Top-ranked for intellectual property, Finnegan is well known for its work in patent law—and its team of professionals has quite the impressive array of tech experience in addition to legal prowess. The firm is also known for its pro bono work supporting veterans. Finnegan takes training seriously, with extensive formal programming combined with an emphasis on mentoring. If you're seeking a supportive, team-oriented atmosphere, you will feel at home here.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2021)


No. of Partners Named (2021)


Featured Rankings

Best Law Firms for Intellectual Property...


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)


No. of Summer Associates (2021)


Base Salary

1st year: $205,000...

Vault Verdict

Candidates hoping to land a spot at Finnegan should be ready to discuss their interest in IP and their tech background. The firm recruits from a variety of schools but seeks top grades. Finnegan’s culture is friendly and supportive, and prior to the pandemic, associates socialized pretty frequently. Training is robust, ranging from lawyering skills to writing to business development, and associates receive both peer advisors and partner advisors. There is a sense that partners truly care for associates, and there is an open-door atmosphere when it comes to associate questions. Work is challenging, and partners are open to giving associates new types of opportunities. Hours can be intense and, at times, they can ebb and flow. But associates are grateful they have flexibility to sha...

Firm's Response

Finnegan values individuals who are smart, hardworking, self-motivated, mature, intellectually curious, and committed to excelling in intellectual property law. Our firm is committed to promoting and strengthening a diverse workplace. We promot...

About the Firm

Finnegan is synonymous with intellectual property—a true full-service IP firm with experts in every industry and technology. Considered one of the world’s top intellectual property law firms, Finnegan employs more than 700 people, including nearly 350 IP professionals, of which more than 65 professionals have PhDs, befitting its role as an IP giant. 

IP Vision

Marc Finnegan and Douglas Henderson teamed up in 1965 to open a shop in Washington, DC, that practiced only intellectual property law. The firm’s focus has not changed, although its scope has expanded to cover virtually every aspect of patent, trademark, and copyright law, including counseling, prosecution, licensing, portfolio management and litigation. Finnegan also represents clients in IP issues relating to advertising, ...

