Vault and Firsthand have combined platforms! Learn more

cross

Overview

Introduction

 

It’s no surprise that Jenner & Block has such a friendly, down-to-earth culture—the firm is known for its strong commitment to pro bono and public service. Top-notch attorneys come here not just because they want to do good work—they want to do good. With more than 400 litigators and dispute lawyers, Jenner & Block has leading international litigation arbitration, and investigations practices. Jenner & Block also boasts a top-notch appellate team.

Firm Stats


More

Total No. Attorneys (2021)


More

No. of Partners Named (2021)


More

Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100...


More

No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)



More

No. of Summer Associates (2021)



More

Base Salary

1st year: $202,500...

Vault Verdict

Landing a spot at Jenner is competitive—it not only requires top credentials, but the right personality and a commitment to public service. Attorneys here are kind, supportive, and down-to-earth. The firm is social but not overly so—it’s okay to have a life outside of work. Partners are appreciative of associates’ efforts and are generous with feedback. While the firm is open about financial information, there is a consensus that transparency into billable hours and bonuses could be better. Salary is market, but associates need to hit 2,100 hours all in for bonus eligibility—of these, the target is 2,000 client billables, but bonuses are paid out to those with less. There are currently some growing pains with a new assignment system, but associates are hopeful it will lead to more...

About the Firm

 

From its Windy City roots, Jenner & Block has grown to a firm of more than 500 lawyers in offices in Chicago; London; Los Angeles; New York; San Francisco; and Washington, DC. The client roster is a blend of established corporate institutions—and trendy players in the worlds of business, the arts and entertainment, and technology. The firm is also known for its values, especially its commitment to pro bono.

A Litigation Star Is Born

The firm now known as Jenner & Block was founded in 1914 as Newman, Poppenhusen & Stern by a trio of lawyers with big-name Chicago firm pedigrees. In its early years, the firm advised the city’s banks, mortgage houses, and blue-collar corporations. Once the 1920s roared around, however, the firm took on ...

