Ropes & Gray LLP.

Ropes & Gray LLP.

5 Star Rating     1 review 
Main Office:
Prudential Tower, 800 Boylston Street | Boston | MA | 02199
Phone: 617-951-7000  | Fax: 617-951-7050 

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Year of establishment 1865 Number of Partners 291
Number of offices 11 Partner:associate ratio 0.40
Biggest office Boston Percentage of women attorneys 40.90
Number of attorneys 1196 Percentage of minority attorneys 16.10
Number of associates 713 Percentage of LGBT attorneys 4.00
Ropes & Gray LLP.
   1 review


Ropes and Gray LLP is a leading and elite law firm with its offices all in key international cities around the globe. With over 140 years of dedication and commitment to forge strong client relationships, the firm represents a broad spectrum of industries in corporate law as well as litigation matters. The firm's presence in Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Tokyo, and Washington, DC goes a long way in establishing a niche hold on issues such as labor and employment issues, tax and benefits, creditor's rights and other complex matters. The firm employs more than 1,000 lawyers and professionals on a worldwide basis, who strive to provide the highest quality legal advice. The firm provides a supportive environment that is combined with superior talent to provide the best solutions to client's problems. The firm is well known for its superior quality work, positive outlook, as well as the highest standards of work and ethics. Ropes and Gray LLP has a long history of serving sophisticated clients while accepting challenging assignments. This endeavor and effort translates into an excellent legal team that is capable of accepting the most complex challenges and provide the best advice for their clients sans any compromise whatsoever. Ropes and Gray is one of the most respected and oldest law firms in the United States. Founded in 1865, it is a full-service firm that provides legal advice to a broad range of corporate clients, which includes local Boston companies as well as large multinational firms in many countries. Today, Ropes and Gray is Boston's largest law firm that represents Harvard University as well as many other educational institutions along with a wide range of industries. Ropes and Gray LLP is the result of partnership between John Codeman Ropes and John Chipman Gray, Jr. Both had graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, before forming their partnership in 1865. The first 13 years were spent in serving individuals and a few companies. In 1890s, the firm commenced its public finance practice by helping municipalities to sell bonds. The firm continued to grow in the early 20th century. In 1910, the firm reached 11 lawyers and 15 staff personnel, which grew to 43 lawyers and 53 staff members in 1920. During the period of the great depression, the firm increased its bankruptcy and reorganization practice. However, the Great Depression is the only time when the staff decreased in size from 58 lawyers and 85 staff employees in 1930 to 49 lawyers and 65 staff in 1940. The post World War II years saw the firm engaged in a number of important cases such as the Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Company, Hood Milk Company and the famous Arnold Arboretum controversy. By the mid-1960s Ropes & Gray's clients included several prominent entities such as Central Maine Power Company, Maine Yankee Atomic Power Company, Boston Edison, Berkshire Hathaway, Massachusetts Port Authority, Hotel Corporation of America, and many others. In 1978, the firm increased its legal specialization by recognizing its healthcare practice as a distinct specialty. In 1994, Ropes and Gray commenced providing Stanford University with its legal services. The 1990's saw the firm engaged in long controversies involving product liability in the light of incidents such as the Oklahoma City Federal Building. Another prominent case involved Ropes and Gray defending Norsk Hydro ASA, one of the manufacturers involved in making the chemicals that were used in making the explosives that were used to blow up the World Trade Center. In 1998, the firm advised Bain Capital, which had spent about $ 1 billion to purchase 90 percent of Domino's Pizza from its founder Thomas Monaghan. In 1999, gross revenue of $210.5 million ranked Ropes and Gray as the nation's 53rd largest firm. The year 2001 saw the firm facing numerous challenges. Recently, trade pacts such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and the introduction of the Euro monetary system and technology issues are some of the concerns that face Ropes and Gray and their clients at the start of the 21st century.

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Ropes & Gray LLP. Reviews

- Reviewed on August 19, 2016

Keep doing what you're doing. You are rising in the ranks, breeding great lawyers, growing responsibly, and hiring great new people.

Pros : Highest quality lawyering. Surprisingly collegial, supportive place (for a big law firm). Genuinely cares about diversity. Treats non-lawyers like professionals with dignity.
Cons : Not a good firm for people who like to coast or self-aggrandize. Mediocre performers also seem to get unhappy pretty quickly
Approve of the CEO[?] : Yes
Recommend this employer to a friend? : Yes
Business outlook for the next 6 months? : up
Current or former employee? : Current Employee
Job type : Full time

Notable cases

  • Currently Ongoing
  • Ropes & Gray represented Dunkin' Brands Group, who is the operator of the Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins chains, in a wide range of matters, including its $422 million IPO and $625 million high-yield bond offering.
  • October 2011
  • The firm represented long-time client Bain capital in a $3.2 billion LBO of Japanese restaurant chain Skylark, the largest private equity buyout in Japan in many years.
  • August 2011
  • Ropes & Gray provided pro bono representation for more than 2 years to Damien Echols, who was an inmate on death row in Arkansas. Echols was one of three teenagers convicted of murder 18 years ago in a famous case known as "The West Memphis Three." Ropes & Gray attorneys negotiated an unusual deal with Echols and the other defendants entering Alford pleas. This gained their freedom along with wide national attention.
  • June 2011
  • Ropes and Gray recently advised The Timberland Company, who is a major retailer, in its $2 billion acquisition by branded lifestyle apparel company VF Corporation, the owner of the North Face Brand.

