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Overview

Introduction

With headquarters in Boston, Foley Hoag is home to around 300 lawyers who focus on more than a dozen practices. Low on hierarchy and big on transparency, the firm attracts lawyers who are collaborative and respectful. Hailing from the land of red socks and chowder, Foley Hoag has stayed close to its Boston roots. With only four locations—in Massachusetts, New York, DC, and Paris—the firm is smaller than many of its BigLaw competitors. But Foley Hoag has made a name for itself with its strong practice and progressive history.

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

Vault Law 100...


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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

Boston, MA; Washington, DC; New York, NY...

Vault Verdict

Given how leanly staffed its matters are, Foley Hoag seeks candidates who are client ready from the start. Many candidates come from Boston-area law schools, though the firm has expanded its recruiting reach and has increased its focus on diversity in hiring. Candidates should be prepared to discuss their resumes in detail and their interest in the firm. The firm is quite collaborative, and there is a sense that everyone cares about each other’s personal and professional lives. Partners treat associates as equals and are focused on helping them succeed both with interesting work and regular guidance. The Executive Committee holds regular meetings on firm performance, and associates feel there is ample transparency. Foley Hoag has a reasonable 1,850-hour billable target, and while ...

About the Firm

Hailing from the land of red socks and chowder, Foley Hoag has stayed close to its Boston roots. With only four locations—in Massachusetts, New York, DC, and Paris—the firm is smaller than many of its BigLaw competitors. But Foley Hoag has made a name for itself with its strong practice and progressive history.

A Diverse Foundation

Foley Hoag began during the Second World War when Henry Foley and Garrett Hoag set up shop in Boston in 1943. As the firm progressed, so did its commitment to diversity. In 1979 the late Charles J. Beard II was named partner at Foley Hoag, becoming the first African American to be named partner in a Boston law firm. Beard specialized in cable television regulation and business law and also served for many years on the firm’s Hiring Committee and as the firm’...

Associate Reviews


  • “Culture is collegial, collaborative and supportive. Pre-pandemic, lawyers socialized together fairly often, especially Fridays after work.”
  • “Overall, Foley Hoag is a very welcoming place to work. Virtually everyone is genuinely kind, including partners. And while the firm of course demands a lot from their associates, there's always a sense of teamwork and collaboration. Even as a first-year, I feel that my opinions are highly valued and appreciated. Politically, it's quite liberal/progressive, though there are a few more conservative folks as well. …”
  • “People at Foley are generally friendly and treat each other with respect. Associates work collaboratively rather than competitively. Everyone seems happy with the firm culture.”
  • “Generally a collegial atmosphere, and people do actually seem to care about each other personally, both staff and attorneys. Prior to COVID, you would regularly find associates getting together after work, but it is also the type of firm where you're not ostracized if you don't attend happy hours. …”
  • “Partners are pleasant to work with and show an interest in mentoring and helping associates succeed. The Executive Committee holds regularly meetings with associates to update us on financials and firm performance.”
  • “Partners and associated tend to be treated as equals here. There are often times where as a first year associate I am working directly with a partner, and they treat me as one of their own.”
  • “… There's a high degree of transparency relating to firm performance and finances and promotion. The Executive Committee holds quarterly meetings with associates during which firm financial and associate compensation information (across the associate classes) is conveyed. The firm is also open about expectations for performance and partnership.  Reviews are conducted twice per year for junior associates and annually thereafter.  Supervising attorneys submit reviews and each associate is assigned a partner who reads all of the associate's reviews and prepares a 'nutshell' (summary) of them, followed by a review meeting between the associate and partner plus one of the department chairs.”
  • “Transparency is very high at every level regarding firm performance and finances, which is welcome. Partners are very accessible, and the firm culture and case work is not rigidly hierarchical.”
  • “I am very satisfied with my workload. It's sometimes not perfectly even across associates, but the ebb and flow affects everyone at some point, and work is decently distributed. The firm has reasonable expectations for first-year associates. It also recently expanded certain DE&I and recruiting activities to count toward billable targets, in addition to pro bono hours.”
  • “There's too much work, but I think that's the case for any law firm. [I] definitely have flexibility as to when and where work is done (obviously during COVID but even before). Billable hour requirement is totally reasonable as law firms go and they've been particularly forgiving during COVID.”
  • “The billing target is 1,850. I am given enough work to hit and exceed the target. There is not an unwritten target above 1,850 that you are expected to hit. …”
  • “I think that the firm does a good job about letting you have ebbs and flows to your work-life balance, especially in the business department. You may be really busy one week, then have a lighter week but there isn't pressure to make every week a super busy week.”
  • “Foley has increased compensation recently and has a new policy on bonuses that sets forth a clear set of parameters on qualifying for a bonus and the bonus amounts. If you hit your hours and receive satisfactory reviews, you'll receive the target bonus for your year.”
  • “Compensation is market. Bonuses may sometimes not quite be, but in my opinion the quality of the firm and the work more than makes up for any (small) discrepancy.”
  • “I was pleased with my salary (market) and bonus (significantly above market). I felt like I was compensated both for my high billable hours and business origination.”
  • “I really like that I have a very broad range of assignments as a second-year associate and am not required to specialize until the fourth year. This allows me more time to determine which areas of the law I enjoy.”
  • “My work generally is discrete legal research and writing tasks as a first year associate. Obviously doc review is also something I spend time with as a litigation associate. My assignments vary depending on the size of the team I am on, with some going through multiple layers before a partner or client sees it, an some going directly to the client.”
  • “Most of my work is general 1st year associate tasks such as diligence, disclosure schedules, ancillary financing documents, signature pages, etc. However, I also have been given fairly substantive drafting assignments and getting to work on main agreements, financing documents, etc. I enjoy that many of my deals are just me and a partner, so I am exposed to a lot of experience.”
  • “I think I get way more substantive legal work than most people at my level at other firms.”
  • “Overall the firm has done an excellent job with the technological transition to working remotely, including by providing attorneys and staff with computers, monitors and other equipment for those who needed it. One area of improvement is the firm's document management system, which is fairly old. The existing system was going to be replaced in 2020, but the rollout of the new system was delayed because of COVID.”
  • “Weekly technology tips are circulated and everyone is patient as you figure out how to make remote work work for you.”
  • “No complaints. I don't have much to compare it to, but everything has worked fairly well for me during the pandemic.”
  • “The firm actively encourages wellness and makes guidance readily available. Lawyers and staff are encouraged to take vacation time during the pandemic.”
  • “The firm has regular wellness initiatives and sends out regular emails on the topic.”
  • “The firm has provided special group counseling for attorneys identified as African American and Asian American after certain events (i.e., the murder of George Floyd and hate crimes targeted towards Asian Americans).”
  • “There were nearly two full weeks of formal training at the beginning of my first year at the firm, as well as periodic trainings after that. I feel that partners and senior associates are pretty good at providing informal training through feedback on work assignments, inviting junior associates to participate in client meetings, etc. Through the formal first-year mentorship program, I have an associate and a partner mentor. I also have one associate mentor and one partner mentor through the firm's DE&I mentorship program.”
  • “Associates benefit from both formal and informal mentorship from senior attorneys. Each first-year associate is paired with two partner mentors and starting in second year, each associate selects his/her mentors. Formal training is provided to associates of all levels, but the firm excels with on-the-job informal training given that deals/cases are staffed lightly and partners take the time to work closely with associates, reviewing and marking up drafts, including associates on client calls and in counterparty negotiations, etc.”
  • “The partners whom I have worked with create opportunities for me to gain experience, either through substantive work on drafting and the like, or explanations of why we did something a certain way, or why they made particular edits to something I did. I have learned a tremendous amount as a result of the access and time.”
  • “Foley brings in associates with the goal of those associates one day becoming partners. The firm is focused on training and mentoring associates toward partnership.”
  • “They want everyone who wants to make partner be able to make partner. If you want to be at a law firm long term I don't think there are many better options than Foley.”
  • “If I wanted to make partner at the firm it seems like a very realistic possibility.”
  • “Pro bono hours count as billable hours and there is no cap. I am currently assisting a 501(c)(3) organization with tax related issues.”
  • “… I have been able to work on pro bono matters ranging from [the] Innocence Project to helping draft legislation for green energy.”
  • “The firm always encourages pro bono, which counts toward billable hours with no cap. I've recently worked on an asylum case.”

