Overview

Introduction

Neal Gerber serves clients from a single office in Chicago, with practices in intlellectual property, litigation, business, and private wealth. The firm has a diverse client base, with a few notable examples including AOL, Beats Electronics, Citigroup, Hyatt, Illinois Tool Works, Match.com, Northern Trust, Polaroid, and United HealthCare. When they aren't working on billable matters, the firm's attorneys are proud to dedicate time to pro bono and community service throughout the Second City.

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2021)


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No. of Partners Named (2021)


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Featured Rankings

Top 150 Under 150...


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No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)



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No. of Summer Associates (2021)



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Base Salary

1st year: $190,000...

Vault Verdict

NGE’s motto may as well be CCC—clients, collegiality, and community. Associates continue to rave about the firm’s laid-back culture and focus on social events. And while the firm didn’t match—or raise—salaries and bonuses with last year’s nationwide increase, NGE did decrease the billable-hour requirement to offset this. Associates are convinced they’ve found “the one” when it comes to a work/life balance and career outlook. Of course, getting in the door isn't easy at this selective firm which favors top schools and strong grades.

About the Firm

 

The spry Windy City firm of Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP was founded in 1986 and has since stayed close to its roots, concentrating all its talent in one Chicago office. Today it boasts 140 attorneys, and their expertise covers everything from intellectual property to corporate governance to real estate issues.

One Firm, One Office

Neal Gerber’s practices focus on four main areas: business, intellectual property, litigation, and private wealth. The firm handles everything from bankruptcy to corporate matters to estate planning to labor and employment to real estate to tax issues to trusts and estates, as well as a wide range of IP matters, including patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

The firm’s client base is diverse, ranging from do...

Associate Reviews


  • “The firm has a very pleasant, collegial environment. There are a good mix of larger and smaller (more intimate) social opportunities. Some of the events are firmwide, and others are focused on practice groups or other networking groups within the firm.”
  • “It is a professional environment, but it is very pleasant and collegial. The firm organizes a variety of social opportunities, both during work hours and outside of normal working hours, for lawyers of all practice areas to get to know one another.”
  • “The firm has organized social events quarterly.  There is not a culture of socialization outside of work.”
  • “Our practice group is very close. We regularly get lunch as a group and hold periodic gatherings outside of work, which are attended by most members of the group.”
  • “Associates are treated well at NGE and the firm really takes an interest in developing the careers of its associates. The firm has clear policies on promotion, performance reviews, and the like. Reviews are conducted semi-annually.”
  • “I have never had a problem with a partner, and I find that the ones I work with actually value my opinion and sometime even turn to me for advice/strategy. … They're not very transparent about firm finances, other than vague statements like the firm is doing well and hit its targets, or this year was even better last year. Reviews are twice per year and I think they are done in a very transparent manner (and we get to keep a copy of our written reviews).”
  • “I think the partners are respectful of the associates and do their best to coordinate amongst each other so associates can manage their time and projects with each partner. They do a good job of shifting work around when necessary to free up associates for other projects.”
  • “Work levels ebb and flow.  There are certainly times where I feel like I'm drowning and times when I feel a bit lean.  Overall though, I have a good constant stream of work that does not require back-breaking hours.”
  • “The firm's billable-hour requirement is very reasonable, and the firm supports a healthy work/life balance.”
  • “The firm's annual billable expectation for associates is 1,900 hours. Pro bono hours count toward that goal.”
  • “Compensation is below market, and you can really feel it at senior levels, because we will never get the bonuses that senior associates get at big law firms. That said, I am satisfied because it is still a very competitive salary and is completely worth the HUGE improvement in work-life balance that I've experienced since joining the firm. Do I wish they paid more—sure, but who doesn't and how much is really enough anyways?”
  • “Compensation is excellent in that the billable-hour requirements are very reasonable.”
  • “The gap with market increases with seniority. Bonuses are generally awarded at 1,900 although I feel under market compared to competitor firms with similar billable targets. Many associates don't hit their hours with no adverse consequences, however.”
  • “Almost all of my time is spent on substantive work that I feel is appropriate for my experience—drafting motions and pleadings, drafting discovery requests, taking depositions, etc. Associates are given responsibility as they earn in so you can really advance quickly if you do good work.”
  • “Over the years, my assignments have included more complex work (i.e., drafting more substantive memos/legal briefs) and researching complex issues and taking more ownership on projects (including being the main contact with the client), but I still often do junior associate type work since we are a lean department with few junior attorneys in the group. I still do a lot of initial investigations and draft cease and desist letters and submit takedowns and manage spreadsheets.
  • “We recently upgraded technology and were issued new laptops and everything—overall, things are good, but there are still some bugs that the firm is working through. No major complaints.”
  • “The firm has made it very easy to work remotely.”
  • “Many partners at the firm take an interest in helping associates develop their practice. The firm encourages associates to attend conferences, partners are friendly and have an open-door policy, and case strategies are discussed with associates such that they can understand the purpose of their work.”
  • “This is one area in which NGE is lacking—formal training. I've learned a ton of on-the-job training directly from my partners and from working on matters, but I wish there was more formal training, which I do think helps to expand knowledge and skills outside of everyday matters that we work on.”
  • “This is individual specific.  I have an excellent mentor relationship with a partner in my group. The formal training opportunities are plentiful.”
  • “You can expect to make partner if that is your goal, but you will have to work for it (i.e., not automatic after certain number of years). If partnership isn't your goal, there are other counsel roles available, and my understanding is that the firm is [supportive] of exits to go work on the client side.”
  • “Promotion to partnership is very realistic and relatively young attorneys can make partner if they demonstrate competency.”
  • “I [feel] as if I have a tremendous career outlook. The criteria for promotion at each level at NGE are clearly articulated and there is a very reasonable partner track. …”
  • “The firm heavily promotes pro bono work. Pro bono hours are treated as ‘billable,’ and NGE does a great job of helping associates find pro bono work that matches their interests and helps develop their skills.”
  • “100% billable hours credit for pro bono work; no more needs to be said.”
  • “The firm's commitment to pro bono work might not need mentioning as it is that robust. One thing of note is that the firm does a great job helping associates target particular pro bono work that will help associates get great work experience.”
  • “The firm is sincere in attempting to promote diversity and work-life balance, but the diversity of the associate corps is not quite reflected in the partner ranks yet.”
  • “Recently increased maternity leave from 14-18 weeks and implemented reduced hour requirements for the month leading up to and two months following maternity leave. We also have a ‘mother's room’ for nursing, with 2 hospital grade pumps, which is really great. As a working mother, the firm is flexible and supportive of my needs.”
  • “The firm is still predominantly made up of older white men.  However, the firm is very progressive in its thinking and is working very hard to attract and retain a diverse group of attorneys and employees.”

Why Work Here


NGE At A Glance

With 150 lawyers, NGE is one of the largest single-office law firms in the nation. The scope of our practice is both international and domestic and includes transactions of all kinds, litigation, and intellectual property. Our clients include entrepreneurs, small and mid-sized businesses, eight of the Fortune 20 companies, ten of the Crain’s Chicago Business Top 20 publicly held companies, and six of the Crain’s Chicago Business Top 20 privately held companies.

Diversity at Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP

"From its earliest days, Neal Gerber Eisenberg has embraced and advocated for diversity and inclusion. We remain strongly committed to both, and continually look for ways to improve and update our efforts to attract, develop and retain the best and brightest talent. Diversity and inclusion make us richer and more effective at understanding the perspectives and needs of our clients. They also help us establish an open, positive and satisfying work environment, and promote the highest standards and ideals of our profession. We have..."

Getting Hired Here


Perks & Benefits