Awards and recognitions

Ropes and Gray has built a reputation for high-quality work, a positive outlook, and the highest standards of service and ethics. It services have been recognized throughout the legal field in the United States as well as around the world. It has consistently won several accolades and rankings, some of which are mentioned below:

Ropes & Gray is highly ranked in several publications. Some of these publications include The Financial Times, Vault, U.S. News / Best Lawyers, Chambers and Partners and The American Lawyer.
In 2011, Ropes & Gray was named to The American Lawyer's "A-List" ranking of 20 top law firms based on attorney diversity, pro bono work, associate satisfaction and firm performance
In 2012, Ropes & Gray was ranked as the 25th most prestigious firm in the United States by Vault.
U.S. News / Best Lawyers named Ropes & Gray "Law Firm of the Year" for hedge funds for 2011-12. The firm also was named among the 20 U.S. law firms with the most top-tier national rankings in the "Best Law Firms" survey.
Directors & Boards magazine have named Ropes & Gray one of the top 10 U.S. law firms in dealing with general corporate governance issues in its 2009 survey of "Top Corporate Governance Law Firms.


Ropes and Gray believes that people should be hired based on their abilities alone. The firm hired its first Jewish lawyer Abe Berkowitz over 100 years ago in 1907. This was long before the other firms opened their doors to Jewish lawyers. The same can be said about employing women. In 1942, Ropes and Gray hired its first women associates Mary Lennon and Blanche Quaid.

The firm has set a precedent in embracing as well as encompassing all races, religions, genders, sexual orientations, as well as family structures. This internationally operating global firm truly believes that diversity is an integral part of their firm-wide focus across all their offices.

The firm is recognized as a leader in the area of diversity overall, as well as with respect to women, gay and lesbian candidates, and other minorities. The firm has won several accolades for its diversity efforts. It has earned the top rating of 100 percent for the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which is an annual survey administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The firm was also recognized by the MultiCultural Law Magazine as amongst the top 25 law firms for Asian Americans.

It was also recognized as one of the top 100 Law Firm for Women and Diversity. The firm also pays the extra taxes that same-sex couples need to pay for domestic partner benefits. This firm is also included in the Top Twenty rankings by in its survey of 150 most law firms in the country. It is ranked #2 in diversity with respect to LBGT and #3 with respect to overall diversity. Ropes and Gray shares the same spot for diversity with respect to women and diversity with respect to minorities as well.

Summer associate program

Ropes and Gray has in place a distinctive and sophisticated summer associate program. Associates as well as those who have clerked a year after law school are assigned to a department beginning their first year at the firm. The firm tries to match individual associates with firm needs.

The firm also emphasizes the need for exposure to a broad area of practices in the early years of practice. The firm determines departmental assignments by balancing associates' practice areas with firm needs. Ropes and Gray actually believes in developing an exposure to a variety of projects as well as clients.

The firm has a low associate to partner ratio. This assures that each associate becomes responsible early during the summer associate program and works towards the advancement of its skills. Smaller departments utilize the services of the associates with the help of senior associates and partners during the early years of practice. Ropes and Gray ensures that new associates become involved quickly in their work.

Lawyers in their first year may make client contact usually in their first year. Litigators may also find themselves speaking at court or even at depositions during the first year. This is usually the situation with a pro bono case and transactional lawyers as they assume negotiating responsibility for certain agreements.

Working for the Ropes & Gray LLP.

Ropes and Gray is consistently ranked as one of the top law firms in the world. The firm has a collaborative culture, wherein associates are encouraged to take on interesting as well as challenging work across a range of leading practice groups throughout the United States as well as around the world. The buzz is that it is excellent to work for this firm, though it may be difficult to get hired initially.

The firm is consistently recognized and highly ranked for its corporate as well as transactional work in a range of practice areas such as M&A, finance, hedge funds, health care, life sciences, and many other areas. It has extensive litigation experience in the area of complex business litigation, securities litigation and regulation, government enforcement and white collar criminal and IP defense.

Working for Ropes and Gray is a great experience as it has been long recognized by associates as a great place to work. The firm demonstrates its commitment towards work by cultivating a culture of teamwork, partnership and mutual respect. Associates of the firm consistently give the firm a high mark in surveys that measure parameters such as job satisfaction, diversity, training and development, benefits, and the firm's billable hour policies. The firm has been ranked as No.2 by the 2012 Vault Guide and the firm has been ranked at the No.1 spot for the previous two years.


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