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Overview

Introduction

In just over a decade of existence and with fewer than 40 attorneys, MoloLamken has quickly made a name for itself among the heavy hitters of boutique litigation shops. With offices in three of the country’s major metropolises—New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC—MoloLamken’s attorneys focus on complex business litigation, white collar criminal defense, and intellectual property. MoloLamken only hires laterally, putting a premium on experience when it comes to handling the high-stakes, complicated cases the firm takes on.

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2021)


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Featured Rankings

Top 150 Under 150...

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Base Salary

Salary not disclosed....


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No. of U.S. Offices



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No. of International Offices



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Major Office Locations

Chicago, IL...

Vault Verdict

Clerkships are a must-have for those looking to join MoloLamken’s ranks—and stellar grades from a good law school certainly won’t hurt. The interview process is described as “intense,” since candidates will interview with nearly every lawyer at the firm. MoloLamken’s culture is collegial and professional, and small offices facilitate close working relationships. Attorneys disagree on just how social the firm is but seem very satisfied with their current number of events. Associates are thrilled with their relationships with partners, describing a flat firm culture that encourages associates bringing everything they can to the table. Some associates noted that there’s a lack of transparency at the top, though. Hours can get a bit long but are quite flexible and are almost uniformly...

About the Firm

In just over a decade of existence and with just 40 attorneys, MoloLamken has quickly made a name for itself among the heavy hitters of boutique litigation shops. With offices in three of the country’s major metropolises—New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC—MoloLamken’s attorneys focus on complex business litigation, white collar criminal defense, and intellectual property.

What Recession?

Superstar attorneys Steven Molo and Jeffrey Lamken took a gamble and left prestigious and well-established BigLaw firms to start their own boutique and did so at a rather perilous moment: in October of 2009, in the midst of the recession. Molo had spent more than five years as a litigation partner at Shearman & Sterling. He’d been a senior litigator and member of the Executive Committee of W...

Associate Reviews


  • “We have a very flat culture distributed across three offices. Each office only has about a dozen people, making them feel tight knit. At the same time, matters are routinely staffed across offices, and so no office feels like a silo. People are very friendly and supportive, particularly because everything is so thinly staffed. Everyone is respectful of time obligations and other constraints. We do have some social events together, but they are low-key. Many members of the firm have young families and go home to put kids to bed before logging on again at night.”
  • “The firm is a very friendly place. We are small enough that everyone knows each other well. Although we socialize frequently, the firm is also very respectful of our personal time. I appreciate the balance.”
  • “Our culture is hardworking yet collegial. Everyone at the firm works hard, but the environment is not competitive. There is a real ‘team spirit’ where everyone is interested in each other's work and happy to help out where needed. We have semi-regular happy hours, as well as regular office celebrations of birthdays, career milestones, etc. The firm also has a yearly retreat where attorneys from the different offices have the opportunity to socialize.”
  • “Formal social activities are less common. But the small size of the firm lends itself to many opportunities for more organic interactions with colleagues over lunch, between meetings, or after work.”
  • “I have never worked with a partner who hasn't treated me with respect and kindness. Everyone is very accessible and happy to answer questions or concerns. People are happy to give constructive feedback.”
  • “Associates are treated very well by partners. There are annual performance reviews. Associates do not have much insight into how the partnership operates.”
  • “I could not imagine a better relationship with the partners. The difference in titles might affect roles within a case, but it does not mean associates' ideas or [contributions] are dismissed. Associates have significant roles in all aspects of cases, business development, and firm life.”
  • “Partners and associates work very closely together and very well together. Partners prioritize associate development and growth. As a whole, the partnership is not particularly transparent, and there are often decisions made or firm-wide developments that the associates won't find out about until well after the fact.  …”
  • “I work a lot but can't complain because so much of it is in my control. Everyone is very reasonable, so if I felt overworked, I would be comfortable saying so.”
  • “The firm is good at distributing work and making opportunities available to work on other matters of interest. It is small enough that one can simply inquire with other firm members whether they can assist.”
  • “The hours worked appear to be on par with those at other top firms. But I seem to be able to work more efficiently than friends at other firms, and I have a good deal of flexibility in managing my schedule.”
  • “No billable-hours requirement or target, which encourages business development and pro bono work.”
  • “Our total compensation is lockstep and above market. There is no relationship between billable hours and compensation.”
  • “MoloLamken pays at or above the Cravath scale after bonuses, regardless of hours worked.”
  • “I feel completely satisfied with my compensation.”
  • “From day one at the firm, I have done little but substantive projects. The vast majority of my time involves drafting briefs, researching items for the briefs I will later draft, or preparing for oral arguments.”
  • “The work is extremely substantive. Our teams are lean, so we don't have time for busy work. Our associates are expected to do work above their class year. In fact, our associates often negotiate against partners during meet and confers or appear opposite partners in court.”
  • “I am very pleased with the depth and range of substantive legal work that I have done during my 15 months here. I've drafted complaints and briefs in state and federal courts, including two federal courts of appeals. I've prepared witnesses for trial testimony in SDNY. I've second-chaired several depositions. I've been involved in a dozen client pitches.”
  • “Associates are entrusted with substantive work responsibilities. Partners are good at giving associates the chance to work on real challenges and learn from them.”
  • “The firm provides some discounts at gyms and provides healthy snacks in the office. The firm has not made wellness a huge focus otherwise.”
  • “The firm has become more attuned to attorney wellness in the past few years, especially during busy periods.”
  • “We've had presentations on these topics at our annual firm retreat, but not much is done the rest of the year.”
  • “Associates are provided with some formal training through NITA. Most training is more informal. As most teams are small, only a few lawyers, feedback on work product and other matters tends to be immediate.”
  • “The best training we get is the substantive work that is our responsibility. Partners work closely with associates, so we are constantly getting feedback.”
  • “There isn't much formal training, though the firm does emphasize NITA courses. Most training is informal, but that seems to work well. Others at the firm have been happy to help with learning new skills, and partners are pretty good about providing informal feedback.”
  • “There are lots of opportunities for informal training at MoloLamken. Partners often take time to give feedback to associates, and associates often give feedback to each other. We also have formal training—each associate takes a two-day deposition course and a week-long trial course in their first year at the firm.”
  • “The firm takes few associates and is committed to everyone it takes succeeding. Making partner is not seen as impossible and is instead discussed transparently by partners.”
  • “Former associates have gone into government work or pursued in-house opportunities. The firm has been growing steadily, and partnership is a realistic prospect for those who want it.”
  • “Promotion to partner is realistic for those who would like to make partner. The firm says it wants to hire only associates who it can see making partner, and that seems to be borne out in practice. People who want to leave the firm seem to have good exit options.”
  • “The path to partnership is very realistic. The firm works hard at ensuring its associates are successful in reaching the next step—whether that's at the firm or elsewhere. Turnover is low, and associates that do leave typically go to various government jobs.”
  • “Associates not only are encouraged, but nearly required, to do pro bono work. The firm has a particularly strong history of taking direct criminal appeals in the Seventh Circuit.”
  • “The firm has several excellent relationships with pro bono programs. I am currently working in the New York City Law Department's Public Service Program, through which MoloLamken sends me to assist the City in taking and defending depositions once per week. The firm supports many other initiatives as well, all designed to give associates ‘stand-up’ opportunities as early as possible in their careers.”
  • “The partners circulate pro bono opportunities regularly. It is seen as a good way to get substantive experience.”
  • “Like most firms, our firm could stand to make more progress on diversity. I do think we have come far in the past few years. The firm has recently made several new female partners, and I know we try to recruit and retain diverse candidates. As an LGBTQ+ individual, I feel comfortable at the firm.”

