Based in Washington, DC, Bookoff McAndrews focuses on patent counseling and prosecution for technology companies. Founded in 2012, the patent boutique has been recognized by Chambers and Forbes, among others, for its stellar work as a top IP firm. BoMc is committed to diversity, celebrates the outside interests of its attorneys, and embraces work-life balance as much as possible in a busy practice, as evidenced by its rank as Vault’s No. 1 Best Midsize Law Firm to Work For.
Smyser Kaplan is a small litigation boutique of less than 30 attorneys with a list of big-name clients that come to them for their expertise in litigating (and arbitrating) commercial disputes, white collar, energy, IP, healthcare and securities matters. Founded in 1995, the firm is home to a friendly yet focused culture that it has fostered since its inception. Headquartered in Houston, TX, with a second office in New Orleans, LA, the firm is highly engaged with its hometown.
It doesn’t get better for litigators than Susman Godfrey. Junior associates are given immediate responsibility and are treated like future partners. And despite long hours, the firm is very social, and firm-hosted retreats are a notable favorite. Since its founding in 1980, Susman Godfrey has established itself as the nation’s premiere litigation firm. Susman Godfrey has more than 130 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.
Caplin & Drysdale boasts one of the nation's top tax practices and consistently places as one of Vault’s Best Law Firms for Tax Law. National and international rankings list Caplin & Drysdale’s tax practice alongside those of firms 10 and 20 times its size. But the firm has more than tax expertise, with top-tier practices in litigation, political law, and more. The firm takes pride in providing top-notch legal services while maintaining a small size that allows for close client relationships.
AZA is a top litigation boutique located in Houston, Texas, providing expertise to both plaintiffs and defendants. Though it tackles disputes of any kind, IP and energy are some of the most frequently occurring subject matters in its caseload.
Since opening its doors, Durie Tangri has had a hand in a number IP cases establishing new precedent and other high-profile cases beyond the IP world. At just under 40 lawyers, it represents some big names, including Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yelp, Fitbit, Zynga, Netflix, Microsoft, and Facebook. Durie Tangri is not only a top IP and litigation boutique, it’s also a firm where associates report a high satisfaction. They give the firm high marks in such discrete areas as associate/partner relations, technology, culture, training, and more.
Based in Washington, DC, Groom Law Group is home to more than 85 attorneys. Founded in the wake of the passage of ERISA, Groom Law Group focuses on employee benefits, health, and retirement matters. The firm's client roster has included the NFL Players Association, Campbell Soup Company, CBS, ConocoPhillips, Dow Chemical, CIGNA, ING, UnitedHealth Group, Blue Cross & Blue Shield Association, New York Life Insurance, and many, many others.
Robinson Bradshaw is a presence in the Carolinas, where it has deep roots. The firm specializes in corporate and commercial law, particularly complex corporate transactions and litigation. Robinson Bradshaw prides itself on its collaborative work style—unlike many of its peers, it eschews a billable-hours requirement so that lawyers can focus on the work itself rather than the compensation generated from the work.
McNeill Baur is the ultimate haven for patent attorneys seeking maximum flexibility. The firm is fully remote and allows attorneys to set their own billable-hours goal, which results in associates who are very pleased with their work-life balance. And while the firm prioritizes the needs of attorneys and staff, it certainly isn’t lacking in the quality of work and caliber of clients served. The firm is well regarded for its IP work, even despite its relatively young age.
Litigation boutique Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell is known for going to trial nationwide and winning on behalf of its Fortune 500 clientele. The high-profile clients who have received WTO's much sought-after litigation expertise come from a wide range of industries—such as manufacturing, telecommunications, energy, and services—and include Whirlpool, General Electric, Michelin, CenturyLink, USAA, FCA (formerly known as Chrysler Group), Ford, AT&T, Pfizer, Allstate, McKesson, Electrolux, Mercedes-Benz, and Vail Resorts, among others.
Just over a decade since its founding, Desmarais is an IP-focused trial firm with offices in New York; San Francisco; and Washington, DC. The firm represents technology powerhouses such as Apple, Cisco, and IBM, as well as major life sciences and medical-device clients such as Acelity, Boston Scientific, Enzo Biochem, and GSK. A popular aspect of working here is the lack of billable hours—instead, the firm uses tailored alternative fee arrangements.
With its one and only location in Los Angeles, Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP is a full-service firm with nearly 100 lawyers. Among the areas the firm covers include bankruptcy, corporate, entertainment, environmental law, and private wealth services. The firm is well known for its work in the entertainment sphere. You'll probably recognize a few of these client names: James Cameron, Vin Diesel and One Race, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Cruise, Riot Games, the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien, Marvel Entertainment, and the estate of Bob Marley.