Associate Reviews

  • Great culture—friendly, supportive, and fun. Pre-COVID, we had regular informal lunches and happy hours, as well as regular sponsored happy hours.”
  • Attorneys at Finnegan support each other. I have developed good friendships with many of my colleagues.”
  • Finnegan is full of incredibly nice people that are happy to take the time to get to know their colleagues. Many people at Finnegan—both attorneys and staff—have spent their entire career there, which makes for deep professional and personal relationships. It is a wonderful place to work.”
  • Relaxed, friendly, and team-oriented atmosphere. Lots of social events during non-pandemic times. Open-door policy and easy to stop by and ask questions to anyone.”
  • Partners treat associates with respect. The firm is rather transparent in management, as we have monthly calls with an Associate Advisory Committee who speaks directly with management about our concerns, and management solicits our input on firm policies.”
  • There is a strong level of respect between partners and associates. The partners set realistic expectations for associates, are always available for questions and comments, and provide great feedback. It's apparent that the partners genuinely care about the development of the associates.”
  • The Associate [Advisory] Committee meets monthly with the Management Committee, and all discussions and decisions are related by the Associate Committee to the associates at large. Similarly, the firm has firmwide calls with the chair and managing partner, who answer questions and clarify decision-making. It's not perfectly transparent, but it's not a black box, either.”
  • Reviews are twice a year for junior associates and one a year for mid- and senior-level associates. All of my partner interactions have been positive. …”
  • The work hours can be intense and demanding, but the work is rewarding, and the firm generally supports you when you need assistance balancing your workload.”
  • The firm has a fairly standard billable-hour requirement for a large firm. However, while there is an expectation to meet the requirement, there is no expectation for associates to work more than necessary. The firm also treats the associates as professionals, so there is flexibility in where or when you work.”
  • There is a lot of flexibility in where and when to work (within the requirements of the task). The billable-hour requirement is attainable, but does require diligence.”
  • There is always interesting work to be had at Finnegan. I am grateful for the firm's flex policy, which currently allows me to work on an 80% schedule. This gives me the time in my day I need for my young children without making me choose between my career and my family.”
  • Like any big firm, work can be feast or famine. The firm is upfront about this, but it is nevertheless a difficult adjustment for any new BigLaw associate.”
  • Seems reasonable. You have to hit your billable hours to get a bonus, but there are also merit-based bonuses based on the level of your work.”
  • Finnegan recognizes and properly compensates hard work and high-quality work. The bonus I received was very satisfactory.”
  • I am generally satisfied with my salary. Bonus at the firm is generous but by no means equal to other BigLaw firms. However, there is also less expectation for associates to work significantly more than their billable requirement.”
  • “[The] firm really walks the walk in terms of offering time-based benefits—COVID care leave, parental leave, bar exam leave, etc., that reduce billable requirements—and compensating attorneys as if those were billable hours (bonuses).”
  • My plate seems always to be full of challenging and interesting work, and whenever I have actively sought out work, something new and worthwhile has been available. I believe my work is substantive and appropriate for my level, and I have found partners are willing to give new opportunities when asked.”
  • I work on a lot of patent prosecution work, like drafting applications, responding to Office Actions, etc.”
  • I have worked on all aspects of the litigation, including motion drafting, taking and defending depositions, giving oral arguments, etc.”
  • My work at this point is almost entirely litigation focused. As a senior associate, I am still involved in some capacity with almost every aspect of cases. I am no longer the primary drafter for discovery responses, but I am often a reviewer. Lately, I have been spending a large portion of my time drafting and revising briefs, sometimes as the sole drafter and sometimes with junior associate assistance if the budget and client constraints allow. [At] other points in the discovery schedule, I might be spending most of my time in depositions or working with experts to draft their reports. I'd say most of my time is spent on substantive work appropriate to my level. You are always going to have the odd mechanical task that just needs to be done, but for the most part, junior associates handle those for me now.”
  • Our technology is top notch. Our office has adapted well to the pandemic and has made working from home a breeze.”
  • The pandemic has accelerated our adoption of technology, and work-from-home feels very doable.”
  • We were all shipped anything we needed to work from home (monitors, docking station, keyboard/mouse, etc.), and tech support has continued with minor hiccups as a new associate (software not installed correctly, etc.) that are just as likely when starting in person.”
  • There are routine wellness programs happening, most of them tailored towards dealing with the stress of the pandemic. Care packages were sent out to new associates to help with mindfulness.”
  • Access to free online workout programs [and] meditation and wellness packages sent to your door.”
  • The firm offers access to counseling and exercise programs, meditation, nutrition education, and others, and offers incentives such as points and prizes for participation. It can be difficult to participate when the meetings/events are in the middle of a work day, but the options are available.”
  • Finnegan has made many efforts to address attorney and staff wellness through trainings, speakers, and other programs. Since COVID-19, many of these have been specific to the pandemic, including programs targeting loneliness and managing work-from-home stress. Most recently, Finnegan has been working to establish a vaccine clinic at the office to make it easier for attorneys and staff to be vaccinated if they wish.”
  • The firm prioritizes the mentoring and training of its associates. Partners are always available to provide project-specific feedback to associates. There are also formal and informal mentoring and sponsorship programs at the firm.”
  • Finnegan is [a] training and development-focused law firm. Finnegan provides formal trainings for new associates (or patent agents or technical specialists), also assigns peer advisors and partner advisors so that new employees can quickly adjust to [their] new environment. Finnegan also provides many technical trainings (patent prosecution, litigation, Westlaw, etc.) so that lawyers can enhance skills and knowledge.”
  • There are various trainings for associates. For example, there are various legal trainings such as deposition trainings and trial trainings. There are writing trainings and even business development trainings. The firm is also continuing to add training topics based on the needs of the firm.”
  • We spent the entire first two weeks on training. The training program for new associates covers every aspect one can imagine.”
  • I believe promotion to partnership is much more realistic at Finnegan than at other firms. The process is fairly transparent, and there are many programs in place to aid associates in achieving all the milestones needed before being considered for partnership. Associates that do leave tend to leave for good opportunities at other firms or in the government. There are non-partner roles available—we have people who serve as counsel in various roles.”
  • Promotion to partnership appears to be realistic. … Exit opportunities are plentiful, and I have had a number of friends transfer to other firms, to the government, or to corporations.”
  • Finnegan gives you a great chance of making partner. We have of counsel positions.”
  • At Finnegan, 100 hours of billable credit is given for pro bono work. I have done pro bono work every year at Finnegan, including representing a party in a family law matter, serving as a guardian ad litem for a minor in a custody dispute, and representing veterans before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.”
  • My firm offers 100 hours of billable credit for pro bono work. I have worked on trademark projects for nonprofit organizations, and I have managed an appeal from a denial of benefits for a veteran.”
  • Great veterans help program.”
  • Pro bono is a big staple at this firm. It counts as billable hours, is highly encouraged, and exciting. I recently worked on a juvenile resentencing motion.”
  • This is one of the most diverse groups I have ever worked in. Finnegan makes an extraordinary effort to recruit and retain persons from all backgrounds. …”
  • Finnegan values diversity and translates that into action. Among many other things, there are many female attorneys, including in positions of leadership; the firm seeks to hire and retain diversity candidates; and the firm provides generous parental leave for mothers and fathers. The firm also has several diversity-focused committees and affinity groups to join and to give feedback to firm management.”
  • The firm does a good job on promoting diversity.”

Why Work Here

Diversity at Finnegan

"Finnegan Diversity and Inclusion Vision Statement: At Finnegan, we value diversity and are committed to creating and sustaining a culture that promotes inclusion in our interaction with each other and throughout our practice. We recognize that diversity is a key element of our relationships with clients and that it is consistent with our commitment to providing the highest quality legal services for them. We respect and embrace all differences based on culture, nationality, ethnicity, age, gender, physical ability, race,..."

Getting Hired Here

  • Interest in IP (particularly, patents) is a must.”
  • The firm cares about technical experience and law school performance rather than law school prestige.”
  • They want people with solid tech backgrounds and great law school grades, but just as important is your ability to fit in socially!”
  • What did you think of your time at [previous IP-related job]? Why Finnegan? What kind of work are you interested in? What got you interested in IP law?”
  • Why you want to come to this firm? Do you want to do prosecution or litigation?”
  • Behavioral.”

Practice Area Q&A’s

Arpita Bhattacharyya & John Livingstone

Partner & Managing Partner

Susan Y. Tull & Shawn S. Chang

Partner & Associate

Amanda K. Murphy, Ph.D. & Daniel C. Tucker

Partner & Associate

Laith M. Abu-Taleb & Erin M. Sommers, Ph.D.

Associate & Partner


Perks & Benefits