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Overview

Introduction

With more than 1,400 lawyers across 13 offices, Goodwin has established itself as a global legal name. The firm boasts particular strength in corporate law and real estate, among other areas. Candidates seeking a highly transparent firm that prioritizes associate development will likely feel at home at Goodwin. The firm has adopted what it calls a “capital-meets-innovation platform” through which the firm advises both innovators and investors in the financial, private equity, real estate, technology, and life sciences industries.&...

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2021)


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No. of Partners Named (2020)


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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

1st year: $205,000...

Vault Verdict

Goodwin isn’t seeking one type of candidate—the firm looks at the whole person, from grades to leadership to prior work experience, and everything in between. The firm’s interview process is standardized to combat implicit bias and incorporates behavioral questions. This focus aligns with the firm’s commitment to creating a more diverse workplace, including via affinity group events, allyship training, and time spent on diversity efforts counting as billable—plus engagement from leadership. Goodwin is a relatively social firm, with virtual get-togethers like trivia and chocolate tastings during the pandemic and frequent informal get togethers, lunches, and coffee meet-ups pre-pandemic. Associates feel well connected to firm management through regular town halls and junior associat...

Firm's Response

“At Goodwin, our 1,400-plus lawyers across the United States, Europe, and Asia excel at complex transactions, high-stakes litigations, and world-class advisory services in the financial, life sciences, private equity, real estate, and technology industries. We partner with our clients to practice law with integrity, ingenuity, agility, and...

About the Firm

 

Founded more than a century ago, Goodwin has grown to more than 1,400 lawyers in 13 offices throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The firm has adopted what it calls a “capital-meets-innovation platform” through which the firm advises both innovators and investors in the financial, private equity, real estate, technology, and life sciences industries.

Ethics First

In 1912, Harvard classmates Robert Goodwin and Joseph Procter ran into each other in the street and decided to start a law practice together, opening Goodwin & Procter later that year. Two years later, the founders helped a sardine packing company issue preferred stock but later discovered the company financials were fabricated. They took out a $30,000 loan to buy back all outstanding shares a...