Vault Top Ranked shield

2022 Vault Rankings


Associate Reviews


  • “Attorneys get along together very well and are super intelligent but don't take themselves too seriously. Everyone is down-to-earth and open-minded.”
  • “Jenner as a whole is very friendly, progressive, and social justice-oriented. There is a universal commitment to pro bono work, and lawyers treat pro bono clients just as respectfully as they do paid clients. …”
  • “The culture is nice and supportive, with a good separation of work and life. Colleagues are pleasant to socialize with, but it's not an expectation for your social life to revolve around the firm.”
  • “In non-pandemic times, the firm has happy hours on the top floor every Friday that are generally well attended (including staff), and I think that people are generally social and excited to see and interact with each other. One of the things I love about Jenner is the collegial atmosphere. During the pandemic, it has been harder to keep in touch, but the firm has had tons of virtual events and initiatives to try to keep people connected, like department virtual happy hours, photo sharing opportunities, and sending gifts to everyone's homes!”
  • “Associate/partner relationships are strong at the firm. Partners seem to genuinely value and appreciate associates.”
  • “I have had only pleasant relationships with partners. For the most part, partners are openly very appreciative of associate work and recognize when you worked on something over the weekend and turned something very quickly. The firm is generally very transparent, sharing information about the firm's finances at each monthly associates’ meeting. The firm could improve on transparency as relates to associate bonuses.”
  • “The relationship between associates and partners is good. Associates are given significant responsibility. The firm is transparent about finances, but less transparent about what kind of work counts towards our hours threshold.”
  • “Reviews are conducted in a straightforward manner, and in my experience partners are forthcoming about feedback.”
  • “I wish there was more consistency week to week regarding how busy I am, but that may just be the nature of the job. Some weeks I feel as though I am too busy, and some I wish I had more to do, but overall I am satisfied.”
  • “The firm's billable-hour requirement for bonuses is high compared to its peers, and there is a lack of transparency around how it is applied.”
  • “…You have to 'bill' 2,100 hours for bonus eligibility, but that includes pro bono, other stuff you're doing for the firm, CLE, etc. There's also a target of 2,000 actual billed-to-clients hours, but not everybody makes that, and you still generally get your bonus. I haven't had occasion to stress about either one. Like I said, there's plenty of work to go around.”
  • “Like with any firm, the amount of hours I have varies depending on the needs of the cases I am working on.  Some weeks are intense and others more relaxed. I appreciate that we now have an assignment system for new lawyers (new with our class) that evaluates how many hours you have available and assigns billable work appropriately. There are still some kinks being worked out, but I think in the long run this is an excellent idea to increase the equity of the distribution of amount and type of work. …”
  • “I'm paid a market salary and bonus for a reasonable number of billable hours.”
  • “Jenner offers market compensation, and I am very satisfied. Bonuses are really hours-based, which I think is equitable, and they take all pro bono hours and other firm-approved hours into consideration.”
  • “The base pay is industry standard and more than generous. However, I was disappointed in how bonuses were handled this year. Whereas some firms offered all associates a special bonus (regardless of hours) in recognition of the hardships caused by COVID-19, Jenner awarded a ‘special bonus’ only to the top-billing associates. It was definitely feast or famine.”
  • “The firm's compensation is very generous and the firm is often lenient with hours, especially among junior associates. It's hard to complain.”
  • “Matters are leanly staffed, so associates generally are given plenty of substantive work. I spend much of my time brief writing or doing legal research and writing memos. Occasionally there is document review or management of discovery as well. I write briefs, have argued an appeal and in district court, managed discovery, reviewed documents, conducted legal research memos, taken depositions, examined witnesses, prepared expert reports, and managed a trial.”
  • “I spend the majority of my time on substantive legal work and am able to take on work at or above my level with support from senior associates and partners.”
  • “I have a broad range of work, including leading diligence exercises as well as taking the pen on drafting and negotiating ancillary documents and assisting with the drafting of major deal documents.”
  • “I think the type of work I do is appropriate for my level. I often do first substantive drafts of motions and briefs and lead client calls (or solo attend client calls). There are fewer opportunities for courtroom and deposition experience on billable matters, but I've gotten that experience through pro bono work.”
  • “The transition to remote work was pretty seamless. We have really embraced Zoom, and I have at least one face-to-face meeting with colleagues over that platform every day.”
  • “The firm offered a $400 allowance for work-from-home equipment purchases, which was nice.”
  • “The firm's technology could stand to improve, especially its document management system.”
  • “I think Jenner, particularly our IT staff, have worked really hard to adapt to the new work remote work environment. As I had to start as an associate remotely, our IT staff did a great job of walking me through setting everything up that was mailed me.”
  • “The firm offers excellent benefits, including a one-year membership to a concierge medical service and strong health care benefits.”
  • “The firm provides counseling and mindfulness programs. I'm actually participating in an exercise program to help alleviate back/neck pain. …”
  • “Firm offers confidential counseling, exercise programs (I know there [are] yoga and Peloton clubs), meditation sessions, nutrition education (through health insurance provider), etc. These efforts were strengthened with the onset of the pandemic. Things like Zoom happy hours and new initiatives like Jenner Buddies (informal one-on-one Zoom meetings) helped make sure that attorneys and staff socialize and support each other.”
  • “There are CLEs galore. You're paired with two mentors (a senior associate and a junior associate) when starting as a first year. After your first year, you're paired with a partner mentor. The firm is launching a sponsorship program for diverse attorneys, but it's still getting underway.”
  • “The mentoring culture is strong. Associates are assigned mentors formally and meet monthly, but many associates have developed informal mentor relationships with associates. Associates are very open to helping other, especially newer, associates.”
  • “First years could use more substantive formal training. The firm does not provide training to any other associate classes after their first year.”
  • “The firm organizes a number of formal sessions on legal research, writing, and time submissions, for example. The firm also has a formal mentorship program. I routinely speak with my junior and senior associate mentors. I also receive informal training through extensive feedback on my work and orienting sessions on various cases.”
  • “I chose Jenner in part because I knew it would open many doors. There is internal support for career development, including career counseling about external opportunities.”
  • “There are excellent opportunities to go in-house or work in government, and many associates leave to do both. The partnership process does not appear to be highly transparent, particularly with respect to equity vs. non-equity partners.”
  • “Yes, promotion to non-equality partnership is achievable for those who want it. … Senior associates can also transition to counsel positions. Associates have taken all kinds of amazing exit opportunities—government/DOJ, public interest, and in-house are all common paths.”
  • “Promotion to partnership is realistic. The firm also encourages secondments and placements with clients as well as various government service opportunities.”
  • “The commitment to pro bono at Jenner is real and draws many people to the firm. People are excited to work on pro bono matters, and pro bono work is actively encouraged. Not only does the firm's pro bono work help important causes, but it also provides important opportunities for associates to take on more active roles.”
  • “Jenner is unquestionably committed to pro bono. Our pro bono work counts towards our all-in hours for bonus consideration. I have worked on an affirmative asylum case, assisted in a case where a partner was the court-appointed defense counsel, and a Supreme Court amicus brief.”
  • “… At Jenner, I have worked on immigration matters (including a case against the U.S. government for family separation at the southern border), a contested divorce for an immigrant mother of four in the Bronx, a claim for monetary relief against the city of New York after its pipes burst and flooded homes in Queens, impact litigation on behalf of Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin, and voting rights litigation in Georgia.”
  • “The firm made a pledge to contribute $250 million in legal services over the next five years, and our pro bono hours count towards our all-in hour requirement.”
  • “Jenner makes an honest effort at D&I, and I've seen substantial improvements since I started at the firm. My sense is that Jenner is substantially more committed to action—rather than just talking points—than many of its peers. That said, BigLaw has fundamental struggles with D&I, and all of us need to do better.”
  • “Overall, I am content with our diversity. It is a core value of our firm, and the firm is often discovering new methods to foster diversity, including this new assignment portal system. Affinity groups meet often, and we receive approved firm hours that go towards our yearly target for bonus eligibility. However, it is not considered ‘billable.’"
  • “Jenner is pretty queer friendly—though the LGBTQ+ community is a bit male-dominated. They are also making good strides in promoting women and have made a couple of adjustments to firm policies in recent years in response to concerns raised by the firm's women's forum. Everyone knows the firm has a way to go in terms of racial diversity—and there are lots of good conversations and intentions around the issue. Now it just needs to improve on the ground.”

