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Overview

Introduction

Born of a January 2011 merger between the Atlanta-based Kilpatrick Stockton and the Bay Area’s Townsend and Townsend and Crew, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s 600+ attorneys have spread out from coast to coast and jumped to several continents. Kilpatrick is particularly strong in intellectual property litigation, infrastructure, business law, and financial dealings, and the firm approaches client work using a multi-disciplinary approach. Its clients include Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Delta Airlines, Har...

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

Best Law Firms in Atlanta...


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No. of Summer Associates (2020)



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Base Salary

1st year: $165,000-$190,000*...


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No. of U.S. Offices

Vault Verdict

Grades and diversity are critical factors in Kilpatrick’s recruiting efforts. The hiring process is competitive, and personality is a important—the firm is seeking candidates who are down-to-earth. Kilpatrick attorneys are friendly and collegial, but social time tends to be confined to the workday so attorneys can prioritize family and personal time. For the most part, partners are respectful and provide valuable mentorship. Transparency seems to be improving, and the firm offers annual presentations on firm performance, but associate compensation is murky. Speaking of compensation, some are satisfied with their pay especially given their lifestyle, but others are frustrated that compensation is below market after first year and that business development doesn’t count towards hour...

About the Firm

Born of a January 2011 merger between the Atlanta-based Kilpatrick Stockton and the Bay Area’s Townsend and Townsend and Crew, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s 600+ attorneys have spread out from coast to coast and jumped to several continents. The firm is particularly strong in intellectual property litigation, infrastructure, business law, and financial dealings.

Atlanta to the (Peach) Pit

In 1874, Milton Candler and William Thomson founded an Atlanta practice that eventually evolved into Kilpatrick Stockton. Kilpatrick was the first outside law firm retained by the Coca-Cola Company, one of Atlanta’s largest businesses, securing the company’s federal trademark back in 1893. With most of its offices located in the south, the firm also boasted a roster of clients including hou...

Associate Reviews


 

