Overview

Introduction

Labor and employment law is Littler Mendelson’s forte, and it dominates on an international scale. The firm has a massive footprint, with more than 1,500 attorneys across 58 offices nationwide and 36 abroad. Littler exclusively represents management, but its clients come in all sizes and industries, from Fortune 500 corporations to small, single-office businesses. The firm has also received a number of awards for its diversity initiatives and is known for offering its clients innovative solutions.

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 for Labor & Employment Law...


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No. of Summer Associates (2020)



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Base Salary



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No. of U.S. Offices

Vault Verdict

Littler is looking for candidates with a demonstrated interest in labor and employment law and, ideally, some work experience under their belts. Excellent grades and a clerkship won’t hurt, either. Interviews are mostly focused on industry interest, though some behavioral questions are also to be expected. The firm’s culture is universally collegial and welcoming, though associates seem to disagree on just how social the firm is—the number of events may depend on individual offices. Partners solicit opinions from associates and treat them with respect, and while some associates are satisfied with the firm’s level of transparency, others are left wishing they had more insight into firm goings-on. The hours can be long, but most associates state that partners are willing to work wit...

About the Firm

For more than 75 years, Littler has been a leader in the area of labor and employment law on a national and—recently—international scale. With 58 offices nationwide and 36 abroad, the firm’s massive footprint is a recent development—the firm expanded modestly through the 20th century, and now boasts more than 1,500 attorneys.

Bay Area Beginnings

Littler was founded in 1942 in San Francisco by two lawyers with public service backgrounds. Robert Littler had been the Pacific Coast Director of the War Labor Board, and Thomas Coakley was a deputy attorney general for the State of California. During the 1940s, a substantial part of the firm’s practice involved war-related matters on behalf of employers before the War Labor Board and the Salary Stabilization Commission. Over the next two deca...

Associate Reviews


  • “We have a great culture; we are respectful and friendly and collaborative. There is an open-door policy, and everyone's pleasant. When it's crunch time, you can count on support. Of course, you're expected to pull your fair share of the work, too. Lawyers go to lunch frequently and also have monthly office lunches as well as happy hours every month.”
  • “We do not socialize very often, except for firm parties outside of the office twice a year and some intra-office celebrations.”
  • “Associates are very social. We all relate to each other very strongly, particularly because we all practice labor and employment. There are frequently happy hours, outings, lunches, and so forth. Lawyers—associates and partners—frequently socialize”
  • “Our office is pretty social, with quarterly events, occasional happy hours, and recently, a softball team that will play together every week.”
  • “Partners seem to value associates and their time. Almost all of the partners with whom I work have treated me as a colleague as opposed to the partner/associate dynamic. The firm could be better in terms of transparency as it relates to finances, raises, and promotions.”
  • “Overall, I feel that I can approach all of the partners with questions or to seek advice. They are mostly all very friendly and willing to assist. The firm is very transparent with respect to firm performance and finances; internal promotion is generally clear but a little more difficult when moving up to the shareholder lever. Performance reviews are very transparent, and we receive feedback twice per year.”
  • “Reviews are biannual for the first two years, then annual. Partners are generally respectful of associates' time and are generally very friendly and easy to get along with.”
  • “Individual partners seem to have a lot of respect for associates, their thoughts and opinions. I frequently get asked what my thoughts are on how to proceed in cases or on different legal theories and am made to feel that my opinion actually matters.”
  • “The firm does a good job of managing workload and making sure no one is overwhelmed. The work hours ebb and flow but it is not typically too busy. The firm provides good opportunities for associates to identify areas of interest and provides opportunities to explore many different areas of work within labor and employment law.”
  • “Work is distributed directly by partners. Workflow coordinators really only assist with very new attorneys or summer associates. In that sense, work distribution is not evenly distributed as it is distributed based on partners' relationships/work experiences/reputations with attorneys previously.”
  • “The workload at this firm is massive, but there is incredible flexibility with the hours, and the firm leadership understands that the demands are cumbersome.”
  • “1,900 [hours] is the billable requirement. Pro bono hours count for up to 50 billable hours, but the ratio is 2:1; client development is factored for bonus/advancement but not counted toward billables. There are training hours available for first- and second-year associates—150 for first years and 100 for second years that count toward our billables. If you do not meet your bi
  • “Base salary is low compared to similar-sized firms, particularly given the billable-hour requirement.”
  • “Bonuses are purely discretionary, so there are no production bonuses or bonuses based solely on hours. Compensation is generally good, but low versus the market in general.”
  • “The firm just announced considerable changes to the FTA [Flex-Time Attorneys] compensation structure. However, it has not been put in place yet. The compensation to date has been adequate, and the upcoming changes sound very promising.”
  • “Associates are not paid the market rate. Qualifications to receive a bonus are not transparent. The bonuses are low and not motivating enough to bill much more than the firm standard.”
  • “I perform substantive legal work nearly all of the time—often times, giving me chances to perform work above my level. For instance, I took three wage and hour claimant depositions during my first year of practice. We are definitely not stuck doing doc review and notetaking like other associates at big firms.”
  • “Very satisfied with nature of work. It is variable and appropriate for my work level. I am trusted with taking ownership over matters (when appropriate) and encouraged to make interests known so that I may have opportunity to explore areas of interest.”
  • “I spend a fair amount [of time] on substantive legal work, and it is generally appropriate for my level. My work involves anything from responding to demand letters, drafting answers, drafting motions, responding to discovery, and conducting document review.”
  • “As a first year, I third-chaired a trial, I second-chaired an arbitration, and I took my first deposition. Those are things I never thought would happen for a first year. If Littler sees your drive and potential, you will get many opportunities not provided elsewhere.”
  • “I think the firm does have things available like counseling, nutrition education, etc., but you have to ask for info (it's not regularly/clearly communicated or promoted to associates). We do have access to a free gym (locally).”
  • “It seems the wellness efforts are tied to whether you obtain health insurance through the company. They do sometimes have webinars on things like parenting, etc.”
  • “The firm gives you credit on your health premiums for being a nonsmoker and being a part of its wellness program.”
  • “There aren't many wellness initiatives, but the firm is very supportive of any employee who may need to take leave for any reason.”
  • “The firm provides several annual off-site trainings for associates at different levels and covering different topics. The firm also maintains an electronic data bank of training materials. First- and second-level associates are also given a bank of training hours that count towards their billable hours.”
  • “The opportunities are formal and informal. If you don't think you are getting the training or mentoring you want, you can just ask. Formal training is very easy to set up. Shareholders are generally receptive to providing mentorship.”
  • “There are a number firm-created training options available, but the workload is so high that often you do not have time to take advantage of the offerings. There is little provided in the way of direct mentoring, largely due to the incredible workload on every individual.”
  • “The firm management provides a lot of training for new associates. In particular, we have a ‘Littler Academy’ for new attorneys annually, where everyone travels to the academy to attend in person and the management educates all new attorneys on the various internal resources within the firm and external resources for clients.”
  • “The firm seems to regularly promote senior associates to shareholders. A good portion of the firm's shareholders were elevated from the associate ranks.”
  • “I believe that promotion to shareholder is realistic. There are other positions associates can transition to. Littler is also great at placing people in-house if they want to go that route.”
  • “Promotion is very realistic, and the firm takes special care in its evaluations to let associates know where more work is needed, or what specific areas need improvement in order to make it a reality.”
  • “I am well positioned to be promoted. The firm is good about alternative roles, such as of counsel roles, for associates who may want to go off-track. We also have many exit opportunities for attorneys looking to go in-house because of our broad client base.”
  • “The firm gives up to 50 [percent] billable-hour credit for 100 hours of pro bono work. I have hit this mark every year for several years as I am involved in numerous pro bono initiatives, such as counseling for several nonprofit organizations.”
  • “Our office does pro bono immigration and asylum work as well as labor and employment work for nonprofits.”
  • Pro bono work should could for 100% credit, not just 50% credit toward the billable hour requirement.
  • “While considerate of pro bono work, it can be difficult to find projects that fall within the L&E space where Littler operates, and I think this makes the firm less hands on in the area. I would also appreciate full pro bono billable hour credit, even if it were up to a lower number per year.”
  • “Littler's efforts to be an inclusive law firm are impressive. There is clear communication about the importance of diversity and the diversity of those in leadership show the efficacy of those efforts. It's definitely a point of pride with the firm. Littler practices what it preaches.”
  • “The firm is committed to diversity as shown through its affinity groups and various initiatives, such as CAP. My office has also paid for my participation in third-party diversity initiatives, such as traveling to give talks about increasing diversity within the legal profession and has hosted third-party organizations that are focused on increasing diversity in the legal profession.”
  • “I feel that Littler is an excellent environment for women and have never experienced any bias, nor felt that the road to partnership would be more difficult for me as a woman. The firm values and respects its female attorneys and many are in leadership positions.”
  • “Diversity is clearly important to the firm, and that is a message that core leadership truly takes to heart.”

