WilmerHale offers unparalleled legal representation across a comprehensive range of practice areas that are critical to the success of our clients. We practice at the very top of the legal profession and offer a cutting-edge blend of capabilities that enables us to handle deals and cases of any size and complexity. Today, businesses face greater scrutiny and more “bet the company” issues than ever before. With a practice unsurpassed in depth and scope by any other major firm, we have the ability to anticipate obstacles, seize opportunities and get the case resolved or the deal done—and the experience and know-how to prevent it from being undone.
We are 1,000 lawyers strong, with 14 offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. Our practice includes over 500 litigators with unmatched trial, appellate and Supreme Court experience; a preeminent securities law practice with over 200 lawyers; a regulatory practice that includes more than 100 lawyers who have held high-level government positions; an intellectual property practice enriched by the expertise of more than 140 attorneys and technology specialists who hold scientific or technical degrees; more than 230 seasoned corporate lawyers and business counselors; and lawyers who focus on bankruptcy, environmental, labor and employment, real estate and tax matters.
With a heritage that includes our involvement in the foundation of legal aid work early in the 20th century, we have consistently distinguished ourselves as leaders in pro bono representation. Many of our lawyers have played, and continue to play, prominent roles in public service activities of national and international importance—from counseling US presidents to opposing discrimination and defending human rights around the world. Most importantly, our firm stands for a steadfast commitment to quality and excellence in everything we do—a commitment reflected in the continued success of our clients across the globe.
Areas of practice
Corporate & Transactional
Regulatory and Government Affairs
The firm and its team of attorneys have represented several high-profile cases, which include following:
A team of firm's litigation, regulatory and intellectual property practices had secured a significant win for IT giant Apple in an ITC action in which Nokia had accused Apple's iPhone, iPad, iPod and MacBook products of infringing seven Nokia patents.
In the wake of news articles raising concerns about transactions between Enron and its CFO, Andy Fastow, lawyers from Wilmer Cutler & Pickering represented a special investigative committee of Enron's board of directors in an internal investigation into those transactions. The resulting report, known as the "Powers Report," laid out the facts that have been the predicate for much of the public discussion of Enron since that time.
WilmerHale's pro bono client Dewey Bozella, who was released from prison in 2009 after a 26-year incarceration for a murder he did not commit, had received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at ESPN's 2011 ESPY Awards.
The firm has been active in fight against HIV/AIDS through its international pro bono work, which proved successful on challenging government funding to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) for restrictions in fight against HIV/AIDS.
WilmerHale represented Yandex, a leading Russian internet firm, in its $ 1.4 billion initial public offering and listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering represented Swiss banks accused of profiting from the Holocaust in their settlement negotiations with plaintiffs. The firm also represented Siemens AG, Krupp AG, and other German companies accused of exploiting forced laborers during the Nazi era.
Awards and recognitions
WilmerHale has been awarded several national and international recognitions for its achievements in the legal practice.
For six times consecutively, WilmerHale has been ranked in the top 20 in the popular Vault "prestige" ranking of the top hundred American law firms - including second in Boston and third in Washington, DC.
The firm has also been ranked 5th on the American Lawyer "A-List" of the nation's twenty leading law firms based on revenue per lawyer, pro bono work, associate satisfaction, and diversity.
WilmerHale earned a 100 per cent rating in the 2012 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), an annual survey administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). This is the fourth consecutive year WilmerHale has received a perfect CEI score on the survey.
According to the British magazine Legal Week, the firm ranks 14th among American law firms in terms of total revenue.
WilmerHale hires those who are committed to excellence, which is gauged from students' academic and personal accomplishments. The firm hires students sitting at or near the top of their classes.
Applications from judicial clerks are welcome.
Besides academic success, the firm has identified eight competencies that outline what constitutes outstanding performance at WilmerHale. Six of these competencies- commitment, confidence, oral communication, problem solving, teamwork and writing- are the focus areas for selecting and evaluating candidates.
WilmerHale is an equal opportunity employer and committed to fostering a diverse workforce. Minorities, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) and women lawyers are well represented on key committees at WilmerHale. Susan Murley is the firm's first female co-managing partner, and she succeeded Bill Lee, who is Chinese-American.
Consistent with the obligations of laws, WilmerHale looks to make reasonable accommodations.
"Our success and improvement in this area will help us to recruit and retain the very best available talent, raise our profile with an increasingly diverse and global client base, and cultivate an environment in which every person is able to do the best work possible, strengthened by our different perspectives, backgrounds and life experiences," writes William F. Lee, Partner at WilmerHale.
