial. After four days of trial, the case settled favorably. 
  • Susman Godfrey was hired by WeWork founder Adam Neumann to serve as counsel for one of the largest individual claims to be litigated this century as part of a multi-firm trial team after SoftBank withdrew its offer to buy up to $3 billion in WeWork stock from Neumann and other shareholders. A week before trial was set, the case settled as reported by media outlets throughout the world.
  • Susman Godfrey secured more than $300 million—one of the largest shareholder oppression recoveries in U.S. history—for minority shareholders in Promega Corp., on claims related to control, governance, liquidity, and valuation. 
  • Susman Godfrey secured a $600 million+ settlement on behalf of plaintiffs in In re: Flint Water Crisis Litigation.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
  • Trial Firm of the Year, Benchmark Litigation, 2022
  • #1 Litigation Boutique for the 11th Year in a Row, Vault, 2021
  • Practice Group Of The Year, Environmental Litigation And Cybersecurity & Privacy Litigation, Law360, 2021
  • Susman Godfrey Leads Litigation Firms on Lawdragon’s Top 500, Lawdragon, 2021
  • Managing Partner Of The Year - Kalpana Srinivasan, Corporate Counsel, 2021
Susman Godfrey

1000 Louisiana
Suite 5100
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 651-9366

Firm Stats

Managing Partners: Kalpana Srinivasan and Vineet Bhatia
Hiring Partner: Davida Brook and Ryan Caughey
Total No. Attorneys (2022):
150 - 250
No. of Partners Named 2022:
5

Base Salary

Base Salary (2022) 1st year: $215,000
2nd year: $225,000
3rd year: $250,000
4th year: $295,000
5th year: $345,000
6th year: $370,000
7th year: $400,000
8th year: $415,000
Summer Associate: $4,135

Employment Contact

Kimberly Young
Attorney Development Manager
(713) 653-7867
Kyoung@susmangodfrey.com

No. of U.S. Offices: 4

No. of International Offices: 0

Major Office Locations

Houston, TX (HQ)
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Seattle, WA

Major Departments

Antitrust
Arbitration
Bankruptcy
Business Disputes
Class Action Litigation
Employment
Energy & Environmental
General Commercial Litigation
Intellectual Property
Insurance Litigation
Product Liability, Property Damage, & Personal Injury
Qui Tam & False Claims Act
Shareholder & Securities
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.