With offices in California and Reno, Downey Brand serves the region’s clients in a number of practice areas and industries. Those seeking environmental law will find their interest piqued by the firm’s prominent natural resources group, which works in such areas as air quality, environmental enforcement defense, environmental remediation, land use, and water law.  The firm also serves as outside general counsel for many of Northern California’s leading companies, including privately held and family-owned companies, nonprofits, and...

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2022)

50 - 100


No. of Partners Named (2022)



Featured Rankings

Top 150 Under 150


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2021)



No. of Summer Associates (2021)

8 total (7 2Ls; 1 1L)


Base Salary

All Offices (except San Francisco):

Vault Verdict

Downey Brand is looking for attorneys who fit the culture, and does a good job of integrating laterals. The firm hosts monthly happy hours to help build community, and day-to-day has a welcoming environment. Partners genuinely care about mentoring associates, even those who aren’t directly working for them, and will often give praise for a job well done or effective business development efforts. The firm has a formal mentorship program for junior associates, and informal mentorship is readily available and appreciated. Downey Brand is transparent with firm finances and performance metrics, and associates receive annual reviews. Work is substantive, providing good training and opportunities to grow skillsets. While work distribution can be a sticking point, overall associates feel ...

About the Firm

Founded in 1926, when Sacramento was still a young, burgeoning metropolis, the three-lawyer firm of Downey, Brand & Seymour constituted about three percent of the city’s 100 or so attorneys. The firm’s growth was slow early on, with only 5 attorneys in 1946. But it continued to grow over the decades, expanding to new offices and locations. Now with nearly 100 attorneys of its own, Downey Brand is Sacramento’s largest law firm.

Notable in NorCal

Downey Brand handles most every type of civil matter, though its practice reflects its location in the state’s capital and in the middle of the state’s agricultural heartland. The firm’s particular strengths include business, litigation, and natural resources, and its attorneys specialize in a wide variety of sub specialties within these...

Associate Reviews

  • “2020 and 2021 have been bizarre; normally, the firm is very social, providing opportunities for happy hour and networking on at least a monthly basis. During the pandemic we've had wine tasting events and trivia, all via Zoom, to ensure that culture was maintained.”
  • “Lawyers socialize together around once a month through firm sponsored happy hours. The day-to-day atmosphere is usually pretty calm; one feels comfortable knocking on anyone's door for advice/an answer to a question. The lawyers and staff have mutual respect for each other and are pretty friendly.”
  • “During the pandemic, our practice group has held weekly check-in meetings to give opportunities to discuss professional and personal developments, which has been good for morale and maintaining social connections during remote work.”
  • “Firm culture is collegial and respectful of non-professional pursuits.”

Why Work Here


Downey Brand built its reputation by consistently providing clients with unparalleled legal solutions and unmatched customer service. Attorneys typically focus on one or more areas of law that most interest them and are best suited to their skills and knowledge. This affords our clients specialized advice that is tailored to their business and industry. Within the firm, various practices are grouped together to form our Business, Litigation, and Natural Resources Departments. Downey Brand attorneys have the flexibility to explore different practice areas and work with a variety of colleagues to best represent clients. Our firm is able to offer attorneys interesting cases and rewarding work no matter what their area of expertise.

Diversity at Downey Brand LLP

"Downey Brand is committed to fostering and maintaining a strong culture of diversity and inclusion, based on the belief that a diverse workplace creates a stronger law firm and allows us to better serve our clients and community. To that end, the firm works hard to attract, retain, and promote individuals of differing races, religions, ethnicities, genders and gender identities, family structures, sexual orientations, and backgrounds. The firm encourages and supports its attorneys' memberships and participation in diverse bar..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “The firm takes a holistic approach to hiring candidates. All areas are equally important, but it allows for special talents to outweigh other deficiencies. Downey Brand focuses on finding the best candidate for the position. We have coordination meetings to ensure that the process and evaluation of candidates is consistent.”
  • “The firm is looking for a candidate that would fit in with their coworkers, which means having a sense of humor and being relatively social. The firm considers grades, past work experience, the type of subjects the person wants to focus on, journal and moot court experience, law school attended (although that does not seem to be a make-or-break topic), and diversity is becoming increasingly important.”
  • “The firm is open to a variety of candidates, as long as the candidate has excelled in law school. There are a few schools from which we typically hire, but the firm does not exclusively hire from those schools. The alumni in the firm retain strong connections to their alma maters, which can result in more frequent hires.”

Perks & Benefits