When Lee joined the Hale and Dorr firm out of law school in 1976, not only that he was the only Asian-American at the firm, but he was the only Asian-American lawyer in the city of Boston, he notes on firm's website.
Summer associate program
WilmerHale offers a 10-week summer program at its offices in Boston, Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, and Palo Alto. Summer Associates work with attorneys and assignment coordinators to find assignments that are aligned with their interests. Summer associates generally complete an average of 10 assignments during the summer. These assignments are usually found to be substantive, important and interesting.
They are also encouraged to participate in pro bono matters and invited to observational opportunities such as hearings, client meetings and depositions.
Extensive formal training is offered at least once or twice a week. Associates typically spend six hours a day working on assignments.
The firm made offers to 93% of its 2009 summer associates, and to 95% of its 2010 summer associates. However, in 2010, WilmerHale significantly reduced its summer program class size from 103 to 64 summer associates and again in 2011, it increased its class size to 90 summer associates.
Salary & benefits
Post December 2009, WilmerHale moved to merit-based compensation structure, which is to be phased in through 2012. Till then, salaries at the firm were based on a lockstep system. Now, under the new merit-based system, a larger percentage of each attorney's total compensation will be in the form of individualized bonuses. This will be based on criteria such as firm performance, quality of substantive work, quality of client service, efficiency, productivity, teamwork collegiality and other "citizenship" factors.
Until the new compensation system is fully implemented, associates are required to bill a minimum of 2,000 hours, including pro bono, to receive the base-level bonus.
The firm offers an in-house subsidized cafeteria, regular social gatherings, on-site gyms in Boston and Washington, D.C. offices. Also, subsidized gym memberships in Los Angeles, New York and Palo Alto, emergency childcare are some of the additional benefits.
New associates receive a $5,000 transition stipend, bar review and exam expense reimbursement, and relocation benefits.
401(k)/IRA/Other Retirement Plan
529 College Savings Plan
Bar Association Fees
Business Casual Dress Code
Domestic Partner Benefits
Employee Assistance Program
Family/Dependent Care Leave
Flexible Spending Account/Pre-Tax Option
Long-term Care Insurance
Long-term Disability Insurance
Medical Spending Account
On-site Child Care - Emergency
Short-term Disability Insurance
Technology (Laptop, PDA, etc.)
Benefits Package: In addition to the above-listed benefits WilmerHale offers the following: Alternative Work Arrangements (reduced workload and flextime programs) Bereavement Leave Business Travel Insurance Daily Bicycle Storage Dependent Care Reimbursement Plan Dining Room Facility Domestic Partner - gross up of flex dollars for Same-Sex Domestic Partner Premium In-home Care for Family/Dependent (emergency) Jury Duty/Military Leave Off-site childcare (emergency) On-site Fitness Center Access Paid Holidays Payment of CA, DC, MA, & NY Bar Dues/License Fees Payment of Voluntary Bar Association Memberships Payroll Direct Deposit Prescription Drug Benefits Pre-Tax Parking/Commuter Programs Primary/Secondary Care Giver Leave (includes Parental Leave and Family/Dependent Care Leave listed above) Private Lactation Room Smoke Free Environment *This is only intended to be a summary of the benefits offered at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. The details of these plans are contained in the official plan and policy documents including some insurance contracts. If there is any difference between the information in this summary and the plan documents and/or insurance contracts, the documents and/or contracts will govern. Any plans described in this summary may be changed at any time and for any reason, and do not represent a contractual obligation on the part of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP.
Working for the Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP.
The firm provides four weeks of annual vacation. The firm offers an 18-week maternity/primary caregiver leave program and has a reduced hours option upon an associate's return from parental leave.
It offers a flexible career path that promotes lawyer development on a more individualized basis. In order to enhance retention, and to avoid any stigma relating to the pace of promotion, WilmerHale has a flexible timeline for promotion from senior associate to counsel and from counsel to partner or special counsel.
WilmerHale offers a full spectrum of training opportunities. The firm has a formal mentoring program in which each associate is paired with a mentor who is a member of the Associates Committee or Senior Associates Committee. The firm provides semi-annual reviews.
Associates at WilmerHale receive assignments from an assigning attorney or practice manager in their department. Overall, the work allocation is fair, as it has been observed that there is an unequal distribution of work.
The firm's pro bono work represents a broad range of issues, including immigration, education, civil rights, and Guantanamo detainees. The firm has established a clinical pro bono program at Harvard Law School and offers six-month public interest fellowships and rotations through local district attorneys' offices.
For more than a decade, its lawyers have provided pro bono legal services to indigent persons through the WilmerHale Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School that has assisted more than 20,000 low-income persons.
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