Diversity at Littler Mendelson P.C.

"Diversity is a fundamental part of who we are and a core principle we live by. From our very first days as a law firm, we've believed that a culture that prioritizes inclusivity leads to better outcomes — for both us and our clients. And, it's why we continue to instill an atmosphere of collaboration in everything we do. The firm's Diversity & Inclusion Council plays an important role in enhancing efforts to recruit diverse attorneys, providing opportunities for diverse lawyers to excel professionally, creating a pipeline to..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “They generally are looking for someone that already has labor and employment experience, not fresh out of law school. Judicial clerkships and prior work experience along with personality seem to be the key characteristics that are focused on; however, diversity is also big.”
  • “Our firm looks mostly for candidates with significant labor & employment experience. We value smart and skilled attorneys who are a good fit. We do not place significant value on law school, but attorneys must be able to write well and adapt to the rigors of litigation.”
  • “Our particular office frequently hires from law schools in the area. I believe we are looking for individuals with a strong academic background, relevant experience, a genuine interest in our practice area, and potential for advancement/partnership.”
  • “The firm is looking for candidates who show an ability to work relatively independently with little oversight.”
  • “interview questions are generally aimed at fit within the office and what kind of interest and experience the candidate has in labor and employment law.”
  • “Mostly just your general interview questions, but with additional emphasis on our L&E specialty. For example: Why do you want to do L&E law? What L&E classes did you take in law school? What's your favorite area of L&E law?”
  • “Why employment law? Why Littler?”
  • “Give me an example of a time your advice impacted the way a client does business.”
  • “There isn't any particular integration effort for lateral hires other than a training for all new hires which consists of presentations and talks about the firm.”
  • “It is very common and seamless. The firm holds an annual offsite training for all new associate hires within the last year so that people can get to know one another and the firm.”
  • “They expect laterals to hit the ground running, and they integrated me well using my past experiences.”
  • “One thing I value about Litter's efforts to integrate lateral attorneys is the ‘ramp-up’ credited hours you are given as a lateral, so it takes the focus off of scrutinizing your billable hours the first few weeks and more onto building your caseload in a controlled way.”