  • “The firm has an excellent culture. Associates feel completely comfortable interacting with partners, and the work atmosphere is very team oriented. We celebrate life events as an office, and there have already been two retreats bringing together attorneys from all offices.”
  • “Social if you choose to be.”
  • “Within our office, attorneys and staff socialize regularly during working hours and through firm-organized engagements. Our office hosts a monthly happy hour, in addition to a number of other charitable and purely social activities. Attorneys tend to be busy, and many are young with families so socialization outside of the office is less common, but occasional.”
  • “I've been impressed by how often partners ask about my well-being and my satisfaction with my work, how I'd like to grow my career, etc.”
  • “Partners seem to value associates and be interested in developing them as attorneys, and overall, associate partner relations seem fairly amicable. The firm seems fairly transparent on firm performance, providing an annual session where the managing partners report to the associates about how the firm did in the previous year.  Formal performance reviews are performed annually, with mid-year reviews provided only for those trending low on hours or otherwise flagged as needing improvement. Transparency on performance reviews is decent, with associates receiving comments and ratings from those that evaluated them. Transparency on compensation and bonus determination is improving with some more clear guidelines having been issued regarding what factors go into those determinations, but there is still a little bit of mystery as to how those factors are weighed or applied to make determinations among different associates.”
  • “Partners treat associates well. There is always the exception, but those partners do not have very many associates who work for them. The firm's leadership is not very transparent in its decision making—Kilpatrick is not ‘lock step’ and raises and bonuses are all merit-based so it is hard to compare information between associates. Reviews are conducted annually.”
  • “I have excellent relationship with all of the partners I work with, and I believe that is more common than not.”
  • “I am satisfied with how much work I receive. The firm does a good job of setting up in teams, including client teams so there is often not only a good distribution of work, but also others on the team you can reach out to for assistance or back up when things may get overwhelming. I have flexibility to work from home or in the office.”
  • “It ebbs and flows. There is a lot of work, so all it takes is asking for it. Folks will step in if they think it is too much. Working from home is normal, especially for personal reasons (family, medical, sleep, etc.). As long as you are responsive 9:30-6ish, work hours are very flexible.”
  • “[I] honestly feel that I receive just the right amount of work. At times there can be a lot of work, but it's not constant. And the busier periods push me to improve project management skills and are also the times when I have the opportunity to work on more complex matters, as partners are stretched thinner at those times as well.”
  • “Associates have a 1,950 annual billable-hours requirement. There is also a 30-hour pro bono requirement, and up to 50 pro bono hours count toward the billable requirement. Business development, continuing legal education, training, and committee work around improving process at the firm do not count toward the billable requirement. Consequences for not meeting the requirement are described as potentially not advancing with your peers and/or risking not getting a raise. Bonus eligibility also requires meeting the target.”
  • “I feel that I am well compensated, though I am aware that I could bill the same amount and make more at other firms.”
  • “One of the biggest negatives is that the firm has not established market-level compensation for each class year. This results in a black box comp model (after your first year), and when raises are given they are nowhere near market, despite the size of our firm and the caliber of work we are doing.”
  • “Compensation is below market value. I'd like some of the business development work that we do to count toward the billable requirement.”
  • “I spend a large majority time on substantive legal work. I am given cases that vary in size and complexity, and am largely allowed to handle the smaller/less complex cases on my own as appropriate.”
  • “Partners are often willing to give associates stretch assignments and let them take responsibility for portions of a case.”
  • “I do alot of research and substantive drafting on motions and briefs. I do a bit of discovery and pleading drafting and have frequent hearings.”
  • “Perhaps it is an outcome of the fact that my practice focuses on patent prosecution, but I don't feel like I have doc review or other busy work. Rather, almost all of the work I do is substantive and appropriate to my level.”
  • “Our firm has a formal Wellness Committee for the office, and the firm often sponsors and promotes events that promote wellness, including walks and runs. The firm also allows for on-site massages and installed a work-out room on-site for all employees to use. There is also mental health [and] work/life balance coaching available.”
  • “We have all of the standard programs firms are expected to have, but it's not a point of emphasis for the firm. [I] don't think it's an area that associates are pushing the firm to be more proactive about either.”
  • “There is a lot of exercise-focused wellness, but not a lot of discussion of emotional or mental wellness.”
  • “The firm provides you with a ‘coach’ and has some training programming available if you'd like to take advantage of it. However, I've found my informal mentoring, sponsorship, and training to be exceptional and far more valuable. This is likely dependent on the partners you work with, however.”
  • “There is not much formal training—especially at the higher levels. Recently Kilpatrick started formal training for junior associates but there is nothing similar for senior associates or younger partners, other than normal CLEs. There is a good amount of mentoring and informal training but that is all on an individual basis—depending on whether the individual has contacts”
  • “There are a lot of training resources available, but an attorney usually must take initiative to do the training. I find that the best training comes from hands-on experience, which I've already had in abundance.”
  • “On-the-job mentoring and formal training is extremely common.”
  • “Exit options are excellent given the firm's connections to most large tech companies throughout the state of California, so the name recognition is very good. I've seen people leave to go in-house at a number of different large companies like Facebook, Snap, Amazon, etc.”
  • “Partnership may be realistic, though increasingly difficult with a large bubble of senior associates. Some are placed at clients; others move to other firms for chances at promotion.”
  • “Partners have been very open with me about my partnership prospects, which are good. We have counsel positions, as well as staff attorney and eDiscovery attorneys, for those associates who will not be partners. Most of our departing attorneys go in-house rather than to another firm.”
  • “Partnership is realistic for those who would like to make partner, although it is certainly not a clear-cut formula for number of years to get there (e.g., some may need an extra year or two beyond others from the same law school graduation year before being elevated). ...”

