2024 Vault Rankings
- Firm Culture#25
- Pro Bono#27
At a Glance
“Great people, culture, work, and client base. People respect your time and work-life balance.”
“Opportunities for substantive work early on, flexibility regarding remote work, interesting client base, top name in the region and industry.”
“While sometimes positive, lean teams with loose hierarchy can sometimes create uncertainty about responsibilities.”
“Billable hours suck, and clients can be demanding.”
About Wilson Sonsini
With 950 attorneys across 19 offices around the world, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is a global player with very deep tech roots. The firm has become a leader in technology and life sciences financings and M&A, tech licensing transactions, intellectual property, litigation, and regulatory and compliance matters.
Running Circles Around Everyone
Wilson Sonsini began as a simple three-man shop in Palo Alto under the name McCloskey, Wilson & Mosher. It was founded by John Wilson, Pete McCloskey, and Roger Mosher; McCloskey departed shortly thereafter in order to take a seat in Congress. Larry Sonsini became a name partner in 1973 after working at the firm for seven years. John Goodrich and Mario Rosati came on board in the early 1970s, and after Mosher’s departure, the firm took its current name of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
One of the early hallmarks of the firm was its “Three Circles” business model, which focuses on representing enterprises through all stages of their growth.
All About Tech
Wilson Sonsini focuses on six major practice areas—corporate, IP, litigation, patents and innovations, regulatory, and technology transactions—with a host of sub-practices. The firm’s technology experience has become as diverse as the industry itself. The firm now works with clients in the semiconductor, software, renewable energy, networking, media, fintech, social media, biotech, medical device, data storage and cloud, and consumer tech sectors. It also has a strong corporate finance practice that works closely with financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Last but hardly least, the Wilson Sonsini venture capital practice has grown in tandem with early clients like Sequoia Capital, Mayfield, and Oak Investment Partners. To date, Wilson Sonsini has worked with thousands of companies and has helped raise billions of dollars. The firm has represented more than a hundred venture capital and private equity firms—many of which it helped create.
The firm boasts a strong IP practice—ranked among the top 10 in Vault’s Intellectual Property Practice Area Ranking. The patents and innovations team has over 170 attorneys, patent agents, and scientific advisors who work on everything from patent applications and patent prosecution to patent litigation and patent portfolio management to licensing and regulatory submissions and FDA-related submissions. Firm attorneys are also regulars before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Unique to the firm is its technology transactions practice, which focuses specifically on commercial transactions that are driven by intellectual property. More than 80 of the firm’s lawyers focus exclusively on the firm’s technology transactions practice. The group works with startups and tech clients across such industries as 3D printing, big data, biotech, digital media entertainment, e-commerce, fintech, health IT, open source, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, and many more.
Ready to Launch
Corporate first and second years in the firm’s Bay Area offices can participate in Launch—a work allocation system for the corporate and securities practice. Associates in this program will receive a variety of assignments across the practice, rather than specializing in one specific area. A staff coordinator manages the workflow and provides regular feedback.
News & Awards
- In 2022, Twitter announced an agreement to be acquired by Elon Musk in a transaction valued at $44 billion. Wilson Sonsini advised Twitter on the transaction.
- In 2022, Wilson Sonsini advised Zynga on $12.7 billion acquisition by Take-Two.
- In 2022, Wilson Sonsini represented Vanessa Bryant in a federal civil rights case against LA County.
- In 2022, Wilson Sonsini, in partnership with the Center for Medicare Advocacy and Justice for Aging, secured valuable rights for a vulnerable population in a constitutional case for one of the largest classes of Medicare beneficiaries in history.
- Legal Technology Trailblazers (Neuron), 2023—The National Law Journal
- “Innovation in Market Firsts” (Open Cap Table Coalition), 2022—The Financial Times
- “Pro Bono Innovator” Award, 2022—Bloomberg Law
- Mansfield Rule 5.0 Certified, 2022—The Diversity Lab
- Perfect Score of 100 on Corporate Equality Index, 2022—Human Rights Campaign
650 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone: (650) 493-9300
Board Chair: Katharine Martin
Managing Partner: Douglas Clark
Hiring Partners: Wendy Devine, Andrew Hoffman, John McGaraghan, Julia Minitti, Maneesha Mithal, Kathy Rothman, Libby Weingarten
Total No. Attorneys (2023):
1K - 1.5K
No. of Partners Named 2023:
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: $215,000
Director, Attorney Recruiting
Senior Manager, Firmwide Law School Recruiting
Senior Manager, Law School Recruiting
No. of U.S. Offices: 14
No. of International Offices: 5
Century City, CA
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Palo Alto, CA (HQ)
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA (Financial District)
San Francisco, CA (SOMA)
Salt Lake City, UT
Wilmington, DE |
Employee Benefits and Compensation
Energy and Climate Solutions
Export Control and Sanctions
Finance and Structured Finance
Mergers & Acquisitions
Patents and Innovations
Privacy and Cybersecurity
Regulatory and Compliance
Complex Litigation and Investigations
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.