BakerHostetler’s culture reflects its Midwest roots—professional, yet warm and welcoming. Associates are also treated to strong mentorship and transparent leadership. The “IncuBaker” team is one sign of the firm’s commitment to innovation. With specialties in bankruptcy, digital assets and data management, labor and employment law, intellectual property, litigation, and tax, BakerHostetler works across 16 practice areas in a dozen industries and also focuses on emerging issues like blockchain, Internet of ...

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2021)


No. of Partners Named (2021)


Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100...


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)


No. of Summer Associates (2021)


Base Salary

All Offices:...

Vault Verdict

BakerHostetler looks for top grades, diverse backgrounds, and the right personality, often focusing on candidates from regional as well as national schools. The firm is social while respectful of work-life balance. Associates describe the atmosphere as professional, yet friendly and warm. Partners are appreciative of associates and treat them like valued colleagues. Transparency has increased recently, with regular updates from management about firm performance, presentations about how partnership works, and two annual performance reviews for junior associates. Most associates find the billable-hour requirement to be reasonable, and a few complaints about work distribution are offset by satisfaction about flexibility. Associates enjoy the work they do and feel it adequately challe...

About the Firm


BakerHostetler is home to nearly 1,000 lawyers across 17 offices throughout the U.S. The firm maintains the requisite laundry list of BigCorp clients, as well as a small yet respectable lobbying practice. 

A Little Investment

BakerHostetler was founded in 1916 on the strength of a $1,500 investment by three lawyers in Cleveland. The firm has long been active in the political world, with namesake Newton Baker serving as a Secretary of War during World War I. A few years later, Baker attorneys represented private utility companies in their nearly 20-year fight against New Deal legislation that authorized the creation of massive public power projects. Baker lawyers later went on to advise a number of key players in the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals. ...

Associate Reviews

  • “BakerHostetler's firm culture is professional and fun. Management encourages a work-life balance by scheduling regular social events and incentivizing participation by associates and partners.”
  • “The Atlanta office seems to be just the right size for a positive but not overwhelming social atmosphere. People all know each other and enjoy socializing, both through formal and informal channels, but there is never any pressure to do so. I appreciate that people are relaxed without abandoning a certain level of professionalism.”
  • “Lawyers and staff have very strong relationships, both socially and professionally. The Chicago office meets on video calls at least once a week. Prior to COVID, we would have happy hours and other events together as a group (including monthly birthday celebrations).”
  • “My firm's culture is very friendly. Pre-COVID, we had frequent happy hours within our practice group and frequent opportunities to utilize the firm's suites at various sporting events. We also had multiple events for associates from all practice groups throughout the year. Right before the pandemic, we even had a corn-hole tournament that everyone participated in. Day-to-day, the atmosphere is very pleasant.”
  • “The partners in our office our very kind, understanding, and seem to care about the well-being of their associates as well as the atmosphere and culture of the office.”
  • “Partners that I work with consistently communicate appreciation for my work and input, even as junior. Firm leadership is making an appreciated effort to increase transparency. Performance reviews occur twice per year for the first three years, then once per year, and are conducted with the heads of the practice group.”
  • “Individual partners are generous with time and feedback, especially on projects that involve drafting/original compositions. The office managing partner is very transparent with firm finances and performance, and there are new initiatives, like an annual presentation detailing the procedures for promotion decisions.”
  • “Associates are treated well by partners and are asked to and encouraged to interact directly with clients and handle complex matters and issues. Firm leadership is very transparent, and meetings are held at regular intervals to give updates on decision-making and progress within the firm, at both the firmwide and office levels.”
  • “I am completely satisfied with my work hours and responsibility.”
  • “The billable-hour requirement of 1,950 for the bonus is reasonable. Overall, I feel I'm given a reasonable amount of work, but the work is not always evenly distributed and ebbs and flows quite a bit.”
  • “So far there is always enough work to keep me busy. The firm is very flexible about working from home or in the office. I feel that the billable-hour requirement is certainly reasonable.”
  • “Billable requirement is not unreasonable, and I have significant flexibility with where and when I work. I also generally feel as though I have a realistic amount of control over my workload. However, [I] would like to see additional clarity on how administrative and other non-billable work is treated.”
  • “Compensation is fair. Bonuses are not market, but the firm is transparent about that.”
  • “Bonuses are paid automatically to anyone who meets the billing requirement. Discretionary bonuses may be paid above and beyond that based on performance.”
  • “Could be more transparent with respect to compensation. Compensation is below market, but the culture makes it worthwhile.”
  • “My bonus structure so far is in line with market. However, I was disappointed that our firm, which did better than expected in 2020, did not provide a spring or COVID-related bonus as other firms did.”
  • “I am given a variety of work assignments, and I feel that my career is progressing appropriately. Most of my time is spent researching and writing, but I also help prepare for depositions and hearings and interview witnesses. As I have gained experience, my level of responsibility has increased.”
  • “Everything I do is substantive. I work in the area of patent law, primarily preparing and prosecuting applications. I also do opinion work and occasionally get involved in litigation.”
  • “I have a good balance of day-to-day counseling/advice on employment matters and really challenging, technical research and writing assignments—both require very different skills—and both are rewarding in their own ways.”
  • “As a junior associate—although I do a fair amount of the typical junior associate tasks like research, due diligence, disclosure schedules, etc.—I have been given many opportunities to take on drafting projects and to take a more significant role in some of the M&A deals we have done. I have been able to learn the basics from the typical junior associate tasks, but have also been able to progress into more substantive legal work that is helping me to develop as a corporate lawyer.”
  • “The firm's technology has made it incredibly easy to do remote work this year, and IT is very helpful with issues.”
  • “We have been successful working remotely and have leveraged platforms such as Teams, Zoom, and DocuSign to make remote work easy and seamless.”
  • “Fantastic. The firm tests and adopts new technologies routinely and has its own internal technology development team that works with clients to develop new technologies for their needs. The switch to working from home during COVID was seamless for me.”
  • “I have worked directly with the firm's IncuBaker team to help develop a new automated product to support client's needs—it is very useful and rewarding to work at a firm with its own in-house development team.”
  • “The firm frequently sends out resources for mental health assistance, and we also receive wellness perks for healthy activities. My team has a weekly Peloton ride, which is super fun and a great stress relief.”
  • “The firm is an active signee on the ABA Wellness Pledge, and the firm has an active Well-Being Committee (of which I am a part) that meets regularly, hosts regular functioning, and has the full support of firm management.”
  • “The firm supports the associates’ individual efforts to stay healthy by reimbursing certain expenses relating to physical fitness. The firm also partners with organizations that offer fitness classes, nutrition information, and other wellness initiatives.”
  • “[The] employee assistance program includes mental health and other resources.”
  • “The firm has developed formal, level-specific training programs for associates. There is a formal mentoring program along with mentor circles. There is also a firmwide mentor circle program sponsored by the Women's Committee, which I have found to be a really helpful forum for discussion. The best opportunities to develop mentoring relationships have been, for me, through working with different people.”
  • “There has been a huge push recently for associate development and training, and I'm excited for those opportunities. Informal training and mentorship is great. I have several formal and informal mentors I rely on not only in my office, but in other offices.”
  • “There are formal mentorship programs for summer associates, new lawyers, new parents, women, etc. On an informal level, many partners have generously given me their time, advice, sponsorship, and mentorship over the years. That support has been critical to building my confidence and skills.”
  • “There is a new associate academy program that has different modules based upon your tenure with the firm and your length of legal experience. It is designed to build core competencies and understand the business/goals of the firm. All new associates are paired with a partner and a more-senior associate as mentors.”
  • “I feel as though I have a good chance at making partner. The firm has been transparent about the metrics and process. If I were to leave the firm, my skills and experience would be coveted among in-house opportunities as well.”
  • “Promotion to partnership is definitely realistic for those who would like it. The firm is also expanding its use of the counsel position, including as a position that can be a stepping stone to partnership.”
  • “My practice group is one of the most highly recognized in the country. Exit opportunities are plentiful as a result. There are many opportunities for advancement to partner and non-partner roles. The process, as well as things that the firm looks for when promoting to partner, are shared openly with associates.”
  • “Promotion to partnership is realistic, and senior associates can also transition to counsel if desired. The partnership process is exceptionally transparent, and all associates are assigned partner mentors at the four-year mark to help inform of and navigate this process.”
  • “Unlimited pro bono counts toward billable hours. [The] firm has established connections with groups they continue to help, and each office has a team of pro bono coordinators.”
  • “The firm is wonderful with pro bono work. Pro bono hours count as billable hours, and this is uncapped. Most of the pro bono work I do lately is corporate governance-related work for nonprofits, but I have also done a lot of LGBT+ related pro bono work.”
  • “Pro bono is counted as billable hours and I have been actively encouraged to take on pro bono assignments. I have worked on a number of pro bono matters, and my accomplishments in those cases are viewed the same as accomplishments in my non-pro bono cases.”
  • “Pro bono hours are counted as billable hours, which greatly encourages associates to get involved. I was able to take my knowledge of privacy and data law and aid a non-profit in developing a successful data compliance program. It was great for both the client and myself, as it allowed me to grow and gain skills in an area of law I was not comfortable in before.”
  • “The firm hired a diversity and inclusion director and is trying to ramp up efforts. There is also a special associate mentoring program for women and attorneys of color. A good start, but a lot of work left to do.”
  • “My maternity leave was extremely generous, and I had no issues transitioning back after leave. I have two mentors, one in [my] office and one in another office, that have helped me with the transition back. The firm also offers various workshops and talks about work-life balance after having a baby. The firm has sent multiple, high-quality, new baby packages as well. The firm has thought of everything, and it shows. I feel more supported now as a new mom than ever.”
  • “As an LGBTQ+ lawyer, I have found the firm very supportive over the several years I've been here. There have also been very visible efforts to increase diversity over the last year.”
  • “The firm has actively worked to increase diversity. All associates have been encouraged to add their preferred pronouns to emails. The firm has sent emails updating contact information for individuals that have changed their presenting gender. The firm hosted a CLE regarding inclusiveness with respect to people with disabilities, hosted by a deaf attorney at the firm. The most recent partner and counsel class featured a substantial number of women.”

Why Work Here

Diversity at BakerHostetler

"BakerHostetler is firmly committed to an inclusive and diverse work environment that actively supports the recruitment, retention and advancement of people of all backgrounds and experiences at all levels of our firm. Under the leadership of our new Chairman, Paul Schmidt, the firm has just unveiled a 5-Year Strategic Plan. An important focus of that Plan is enhancing the firm's I&D initiatives. To help us achieve these goals, we have established a new Diversity Council, composed of partner representatives from our wide-range of..."

Getting Hired Here

  • “My firm looks for candidates that are in the top of their class in law school, have participated in at least one journal, and have a unique resume. Personality is extremely important to my firm, and if a person does not fit the firm's driven, outgoing, and passionate environment, then they will not be considered a good candidate.”
  • “The firm seeks high-quality associates and laterals with good grades and experience. Preference appears to be given to local schools depending on the office due to established connections and alumni network.”
  • “I have not noticed that the firm is particularly concerned with any perceived pedigree from attending a top school. All of the candidates I have seen, including myself, were judged based on their perceived ability and skill. Diversity is also a consideration, and the firm appears to focus on hiring to increase diversity.”
  • “Law school and grades are very important, as are personality and especially diversity. We pull from regional schools for our office and some national schools.”
  • “In my experience I was asked normal interview questions about educational and work background, as well as personal and professional interests.”
  • “Interviews tend to be conversational; the firm is most interested in making sure candidates have the right personality and attitude to fit culture.”
  • “The firm asks lateral candidates to complete a writing sample during the interview process. Writing skills are prioritized.”
  • “Describe ways in which you are a leader. What do you do for fun outside of work/school? In what ways do you give back to the community? Why do you want to work at BakerHostetler?”
  • “I was quickly able to integrate with teams across multiple offices and have had plenty of work since day one.”
  • “I felt comfortable working here within a week. I was introduced to different coworkers and groups and included in events and activities immediately.”
  • “Even in COVID, my office and practice group has reached out to make sure I am connected. My office has a weekly Zoom call to touch base and receive office updates.”
  • “I have been included in trainings and have been provided with opportunities to interact with others in the firm from a variety of practice groups, offices, and years of experience.”

Practice Area Q&A’s

Theodore J. Kobus III

Partner and Chair—Digital Assets and Data Management Group


Perks & Benefits