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Overview

Introduction

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. 

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2021)


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No. of Partners Named (2021)


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Featured Rankings

Top 150 Under 150...


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No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)



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No. of Summer Associates (2021)



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Base Salary

1st year: $200,000...

Vault Verdict

Farella’s culture is a cordial and social one, with frequent firm events like a firm-sponsored lunch every Friday. Attorneys work hard on interesting matters that provide them with many career-building opportunities, though associates generally find their hours quite manageable. Partners and associates get along well, and associates are very grateful for how transparent the partnership is with them. While salary isn’t quite at market, many associates find this to be an acceptable tradeoff for their quality of life. The firm offers a fair number of wellness benefits, for both physical and mental health. Training is generally done by practice groups, and mentoring is fairly extensive. Partnership seems like a possibility for Farella associates, who are by and large optimistic about ...

About the Firm

With headquarters in Northern California, Farella Braun + Martel specializes in sophisticated transactions and complex commercial, civil, and criminal litigation. The firm and its attorneys have been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, Benchmark Litigation, Chambers USA, and Law360.

From Trolleys to Vines

Founded in 1962 as a three-lawyer firm in San Francisco, Farella Braun + Martel now has a legal team of more than 120 attorneys and a Napa Valley presence in St. Helena. A regional firm with a national reach, Farella represents multinational corporations, privately owned entities, exempt organizations, and individuals in business transactions and complex litigation. The firm has particular strengths in the technology, r...

Associate Reviews


  • “We have an attorney lunch every Friday, which gives associates the opportunity to chat and catch up. There are also monthly happy hours that bolster the social culture among the firm, as well as various events over the course of the year (like the annual dinner at Frank Farella's vineyard and the holiday party). Overall, I find the culture to be fantastic—most of the attorneys at the firm, from associates to partners, are warm and welcoming, which is critical for new attorneys in an unfamiliar work environment.”
  • “Lots of firm-organized social events, both formal and informal. Weekly informal attorney lunches mean that I get to see and interact with people regularly.”
  • “The culture here is really great. I am happy to see the people I work with every day.”
  • “There are regular firm social events, but nothing is forced upon us, and people generally have their own social lives. The Friday catered attorney lunch is a highlight for many.”
  • “Partners do treat associates with a lot of respect, and they generally seem to care about associates on a personal level. Transparency is wonderful and management always shares all information available.”
  • “The partnership is incredibly transparent in terms of finances, the partnership admissions process, and firm initiatives. I'm treated with respect and feel valued by the partners that I work with. Yearly performance reviews (twice a year for junior associates) include written reviews from partners that an associate works with and is a good opportunity for feedback.”
  • “I am quite happy with my hours. On an average day, I get in at 9:30 and can leave by 6. Fairly even distribution, outside of the occasional trial or big motion. I dictate my own schedule outside of those things. Not a huge emphasis on face time for its own sake, or performatively staying late.”
  • “My workload has varied, but I am generally happy with the amount of work I get. I've had some very busy months, but then I feel like I'm allowed to take a breather and have slower months.”
  • “Generally, I think I receive the right balance and amount of work. Of course, there are times that this is not the case, but generally, I think it is right on balance.”
  • “Annual billable-hours target of 1,850 [hours], with a pre-defined hours-based bonus at 1,950 hours. Pro bono hours count 100%. No consequence to not meeting hours target other than no hours-based bonus.”
  • “The pre-defined bonus at 1,950 hours means that my bonus is directly tied to billable hours. And it's large enough that it's actually worth the effort. Billing over 1,950 could result in a higher discretionary bonus, but very few associates regularly bill that high.”
  • “We don't get paid as much as bigger law firms, but also don't bill as much either.”
  • “Given the billable requirement is more humane than most BigLaw firms, the starting pay is fantastic and the work-life balance is well worth the tradeoff.”
  • “I had substantive, interesting assignments from the moment I started.”
  • “As a fifth year last year, I got to be a second chair at a trial and take and defend depositions.”
  • “This is one of the biggest selling points of Farella. Very little scut work. We are not highly leveraged, so associates get real work from day one, work directly with partners from day one, get client exposure early on, and run aspects of the case from early on. … The firm is big/good enough that we get to do sophisticated work and have a decent level of resources and staff support. As a first/second year, I had already argued several motions in state court and defended a deposition.”
  • “Lots of ‘on-your-feet’ opportunities.”
  • “Wonderful efforts, especially with regard to mental health.”
  • “We do have free yoga and Pilates classes, although I don't think many attorneys use these perks. We do get programming on meditation, nutrition, etc. We also have a weekly meditation exercise.”
  • “As with the summer program, every new attorney is assigned an associate mentor who reaches out for check ins. I feel very comfortable talking to my mentor about the questions and concerns that I have.”
  • “Formally, the [firm] invests in formal training, and it is wonderful. I am a believer that informal training is generally more applicable and valuable. … Informal training depends by partner. I happen to be extremely lucky on that front.”
  • “Both formal and informal mentorship opportunities. We use mentorship circles (two partners with several associates) that I think are great!”
  • “Partnership is a very realistic opportunity. I've had frequent, frank discussions about partnership prospects and timing with partners in the office.”
  • “Seems like partnership is a strong possibility. Not exactly sure what other options would be available if not interested in becoming a partner.”

Why Work Here


Diversity at Farella Braun + Martel LLP

"Farella is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion for all attorneys and staff. Everyone at the firm is respected and included irrespective of race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin or disability. Our diversity and inclusiveness makes us stronger as a firm and enables us to deliver superlative legal advice to our clients. Farella recognizes that the number of women and diverse partners in law firms needs to improve and is committed to being part of the solution. We have been a leader..."

Getting Hired Here


Perks & Benefits