2023 Vault Rankings
- Pro Bono#5
- Firm Culture#20
- New York#23
At a Glance
“Competitive compensation and interesting work.”
“A collegial and kind firm culture.”
“Lack of partnership prospects.”
“The billable hours expectations.”
With 1,000 lawyers across the U.S., Asia, and Europe, WilmerHale is a litigation powerhouse, known especially for its work in IP, securities, and appellate litigation, as well as its life sciences and technology experience. The firm counsels in a range of industries, including aviation; big data; education; energy, environment, and natural resources; financial services; health care; insurance; media and entertainment; national security; professional services; and technology.
Beantown Meets the Beltway
WilmerHale was formed in 2004 when Hale and Dorr LLP and Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP joined forces. Legacy firm Hale & Dorr dated back to 1918. Among other things, the firm was known for its work in government matters. Firm lawyer Joseph Welch represented the U.S. Army in the legendary U.S. Army-McCarthy congressional proceedings. And Jim St. Clair left the firm in the 1970s to become Special Counsel to Richard Nixon during Water Gate.
Wilmer Cutler & Pickering was launched in the 1960s in DC. Like Hale & Dorr, the firm had experience working in government—its attorneys were counsel to Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, to drop a few names. And the firm laid the groundwork for a future commitment to pro bono as the first signatory to the ABA’S Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge.
Doing It All
WilmerHale is a full-service shop, handling everything from antitrust and bank regulation to bankruptcy and cybersecurity to M&A and IP to tax and white collar—and many more practices in between.
The foundation of WilmerHale’s success is its IP practice. The firm combines technical expertise—more than 120 of its lawyers hold scientific and technical degrees—with BigLaw firepower. Annually, the firm secures hundreds of patents and trademark registrations worldwide. One factor behind the department’s excellence has been the firm’s sophisticated multi-jurisdictional representation of an all-star roster of high-profile IP clients, including Apple, Abbott Laboratories, Intel, Broadcom Corp., Boeing, Boston Scientific, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Monsanto, Novartis, Oracle, Pfizer, and Wyeth.
The firm is also well known for its Appellate & Supreme Court Litigation practice. WilmerHale attorneys have argued more than 140 cases before SCOTUS and are regulars before state and federal appellate courts. The firm has been named to The National Law Journal’s Appellate Hot list every year for over a decade.
In the life sciences area, the firm brings a multi-disciplinary approach. Clients include biotechnology, pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and medical device companies. The group works across such areas as corporate finance, licensing, M&A, patent issues and IP counseling, regulatory matters, and more.
In 1992, Hale & Dorr lawyers donated money to establish the WilmerHale Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, which is a clinical teaching facility through which Harvard law students help people in the community in such areas as estate planning, domestic violence, tax, housing, predatory lending, and veterans law. Firm attorneys also work with the clinic, providing hundreds of hours of pro bono service.
News & Awards
- Representing the U.S. Army in the Army-McCarthy hearings.
- Arguing NAACP v. Clairborne Hardware Co., helping the NAACP avoid a financial penalty that could have forced it to close.
- Achieving a reversal in a Tulia, Texas drug sting case in which multiple defendants, more than 10% of Tulia’s African-American population, were wrongfully convicted.
- Helping to combat voter suppression, particularly among voters of color, new citizens, and religious communities, with the ACLU and other public interest organizations.
- Law Firm of the Year, 2021—The American Lawyer
- Named Best Law Firm for Women for 14 consecutive years—Seramount/Working Mother Media
- Litigation Department of the Year Finalist, 2021—The American Lawyer
- Top International Law Firm for Latin American Work, 2022—Latinvex
- Second among Top Firms for Attorney Satisfaction, 2022—Law360 Pulse
Why Work Here
WilmerHale is committed to providing consistently world-class legal services and we pride ourselves on finding innovative solutions to complex problems that require us to draw on our full range of knowledge and experience. We foster a work environment that is deeply rooted in our mission to provide unparalleled, high quality service to our clients. In an effort to continuously develop and support our workforce, we provide extensive in-house and external training opportunities and actively promote the overall well-being of every individual in the WilmerHale community.
Phone: (617) 526-6000 • (202) 663-6000
Co-Managing Partners: Susan W. Murley and Robert T. Novick
Hiring Partners: John Hobgood & Sarah Petty (Boston); Ben Fernandez (Denver); Chris Casamassima (Los Angeles); Alan Schoenfeld & Erin Sloane (New York); Michael Mugmon (Palo Alto & San Francisco); Brenda Lee & Ben Neaderland (Washington, DC)
Total No. Attorneys (2022):
1K - 1.5K
No. of Partners Named 2022:
1st Year Associate: $215,000
2nd Year Associate: $225,000
3rd Year Associate: $250,000
4th Year Senior Associate: $295,000
5th Year Senior Associate: $345,000
6th Year Senior Associate: $370,000
1st Year Counsel: $400,000
2nd Year and Above Counsel: $415,000
Summer Associate: $4,135/weekly
Director, Legal Personnel & Development
Recruiting contacts for all offices can be found at wilmerhale.com/en/careers/lawyers
No. of U.S. Offices: 7
No. of International Offices: 5
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Palo Alto, CA
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC I Beijing
Regulatory and Government Affairs
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.