 

  • “The firm's commitment is very strong. We are required to do 30 hours and can count up to 50. Some lawyers do really impressive pro bono work. There is huge emphasis on pro bono work. The pro bono options, however, could be more diverse.”
  • “The firm is VERY supportive of pro bono work, but I wish there was no cap (or a higher cap) on how much can count towards your billables, as that would foster even more. Most of my pro bono work is in the immigration/asylum context, and I am also currently helping to monitor a settlement agreement between the Southern Center for Human Rights and a supermax prison to ensure the prison's compliance.”
  • “The firm is a great supporter of pro bono work, and offers annual pro bono awards and pro bono bonuses. My recent pro bono work includes a five-year litigation on behalf of Native Americans seeking to remove a trespassing oil pipeline and litigation to remove a Confederate statue from government property. The firm promotes participation in meaningful and interest[ing] pro bono work, and there are always interesting pro bono cases to work on.”
  • “The firm is a staunch supporter of promoting women, racial minorities, LGBTQ+ individuals and individuals with disabilities. The firm promotes understanding and celebration of other cultures and regularly promotes its female and diverse attorneys through coaching, women attorney groups and affinity groups, and through its legal work in support of LGBTQ+ causes. The firm recently increased its parental leave policies.”
  • “KTS makes a pretty concerted effort to foster diversity. In particular, I note the following: 1) KTS issues periodic five-dollar Starbucks gift cards that attorneys are supposed to use to get coffee and discuss certain diversity questions or issues with each other; 2) KTS has diversity resource groups and periodic events; and 3) KTS attorneys can have their pronouns included in the signature lines of their emails.”
  • “The firm sometimes conducts diversity seminars and sends emails recognizing cultural events (e.g. Lunar New Year). However, the leadership at the firm is not that diverse.”
  • “KTS is committed to diversity and follows through on it.”

Why Work Here


Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Global Issues Require Global Reach

You’re not looking for “just a job.” You’re looking for a career where you can make a real difference. At Kilpatrick Townsend, we use our knowledge, talents and passion to advocate for our clients, influence our communities and advance the legal profession worldwide. Our lawyers make an IMPACT beyond the excellent work on behalf of our clients, through community leadership, diversity & inclusion, pro bono work, sustainability initiatives and volunteer opportunities.  Do your values align with ours?  Learn how you can make an IMPACT and align your passion.

 

Diversity at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

"Kilpatrick Townsend is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion. We embrace and encourage all the characteristics that make our employees and partners unique, including differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or veteran status. At Kilpatrick, all persons are respected and valued fully so that..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “For junior associates who do not have much experience, law school [and] grades are definitely important factors. Prior work experience is very important for laterals. We also look for people with good personalities. I don't think there are feeder schools for our firm.”
  • “We look at law school attended, grades and diversity primarily. In the Atlanta office we get a lot of candidates from Emory and UGA.”
  • “The hiring is competitive in the number of summers and associates they hire; they aim for quality not quantity. It is very diverse in terms of schools and identity. Personality wise, they do not like big egos or impressive resumes with no personality. Everyone here is very smart and works hard but is very chill about both. If you aren't the type of person to get coffee or lunch with someone in the mailroom, this is not the firm for you. Staff and non-attorneys folks here are highly valued on top being wonderful people.”
  • “We ask behavioral type questions.”
  • “How do you handle deadlines? How do you handle long working hours?”
  • “How do you provide value? What does your ideal practice group look like?”
  • “I felt welcomed and sufficiently prepared to succeed quickly.”
  • “The firm should provide ramp-up time billing relief for associates that lateral in the middle of the billing year.”
  • “I was permitted to participate in the formal three-day annual orientation event in the Atlanta office, and the firm paid for travel and a hotel room. … The firm allows 300 professional development hours to count for first-year associate billing requirements, but the associate must have literally graduated from law school that spring—so lateral and post-clerkship candidates are not eligible. ...”

Practice Area Q&A’s


Forrest Flemming

Associate

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP