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.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2021)

50 - 100


No. of Partners Named (2022)



Featured Rankings

Top 150 Under 150


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2022)



No. of Summer Associates (2022)



Base Salary

1st year: $215,000

Vault Verdict

Desmarais’ hiring process is a competitive one, with high grades, a good law school, and science or engineering degree being nigh mandatory. Candidates should expect high-level questions during the interview, particularly about the scientific concepts with which they are familiar. The firm’s culture is social, with a catered lunch every Friday (affectionately coined “frunch”) and frequent events in and out of the office. Partners are very respectful of associates, and firm leadership appears to be quite transparent with associates about firm goings-on. Hours aren’t hard to come by at Desmarais, and associates are grateful that there isn’t a billable requirement. Associates also report that the work they do is hugely substantive—and the generous, above-market compensation is also a...

About the Firm

In 2010, John Desmarais left a successful patent litigation practice with Kirkland & Ellis to hang his own shingle with some of his former Kirkland colleagues. The result was Desmarais LLP, now a successful and expanding mid-sized law firm focused primarily on trial and appellate-level patent litigation. 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. The firm prefers in-depth relationships with a limited set of clients, which permits both a robust plaintiffs' practice as well as a top-notch defense practice. 

Small Firm, Big Results

At its core, Desmarais is a trial firm, adept at handling all stages of litigation. The firm’s b...

Associate Reviews

  • “Regarding firm-official events, the big one is ‘frunch.’ Every Friday, the firm buys lunch for everyone, and we all sit together, eat, and catch up. There are other sporadic firm-sponsored events throughout the year such as ‘State of the Firm’ cocktail hours, and other celebratory dinners. Regarding unofficial socialization, I have made several close friends at DLLP and we hang out regularly. If there's a quiet Friday, a group will usually get together to grab a post-work drink.”
  • “Attorneys at DLLP often socialize with each other both inside and outside of the office. [The] firm eats lunch together on Fridays, has occasional firm-sponsored outings, and associates will also meet together over the weekend.”
  • “The lawyers at the firm tend to be very friendly and sociable. Many friendships were formed that extend beyond work. Additionally, because the firm is comprised of patent lawyers, the lawyers all tend to have similar interests and connect well together.”
  • “The firm is extremely social. One of the most enjoyable parts of the firm is the generally close relationship between associates.”

Why Work Here

We believe that Desmarais LLP is the best place to practice high-stakes, technology-related litigation. Whether you are a law student, a recent graduate, or an experienced attorney, our unique combination of small-firm culture and big-firm work provides a terrific environment to learn and grow your practice.  In addition, our unparalleled practice and training programs offer the opportunity for each lawyer to accelerate his or her professional development.

Firm Culture:  Desmarais LLP is a collegial workplace where all employees are treated with respect. We offer an informal, relaxed atmosphere which includes having lunch together every Friday. 

Getting Hired Here

  • “DLLP looks to hire candidates with good grades, from top law schools, who have engineering and/or science backgrounds. This is a small Venn diagram of prospects, but the firm is looking to grow and will offer many of the students who check these boxes.”
  • “The firm seeks candidates with not only excellent academic credentials, but technical background. Additionally, the firm looks for those who are promising litigators. These factors alone diminish the available pool of candidates. Lately, the most well-represented school as a proportion of the junior associate ranks is Harvard.”
  • “The firm frequently hires from Harvard and NYU. Applicants with a background in technology, especially those with undergraduate STEM degrees such as engineering, have an advantage in the process. We look for people who are excited about trial litigation and technology-oriented disputes.”
  • “The firm generally seems to recruit mostly from top-tier law schools, and I believe that they look for high grades.”

Practice Area Q&A’s

Paul Bondor & Joze Welsh

Partner & Associate

Desmarais LLP

Paul Bondor & Kerri-Ann Limbeek

Partner & Associate

Desmarais LLP

Perks & Benefits