 

  • “More work can always be done in this area, but the firm has invested considerably in fostering diversity and it seems like this investment has shown results as the firm has improved its hiring and retention in recent years.”
  • “The firm offers unlimited billable-hour credit for diversity and inclusion initiatives and recruiting efforts.”

Why Work Here


Foley Hoag's Unique Culture

Put simply, “Foley Hoag is a great place to work.” With a unique combination of substantive work, “wonderful” mentors and consistent work-life balance, associates have nothing but positive things to say about life at their firm. “The people are great, the work is interesting, I'm learning all the time, and I am encouraged to maintain something of a life outside the office,” notes a Boston contact. Weekend work, the bane of most associate’s existence, is a rarity at Foley Hoag and any last-minute projects can usually be taken care of from home. A junior contact adds, “Everyone is very kind and helpful, but also very professional. Most partners make associates feel like valuable team members rather than underlings.” The firm’s overall culture, too, is described as “friendly, academic and open,” ensuring that associates consistently feel like “valuable team players rather than underlings.”

Diversity at Foley Hoag LLP

"Foley Hoag's commitment to Diversity & Inclusion traces its roots to the founding of the Firm in 1943. Henry Foley and Garrett Hoag were determined to hire the very best lawyers, based entirely on individual merit and without exclusion -- an attitude that set them apart from others in the Boston legal community of that era. Indeed, Foley Hoag was the first large Boston law firm to promote a Black attorney to the partnership ranks. These twin traditions of excellence and inclusiveness have remained guiding forces in the Firm's culture. We..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “The firm frequently hires from law schools in Boston and New York given the office locations, but we get associates from a broad range of schools. The firm does have training for interviewing candidates and guidelines to follow.”
  • “We've historically recruited heavily from Boston area firms, but have expanded to more schools to increase the pool of diverse candidates. Foley generally looks for someone who is well-rounded and can interact with clients on day 1, since we are typically leanly staffed and associates interact with clients from the beginning.”
  • “Academics are obviously important. The firm hires a significant portion of associates from Boston law schools (Harvard, BC, BU, Northeastern). Personality and fit matter—the typical successful candidate (and attorney) tends to be competent, personable, and not overbearing. The firm emphasizes diversity and has worked hard in that area.”
  • “… Why Boston, why Foley Hoag, and other questions specific to the person’s resume.”
  • “Explain XYZ on you resume. What are you most proud of on your resume? Why Foley?”

Perks & Benefits