Founded in 1995 in Silicon Valley, Gunderson Dettmer has grown to 10 offices and more than 425 attorneys as the leading international law firm focusing solely on the innovation economy. They are world leaders in providing legal services to venture-backed and public technology and life sciences companies, as well as venture capital investors. Sophisticated work, amazing tutelage from partners, and office culture are highlights for associates.

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)

64 total (48 2Ls; 14 1Ls)


Base Salary

1st year: $215,000

Vault Verdict

For elite work in the fields of emerging companies and venture capital, there is no better place for an attorney than Gunderson Dettmer. In hiring, candidates must have experience or interest in venture capital work. Office settings are relaxed, cordial, and collaborative, and all employees are treated as part of the team. Great relations with clients enhance the work experience. Gunderson hires a lot of laterals, who are given work right away and integrated well. Partners are approachable and value associates’ contributions. They work hands-on with younger attorneys and care about their professional development. The firm’s formal training program is excellent, and associates can count on senior associates and partners for guidance. Associates are expected to take on responsibilit...

Firm's Response

Gunderson Dettmer started with an exclusive focus on the venture and growth ecosystem, confident that a concentrated approach would yield unmatched service, skill, and expertise. As the technology and life sciences industries have come to dominate the global economy, we have evolved as well, focusing on the growing needs of private compani...

About the Firm

Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian is a Silicon Valley firm at heart, and it has already outgrown its status as a premier “boutique” for the technological world. The firm has expanded in the U.S. and internationally over the last few years. With offices in Ann Arbor, Austin, Beijing, Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Singapore, and extensive work in Latin America, the firm is an international specialist in emerging growth market matters for corporate and venture capital clients.

Emerging Growth Market, Boom or Bust

In 1995, Bob Gunderson, Scott Dettmer, and four other partners jumped ship from the now-defunct Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison and started a Silicon Valley firm, just before the region's techno...

Associate Reviews

  • “Very culture-first firm, with attorneys frequently socializing after hours and a very transparent and fair management style from partners. Everyone in the office, attorneys and staff, are considered part of the same team and treated accordingly—there are really no barriers in interactions among them.”
  • “The partners are quite casual and actually try to have relationships with the associates. They're very ‘normal’ socially (e.g., have interests outside of work, aren't awkward in social settings), which I think is rare for a BigLaw firm. We all have friendships at work, but for the most part after hours we all do our own things. The staff is treated very well compared to my prior firm.”
  • “I could not ask for a better place to practice. There is no other firm that can match the amazing culture Gunderson has. All of my colleagues are great people and extremely good at what they do. It is refreshing to be surrounded by such talented people. The other part that makes Gunderson so great is the client base are for the most part great people as well. It makes the job so much better to be working with and for people you like who are kind.”

Diversity at Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP

The Law Firm Diversity Profile contains the firm’s self-reported responses to the Vault/MCCA Law Firm Diversity Survey, an annual survey conducted by Vault.com in partnership with the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. Detailed demographic breakdowns of the firm’s attorneys by level, race, gender, LGBTQ and disability status offer a valuable statistical overview, while descriptions of its diversity programs, initiatives and strategic plans provide a comprehensive portrait of the firm’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Getting Hired Here

  • “The firm really values interpersonal skills. The hiring decision won't be driven by GPA, class rank, and law review accolades—those are still important, but they'll only get you in the door.”
  • “While we've recently expanded our network of schools for recruitment, traditionally Gunderson recruiting targeted a select number of schools in each market with a focus on cultural fit and finding candidates interested in emerging growth and venture capital work. Our interview and callback process is fairly intense and focuses on trying to find candidates who would be a strong fit for our business-minded and entrepreneurial approach to the practice of law.”
  • “GD looks for people who are genuinely interested in working in the VC space and with startups. I think personality is hugely important as well. The firm cares a lot about its culture and wants to only bring in nice people who are going to maintain that culture.”

Practice Area Q&A’s

Randall Clark & Amy Luong

Partner & Associate

Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP

Brittany Nicely & Laura Stoffel

Associate & Associate

Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP

Jonathan Goodwin & Saarah Woodby

Partner & Associate

Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP

Maggie White & Vanessa Smith

Partner & Associate

Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP

Perks & Benefits