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. The firm focuses mainly on IP litigation and counseling, as well as post-grant matters—but its breadth is reflected in the list of industries it serves. Fish handles IP matters for clients in more than a dozen industries, including biotechnology, energy, clean tech, consumer products,...

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2021)

250 - 500


No. of Partners Named (2021)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)



No. of Summer Associates (2021)

27 total (10 2Ls; 17 1Ls)


Base Salary

All offices1st year: $205,000

Vault Verdict

If you want to work at Fish, you better have a technical background, passion for IP, strong grades, and a solid work ethic. Attorneys genuinely like each other here, and they socialize frequently, whether it’s at a firmwide event, an office-level celebration, or day-to-day mingling. Partners are included—associates describe them as respectful, understanding, and appreciative. The firm could be more transparent about certain decisions, such as bonuses, but it is forthcoming in other ways, including through twice-annual performance reviews. Some associates feel the billable-hours requirement—which is 1,900 hours for a bonus, but 2,100 hours for a market bonus—is high, but they are very pleased with the amount of flexibility they have and note the firm is generous with reduced-hour s...

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, 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 automobil...

Associate Reviews

  • “During non-COVID times, our firm frequently held firm-sponsored events, firmwide and within each individual office. They've tried to do similar things during this last year to keep everyone connected. Day to day, I enjoy working with my colleagues and find most people to be engaged and friendly. It's a laid-back atmosphere, but we are all serious about the work we do.”
  • “Fish has a wonderful group of people who enjoy each other's company and has a very open-door policy.”
  • “The firm is super friendly and social. Our office finds many reasons to get together and share some snacks and take a break from work (e.g., for major career achievements (e.g., passing the bar or being admitted to the bar), holidays, life events (e.g., weddings, births), and any other excuse to get together (e.g., to celebrate March Madness games). The associates also try to get together periodically after work, especially when it is nice outside. The day to day is congenial. Everyone is truly friendly and interacts with everyone across all positions.”
  • “While I think each office location has its own style (e.g., some more social than others), the firm overall is collegial and family friendly.”

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

  • “Some kind of technical degree gets you in the door. You need to explain or at least make clear that you want to do IP and not that you're ‘interested in’ IP.”
  • “We look for very smart, driven, and kind people. I have never felt competitive with my other associates, so we aren't looking for someone who gets satisfaction from internal competition but rather someone who is driven simply because they want to do well and be viewed as reliable.”
  • “Fish looks for self-starters who are excited about intellectual property law and want to be at Fish.”
  • “… To get a screener interview, good grades (~top 25% of class) and a science undergraduate degree are essentially requirements. Our firm is not as particular about the type of science degree, whether hard sciences or life sciences. Journal experience, clerkships, prior work experience, and diversity are all bonuses in the screener interview process. For the screener and callback, the main differentiating factor is personality. …”

Perks & Benefits