Why Work Here


Getting Hired Here


  • “The hiring process is very rigorous. Our attorneys all have clerked (often at both the trial and appellate levels). We prioritize adding attorneys who want to work the way we do—on lean teams and with substantial responsibility for driving cases forward. Each successful applicant will meet with nearly every member of our team to ensure that the applicant will fit well into our culture and style of work.”
  • “The firm is open to candidates who have excelled anywhere (i.e., we have interviewed candidates who were top of their class at a wide range of law schools). Clerkship experience is required. Most successful candidates will have done a court of appeals clerkship and graduated from a T14 law school with distinguished grades.”
  • “A clerkship is required. The interview process is rigorous and comprehensive. Due to the size of the firm, personality and fit are important.”
  • “The firms looks far and wide for candidates. There is a rigorous hiring process in which candidates will meet with most of the attorneys at the firm. That provides candidates and attorneys alike ample opportunities to determine whether the match will be a good one.”
  • “The firm's interviews focus on actual experiences but tend to be the traditional interview questions about working on teams, successes, and failures. The most-asked question is probably "Why MoloLamken?" I also like to ask interviewees to distill core lessons about themselves or working with others from different points in their careers or lives, with anecdotes attached. Questions about interviewees' clerkship experiences are also common. Candidates with firm experience can expect to get questions about their experience leading teams, drafting briefs, and any ‘stand-up’ experience they've had taking and defending depositions or arguing motions.”
  • “We ask a lot of questions about how candidates handled situations in the past. For example, how did you handle a substantive disagreement with the judge you clerked for? How did you handle conflict with a colleague?”
  • “The firm has an extensive interviewing process where the hope is that the candidate will meet and be evaluated by each attorney. We try to get a detailed feel for the candidate and the goal is that in the process the candidate also comes to experience and understand our culture. Questions often have to do with detailed reflection on one's previous experiences and what it can tell us about the candidate. Being an entrepreneurial boutique, we also care about how innovative, flexible, creative, and open-minded candidates are, and what their thoughts are on the future of legal practice.”
  • “We ask resume-based questions and typical ‘behavioral’ interview questions (for example, time you overcame a challenge at work, time you took the initiative, etc.).”
  • “All associates at MoloLamken are either laterals or coming from clerkships so the firm works closely with each new associate to integrate them into the firm.”
  • “I was staffed on cases right away and given substantive responsibilities.”
  • “Since everyone has clerked and many are hired straight out of clerkships, lateral and clerk integration is easy—everyone is a lateral or a clerk. Each incoming associate gets a partner mentor and an associate buddy. While these programs aren't overly formalized, those relationships help incoming associates navigate their first few months at the firm.”

Practice Area Q&A’s


Lauren F. Dayton

Associate

MoloLamken LLP
Jordan Rice

Associate

MoloLamken LLP
Lisa W. Bohl

Associate

MoloLamken LLP
Sarah Newman

Associate

MoloLamken LLP