In just over a decade of existence and with fewer than 40 attorneys, MoloLamken has quickly made a name for itself among the heavy hitters of boutique litigation shops. With offices in three of the country’s major metropolises—New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC—MoloLamken’s attorneys focus on complex business litigation, white collar criminal defense, and intellectual property. MoloLamken only hires laterally, putting a premium on experience when it comes to handling the high-stakes, complicated cases the firm takes on.
Operating out of two offices in Massachusetts, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP is a northeast staple. A full-service, midsize firm, Nutter has around 150 lawyers working across a dozen industries. Lawyers at Nutter bring a host of experience in such areas as corporate, IP, labor and employment, litigation, privacy and data security, private client, public policy, real estate, and tax. The firm’s catch phrase is enough to set it apart from the competition: “uncommon law.”
The beginnings of Pryor Cashman are consistent with its strongest practice today: The firm was founded as an entertainment law boutique firm. With locations in New York, LA, and Miami, the firm has brushed legal shoulders with some of the biggest icons in pop culture, including Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, and others, though the firm has morphed into a full-service firm that serves mid-market clients in nearly every way.
McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff is an intellectual property law firm with offices in Illinois and California. The firm's client list includes Fortune 100 companies, midsize companies, startups, and academic institutions. MBHB attorneys are experienced in the procurement, licensing, enforcement, and defense of patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and unfair competition actions in a number of technological disciplines and product categories, including biotechnology, business methods, chemical, electrical, mechanical and materials, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, software, and telecommunications.
A boutique litigation firm, Bush Seyferth excels at representing its clients in product liability, complex commercial litigation, class actions, and appellate matters, from class certifications and summary judgments to victory at trial. Michigan-based but with a nationwide reach, Bush Seyferth is the litigation firm of choice for many automobile manufacturers, among other clients. On top of its strong external reputation, the firm is a welcoming place to work. Associates report an “open door” atmosphere and friendly relationships from staff to partners.
The reach of Oregon-based firm Tonkon Torp extends far beyond its home state. The firm has represented some of the largest and most influential companies in the world, including Portland General Electric, sneaker giant Nike, and real estate mammoth Blackstone. Attorneys at Tonkon Torp cover a full range of practice areas, including bankruptcy, corporate, cannabis, employment, environmental, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and tax. Best Lawyers in America® named six Tonkon attorneys as 2019 Portland Lawyers of the Year.
Stotler Hayes is a boutique law firm with a national presence and a unique identity. Not only is the firm entirely remote (save for an office in South Carolina for support staff), it has a client base comprised solely of health care providers, including long term care and skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, group homes, acute and sub-acute hospitals, and durable medical equipment providers. Not only do the firm's practices all relate to health care, but the firm emphasizes the health of its own employees through a variety of wellness initiatives.
Irell & Manella associates are lucky to work with friendly colleagues and partners who provide great mentorship and training. They also appreciate that they are given early responsibility and experience—and they are well compensated for it. A Southern California powerhouse for 80 years, Irell & Manella matches or exceeds its multinational peers in salary, prestige, and high-stakes cases, serving clients worldwide from just three locations in Los Angeles, Newport Beach, and Washington, DC.
Wilkinson Stekloff is a boutique litigation firm established in 2016 with offices in three key cities—Washington, DC; New York City; and Los Angeles. Small but mighty, the firm focuses on winning high-stakes trials while also actively encouraging its attorneys to take on bono matters. Wilkinson Stekloff also eschews the traditional billable model, both in client fee arrangements and for the attorneys at the firm, a move appreciated by all parties.
Sterne Kessler is an IP powerhouse and over the years has had its hand in multiple cases that shaped the landscape of IP law. The DC-based firm represents clients like Google, Adidas, Apple, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Teva, Pepsico, and the University of California. Associates take pride in the firm's Intellectual Property and Human Rights Pro Bono Practice—the first of its kind—that focuses on the interplay of intellectual property principles and human rights
Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery is an intellectual property firm with a global reach. Fitch Even clients hail from around the world and are a diverse bunch. Client include individuals, small business, start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, universities, hospitals, venture capital firms, and research institutions. Originating from the Windy City, the firm now has five offices coast-to-coast. The firm also has a strategic alliance with Wood IP LLC, a minority- and veteran-owned IP firm in Washington, DC.
Farella Braun is a Northern California firm equipped to handle complex business transactions and disputes. The firm not only has a top-notch renewable energy practice, but it was also a law firm leader in becoming certified as a Green Business. As a regional firm with a national reach, Farella represents multinational corporations, privately owned entities, exempt organizations, and individuals in business transactions and complex litigation.
Hooper Lundy is the largest firm in the country to focus only on health care providers and suppliers, which gives it a reputable niche in the health care industry. The firm is well suited for associates who thrive in a team-oriented culture and want early hands-on experience under the guidance of dedicated mentors. The firm is also a certified provider of continuing legal education and provides in-house legal training on health care issues that are not available to the general bar.