Associate Reviews


  • “Goodwin's culture is great. There are frequent social events (even if they are over Zoom right now). Every interaction, whether social or while working, is professional and respectful but also relaxed and genuine. I had to go out recently for a family emergency, and every single team went above and beyond to cover or find coverage for me and assure me that family should come first.”
  • “The firm's culture across the board is quite positive. Social aspects are somewhat lagging right now, but I take that as a product of the pandemic—not Goodwin. The firm does a good job in balancing virtual events with Zoom fatigue. We've had various virtual events, including trivia, scavenger hunts, chocolate tastings, and heritage celebratory events—featuring award-winning speakers. The associates in my class are close as well.”
  • “Before COVID, there were monthly happy hours for all associates and informal gatherings most weeks. Partners and senior associates also made a point to take us out to lunch or coffee on occasion to get to know us informally.”
  • “The firm is very responsive to social issues and provides an abundance of resources for employees to promote a culture of equity and equality at Goodwin.”
  • “Goodwin is more transparent than other firms I have been at. Leadership and partners regularly check in with associates to make sure we are doing well and to let us know what is going on and what the firm is thinking. As one small example, we all receive weekly updates on hiring efforts, and the firm holds regular town hall meetings where the committee in charge of promotions outlines and answers questions relating to the partnership elevation process. (None of this information was shared as openly my previous firms.) …”
  • “We have junior associate office hours with office chairs, so our voices are heard, and performance standards are listed on our internal site.”
  • “Partners generally seem open and accessible, taking time to explain legal matters or asking how the team is doing personally.”
  • “I feel like transparency during COVID has been pretty good. In addition to discussing with my individual partner mentors, the firm had regular ‘town hall’ meetings of various sizes (firmwide, office-wide, practice group specific) to let us know what was going on and the firm's plans.”
  • “Goodwin is extremely busy right now. The hours can be painful at times, but I think it's definitely a net positive to be working at a firm that's in such high demand.”
  • “Work has been quite heavy since working from home, but I know the firm is making an effort to onboard more associates. Until then, though, I do feel stretched between around a dozen case teams. I feel that I am often "on call" until midnight or so. The firm, even before the pandemic, was flexible about working from home.”
  • “Hours have been rough on everyone but better busy than bored. Target is 1,950 [hours] and is easily achievable.”
  • “I currently work, at my choice, at a reduced FTE percentage. The firm has been very flexible with this arrangement and will true up my salary and bonus if I end up working more. I have the right amount of work and the mix of work I want. My department offers opportunities to work on a wide variety of projects, and I have a lot of choice in declining and accepting work to shape the practice I want to have. …”
  • “The firm compensates associates fairly based on their hours. The firm provides ample opportunities for associates to meet or exceed their hours.”
  • “Consistently pays market rate, including bonuses. However, if you don't hit the billable hour minimum for the year, you don't qualify for the annual bonus at all.”
  • “The firm has matched the market on all bonuses, including the special pandemic related bonuses.”
  • “The hours I'm putting in right now feels unsustainable, but the firm has responded with a mid-year bonus. This makes the consistent late nights sting a little less. I like that there's a graduated system for junior associates: the more you work, the higher your bonus potential. I also like that evaluation criteria for the juniors' bonus is tied to work-quality. I am always encouraged to do my best (though I would do that even without the monetary incentive).”
  • “We uniquely represent clients across the life cycle of companies, so there are opportunities to get involved with every possible type of transaction. The firm encourages people to engage in a broad practice and be generalists.”
  • “It may be the nature of the busy firm, but I regularly do the work of a third year, even though I am only six months in. I have been on $850 million deals with only one senior associate and a partner. The work is hard but it is rewarding, and I have learned a lot more than I thought. The associates have been fantastic about teaching me the ropes and making sure I do not feel alone or afraid to ask questions.”
  • “I feel like I am working on interesting and substantive matters in which I am given a higher degree of authority than I think I even expected coming in (but this isn't a bad thing.) Yes, I do document review. But I'm also supervising complex and novel discovery issues and doing research to develop arguments to use at trials.”
  • “[I focus] 95% on substantive legal work [and] 5% on the day-to-day stuff that pops up and is more procedural. I feel like I am running deals across from partners or senior associates on every deal I am on. (I am a fourth year.)”
  • “The firm has provided us with a basic office set up: laptop, external monitors, docking station, and a ‘soft’ phone on our computers that for direct extension dialing. They also provided us with a stipend to cover any additional technology needs we may need.”
  • “My remote onboarding experience back in October was seamless. I was very happy with how easy it was to get set up and logged in. And the firm's use of Teams and Zoom makes communication super simple.”
  • “The firm adapted to working remotely very quickly. In many ways, I now feel like I know colleagues better (particularly those who are in other geographies and offices).”
  • “The firm [did] a great job providing the technology (laptop/phones/etc.) and technological support when I started, and continues to have around the clock tech support that is very responsive and competent.”
  • “The firm provides regular wellness updates and reminds us of all of the initiatives, which do include things such as counseling, exercise classes, support groups, wellness education, and access to apps such as Headspace. Many of these opportunities were available before COVID-19 but went virtual since. More support groups for issues such as childcare and elder care have also been initiated since the pandemic. “
  • “Emails are sent out with tips, and there is a lot of talk about wellness, including bringing people in to talk or schedule sessions with, but without time it is hard to do.”
  • “The firm offers a mindfulness application as well as support for vegans. The firm also contributes $600 to associate health savings accounts, which is great.”
  • “The firm offers free counseling sessions both via videoconference and telephone, and monthly firmwide sessions to talk about wellness. There is a concerted effort to bring on more lateral attorneys in large part because the firm sees the hours some current attorneys are working and recognizes that they aren't sustainable. That being said, working remotely means that it can feel as though you're always on call and there isn't much of a divide between the work day and off time.”
  • “The firm takes training, mentoring and sponsorship seriously. We are assigned multiple mentors (including a partner) on our first day who grow alongside us and offer constant support. Trainings include a monthly catalog of practice-specific training open to anyone at the firm. The firm recently affirmed its commitment to mentoring and sponsorship by allowing attorneys to bill any mentoring or sponsorship activities to a fully bonus-eligible matter number.”
  • “I have both a partner mentor and an associate mentor. I meet with the associate mentor regularly, just to chat as well as to talk about my work, and the partner mentor serves an advisor for more general, career-focused issues. Mid-level associates whom I work with have been incredibly helpful, offering tutorials and tips on best practices and providing precedents for new assignments I may not have attempted before. No one has ever made me feel like I question I asked was stupid or unwelcome.”
  • “Mentoring, sponsorship, and training has been extremely crucial to my success. I have been able to draft purchase agreement and run small deals as a second year. Associates and partners reach out to provide me with opportunities to level up in work and take the time to train me and properly oversee my work.”
  • “The best training comes informally in day-to-day practice. Partners really take the time to walk through analyses with associates. There are also plenty of forma training opportunities, both firm wide and within a department. Moreover, associates can attend trainings organized by other departments, so that really helps broaden the training opportunities we receive.”
  • “Very realistic [to make partner,] and excellent opportunities are available. The partnership process is very transparent. Information is posted on [the firm intranet], and a series of partnership talks are provided annually with nearly 10 sessions available to choose from, each is hosted by a member of the partnership committee.”
  • “Career outlook is very promising should I stay. I have been able to have candid conversations with Partners about my career goals and the firms desire to retain me. Promotion is realistic for those who would like to make partner from my experience. Senior associate can transition to counsel role if they do not want to be on the traditional partner track. I have witnessed [first hand] partners support associates and connect them with outside companies when they associate told the partner they did not want to stay and wanted to go in-house”
  • “The firm is helpful when it comes to upward advancement and valuable exit opportunities.”
  • “Career outlook is amazing. The firm has some of the best exits because of the firm's reputation and because attorneys (even associates) develop substantial relationships with clients and other counsel. Exits include counsel (especially general counsel) positions at prominent venture capital and private equity firms, big established corporations, and high-potential startups. Exits also include non-attorney roles in prominent venture capital and private equity firms, chief operating officers at large companies, and even founders of startups. …”
  • “Pro bono work is highly valued at the firm. All pro bono hours are credited as billable time. You have a ton of flexibility in taking on short-term low-key assignments, as well as longer term pro bono cases. The firm views pro bono as both a commitment to social responsibility and a training opportunity for attorneys. I've had opportunities to perform innocence project case evaluations, represent veterans appealing disability decisions, and represent amici before the Supreme Court.”
  • “The firm has countless pro bono opportunities and allows all pro-bono hours to count towards the billable hours target. Attorneys are encouraged to take on pro bono matters. Personally, I've been working on pro bono matters and told my teams when I am busy with pro bono matters and each team is always very understanding and willing to pick up some slack on billable matters to allow me to continue concentrating on the pro bono matter.”
  • “Pro bono hours count as billable hours to an unlimited extent. Associates are given the opportunity to bring in their own pro bono clients.  I focus on immigration work but have also had the opportunity to get involved in criminal justice reform opportunities and support for trans individuals.  About 15-20% of my work is pro bono.”
  • “Truly could not be better! In the last year, I worked on three fantastic pro bono litigation matters (California Supreme Court amicus brief, state court writ in support of a local legal services organization, and district court class action relating to First Amendment rights). Pro bono hours count toward our annual billable hour requirement.”
  • “Like all firms, Goodwin certainly has work to do on hiring and retention of diverse attorneys. That said, firm leadership does not shy away from this issue. They are constantly seeking out ways to do better and be better. The affinity programs at Goodwin are a big part of the solution and actively jumpstart firm initiatives--including virtual events, allyship training, etc.”
  • “… As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I can vouch for the strength of Goodwin's commitment to the LGBTQ+ community. I feel very supported here. Further, I do not know of many other law firms that include pronouns in their signature blocks. This is a bold statement of support for the LGBTQ+ community for Goodwin.”
  • “Saw a big change this last year in a lot of ways post-George Floyd and BLM. The firm stuck to its word and provided quality assistance to attorneys suffering in trauma and educating people on internal bias. It was an extremely productive year in the firm's growth on this front. …”
  • “Firm recently moved hours spent on diversity efforts to billable category.”

