Fenwick & West has established itself, since its inception in 1972 in Silicon Valley, as a go-to firm for technology and life sciences companies. Clients like Apple, Meta, Amazon, and eBay have called on the firm for its corporate, M&A, intellectual property, and IPO expertise. Attorneys gravitate towards Fenwick not only for its sophisticated work, but for its recognition of the importance of work-life balance. The firm offers access to vacation condos in some exotic locations.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2022)

500 - 750


No. of Partners Named (2021)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2021)



No. of Summer Associates (2022)

63 total (53 2Ls; 10 1Ls)


Base Salary

1st year: $215,000

Vault Verdict

If it weren’t for Fenwick & West, where would Apple be? The firm helped Apple incorporate and had a hand in several other tech and social media company breakthroughs. For this, Fenwick has developed an elite reputation and is an attractive destination for associates. The hiring process is competitive, with many candidates coming from top schools like Stanford and Berkeley. Interest in tech and life sciences work is a must, as is someone who is entrepreneurial and ready to work immediately. Assimilation into firm culture should be easy—Fenwick people are kind, supportive, and respectful. Social opportunities exist, but people are allowed to have lives outside the office. Partners treat associates as equals and care about their personal and professional lives. Lateral hires ...

About the Firm

Well known for its innovative work with technology and life sciences companies, Fenwick is home to nearly 500 attorneys across seven offices. The firm has grown beyond its Silicon Valley roots, with three thriving offices in California, an established office in Seattle, a rapidly growing office in New York, an international office in China, and a newly opened office in Washington, DC.   

The Founding

In 1972, four attorneys left New York City and headed to Palo Alto, California, to launch their own firm based on their vision that the newly named Silicon Valley would become a future tech epicenter of the world. They were right.

Just four years after its founding, Fenwick retained future tech icons Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak as clients, eventually helpi...

Vault Top Ranked shield

2023 Vault Rankings

Associate Reviews

  • “The firm's culture is wonderfully supportive and collegial. Partners and associates take an interest in each other's lives and value everyone's work, regardless of hierarchy.”
  • “The culture at Fenwick is much better than I ever expected to find working in BigLaw. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is nice here. No one is worried about other people's pedigrees or background. The firm also expects mutual respect between lawyers and staff. The lawyers here understand that we are only able to provide the high level of service to our clients that we do because of our incredible staff. The firm also encourages all employees to gather (safely) outside of work.”
  • “The atmosphere is sophisticated yet unpretentious. Colleagues are willing to collaborate with one another and willing to roll their sleeves up to help others.”

Why Work Here

Diversity at Fenwick

"Advancing the cause of diversity and inclusion has been a core value of Fenwick & West since the firm was founded in 1972. Throughout its history Fenwick has been routinely acknowledged as one of the best firms in the country on the issue of diversity and inclusion -- to cite but two examples, in 2019 The American Lawyer ranked us as one of the top five most diverse law firms in the country (for the fourth consecutive year) and Euromoney Legal Media Group named us North America's best law firm for women in business law. We recognize the..."

Getting Hired Here

  • “The firm has a very competitive hiring process, and regularly recruits from the top law schools.”
  • “We're generally looking for someone who is interested in tech and life sciences work and who is curious about what companies in those spaces do. An ideal candidate will be a good communicator and good team member who is looking to take on substantive work early on.”
  • “We're looking for good people who are smart and passionate about what they do. We typically hire from Stanford and Berkeley, though we hire candidates from top schools nationwide.”

Practice Area Q&A’s

Kat Duncan & Thomas Kang

Partner & Partner


Sarah Chambless



Dawn Belt



Nicholas Plassaras



Daniel Brownstone



Perks & Benefits