Why Work Here


Jenner & Block is known for its ability to secure major litigation victories for clients from the trial level through appeal in jurisdictions around the world; for its sophisticated corporate transactional practice; and for its unyielding commitment to public service.  Clients from around the world trust Jenner & Block with their most complex and challenging matters. 

Our mission is to exceed our clients’ expectations every day by providing the highest caliber legal counsel and advice; to contribute to the legal profession; to maintain our long tradition of public and community service; and to provide an unrivaled environment for superior talent.  Located in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC, our more than 500 lawyers offer substantial experience across a broad range of legal areas.  Throughout our more than a century of service, we have grown because of our dedication and unwavering commitment to our clients, to the bar, to our people and to public service.  Leading independent outlets have recognized us as an elite law firm and among the top-tier firms most committed to pro bono service throughout the profession. 

Diversity at Jenner & Block

"Jenner & Block is committed to hiring and promoting a diverse workforce. Our goal is to recruit the best lawyers and provide an atmosphere that will allow each lawyer the opportunity to succeed and achieve their fullest potential. To accomplish this, we hire and develop lawyers without reference to race, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Our actions reflect our deep-seated commitment to equality and social justice, as well as our belief that diverse teams arrive at better and more..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “The firm only hires a handful of people each year and only interviews at top schools and diversity fairs. The firm has a grade cutoff and looks for smart, friendly people who care about pro bono and giving back to their communities.”
  • “Competitiveness varies office to office. It is very difficult to get a position in the DC office, particularly if the candidate did not clerk or attend a highly elite law school.”
  • “Very competitive hiring process. [The] firm wants someone who has the credentials (strong academic performance, etc.), but also who will fit in with the firm culture, as Jenner has a strong culture of friendliness and commitment to public service and wants to preserve it. There are not many ‘sharks’ here. …”
  • “The firm values diversity, journal experience (especially law review), and clinical experience during law school. A successful candidate will demonstrate a commitment to pro bono, collaboration, and collegiality. The firm trains its hiring attorneys before interviews. The vast majority of hires are from law schools ranked in the top 14.”
  • “The firm asks about items on a person's resume, why they are attracted to Jenner, and what kinds of practice groups they gravitate toward. I was asked about my summer work experiences, my interests outside of law school, and classes from my transcript.”
  • “We mostly ask questions about the candidate’s experiences as expressed in their resumes, areas of interest in the profession, [and] what they are seeking in a firm/expectations/culture.”
  • “We don't have a set of questions. Our interviews are casual.”
  • “[We ask] questions to get to know the candidate personally. Candidates should not hesitate to discuss pro bono work or other connections to the interviewer besides just billable work at the firm.”
  • “Since the firm mostly hires from clerkships and some laterals, the firm has a very organized process for integrating laterals and judicial clerks. Their entire process is focused around this.”
  • “The firm offers broad trainings for lateral associates, which is appropriate since lateral associates have a variety of backgrounds and levels.”
  • “I came to the firm fairly late in my career and encountered no obstacles whatsoever to the kinds of work I wanted to pursue.”

Practice Area Q&A’s


Lindsay Harrison

Partner

Jenner & Block
Ishan Bhabha

Partner

Jenner & Block
Ian Heath Gershengorn

Partner

Jenner & Block

Perks & Benefits