Why Work Here


At Goodwin, we partner with our clients to practice law with integrity, ingenuity, agility, and ambition. Our 1,400 lawyers across the United States, Europe, and Asia excel at complex transactions, high-stakes litigation and world-class advisory services in the technology, life sciences, real estate, private equity, and financial industries. Our unique combination of deep experience serving both the innovators and investors in a rapidly changing, technology-driven economy sets us apart.

Diversity at Goodwin

"Goodwin is committed to promoting diversity in our firm and the legal profession, as well as fostering an inclusive environment in which each attorney and staff member has the opportunity to excel and thrive. Diversity and inclusion are core values at Goodwin, and we believe that they make us stronger as a firm, as a provider of legal services and as an employer. It's also a matter of justice. We believe that equity demands a diverse workforce and legal profession, and as the first AmLaw 100 law firm led by a woman, we have a lengthy track..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “The firm will take leadership and grit over perfect law school grades any day.”
  • “The firm utilizes focused interviewing techniques, which allows us to discern experience and skill sets. The firm considers the entire candidate: school, grades, journal/moot court experience, clerkships, personality (trust in front of a client), diversity, and prior work experience.”
  • “There are trainings for interviews. The firm puts a focus on diversity. Culture is big in terms of recruitment as well.”
  • “… The firm seems to attract (or solicit) people with both traditional and less traditional paths to the legal profession, but I do note that most incoming associates from non-T14 schools were among the very top students in their classes.”
  • “The firm uses a structured interview process to help eliminate unconscious biases in the hiring process. I found this to be incredibly thoughtful. Most of the questions are behavioral—Describe a time you led a team. Describe a time you were unsuccessful and how you dealt with that outcome.”
  • “The firm asks candidates questions to learn how they would handle the required workload at Goodwin and collaborate with teams. When I interviewed summer associate candidates, I asked them questions about how they handled issues at past jobs, how they would work together with a team, and what their goals were at the law firm.”
  • “The firm focuses on behavioral questions such as, ‘Tell me about a time you failed,’ and ‘Describe how you would approach explaining a difficult concept.’”
  • “As a lateral candidate, my interview questions included the reason for my move (both from my current firm and location).”
  • “The attorneys and staff were extremely welcoming.”
  • “The Firm has gone out of its way to help me integrate as a lateral attorney.”

Practice Area Q&A’s


Martin Gomez & Naomi Birbach

Partner & Associate

Goodwin
Andrew Pusar & Kristin Gerber

Partner & Associate

Goodwin
Diana Brummer & Bridgette Bolte

Partner & Associate

Goodwin

Perks & Benefits