IP is the name of the game at Fish & Richardson, so be prepared to show off your technical or science background during interviews. Associates here are busy, but they are treated to a great culture, top-notch IP work, and lots of flexibility. Fish & Richardson hires candidates with the expectation they will climb the ranks, leaving a clear path to partnership for anyone willing to put in the work.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2022)

250 - 500


No. of Partners Named (2022)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2022)



No. of Summer Associates (2022)

34 total (16 2Ls; 18 1Ls)


Base Salary

1st year: $215,000;

Vault Verdict

Candidates looking to join the firm should have good grades, a genuine interest in IP, and a strong technical background. Attorneys at Fish & Richardson commonly get together for lunches and happy hours, and the firm gladly sponsors social events without pressuring attendance. Partners treat associates as valued members of the team and provide feedback on a continuous basis. Transparency around the bonus structure could be improved, but the associates note the firm is making progress in this area through town hall meetings and weekly updates. The associates appreciate the flexibility they have in where and when they work and the autonomy they receive to manage their workload. Compensation tends to be aligned with the market, but some associates think the billable hour requ...

About the Firm

An influential player in the development of American intellectual property law, Fish & Richardson has evolved with the inventions of its clients: From the days of the Industrial Revolution through the current technology revolution, the firm has remained a leader in patent law while adding other targeted practice areas as the years have rolled by. 

Fish First

Founded in Boston in 1878, Fish & Richardson’s early days were marked by its representation of giants of American innovation. The firm spent some of its first years advising the likes of Alexander Graham Bell and, later, Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers. Fish & Richardson played integral roles in the acquisition and defense of patents for such seminal concepts as the telephone, the radio, the autom...

Associate Reviews


  • “As much as possible, attorneys want to spend time together. Lunches, happy hours, whether more formally scheduled or informally put together, are common. The partners are respectful of home life; there is not [an] expectation of social event attendance.”
  • “The atmosphere is very collegial. I do not feel I am in competition with other associates. The partners here want to see you succeed and will help you along the path. There are a number of affinity or small groups you can join to get to meet people within the firm.”
  • “The lawyers socialize together at least once a month. There are virtual meetings with lawyers in different locations.”
  • “It's been difficult during COVID, but we've made an effort to get together for fun (outdoor) events for socializing. Each call with a supervisor begins with pleasantries and I feel like they actually care how I'm doing.”

Diversity at Fish & Richardson P.C.

"Founded in 1878, Fish & Richardson is an influential player in the development of intellectual property law, and has evolved with the inventions of its clients, remaining a leader in patent law today. We are a global law firm with more than 350 attorneys and technology specialists practicing IP strategy and counseling, IP litigation, and business litigation, with eleven offices in the U.S. and offices in China and Germany. As a Firm, we believe that a diverse team enhances the quality of the legal services we provide to our..."

Getting Hired Here

  • “I believe the firm is looking for highly educated and self-motivated candidates. Additional schooling beyond undergrad and law school is preferred. The firm hires from all different law schools but looks for personable and smart candidates who can translate their education or experience well.”
  • “Great academic performance from a technical undergrad and top-25 law school. Clerkships and prior work experience in a technical role are important.”
  • “I was hired as a summer associate and felt that the hiring was similar to most other law firms. Generally looking for top candidates from top schools. If you're on the prosecution side, a technical background is required (advanced degree preferred, possibly even required on the life sciences side). Technical background is a plus, but not a requirement, on the litigation side.”
  • “The firm is looking for strong technical backgrounds. Diversity is important and most new hires come in as summers (and a good chunk of them in the 1L summer through a diversity program).”