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Overview

Introduction

Innovation is the name of the game at Orrick—from the energy and tech clients the firm counsels to its impactful wellbeing initiatives to its modern technology tools. Associates who are down to earth, collaborative, and forward thinking will fit right in at this progressive firm. Orrick is a global firm of more than 1,100 attorneys that is fiercely committed to teamwork and innovation. The firm has dozens of offices across the globe, including domestic locations in California, New York, Oregon, and Texas.

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

Vault Law 100...


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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

All U.S. offices...

Vault Verdict

In many ways, Orrick is a unicorn among BigLaw firms: Associate well-being and development are true priorities, and that isn’t mere lip service. When it comes to wellness, the firm walks the walk and proactively encourages associates to unplug with 40 hours of billable vacation time, mental health days during the pandemic, and email reminders to sleep and eat well. Orrick is dedicated to its DEI initiatives, including as a founding signatory of the Move The Needle initiative. Training and mentoring are focal points at the firm, and partners demonstrate sincere interest in getting to know associates and not only provide guidance but also listen to their opinions. Transparency is another strong point for the firm—management is open in sharing its decisions and reasons behind them, a...

Firm's Response

We counsel the most innovative companies in Tech, Life Sciences, Energy & Infrastructure and Finance, including 3,000 venture-backed companies, climate pioneers, Wall Street leaders and over half of Fortune’s top 10 technology companies. Our practice is evenly split between transactional, litigation and regulatory advice.

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About the Firm

 

Orrick is a global firm of more than 1,100 attorneys that is fiercely committed to teamwork and innovation. The firm has dozens of offices across the globe, including domestic locations in California, New York, Oregon, and Texas.

It All Began with a Break-Up 

In the late 1800s, W.S. Goodfellow and his partners John J. Jarboe and Ralph C. Harrison walked away from their San Francisco firm, Jarboe, Harrison & Goodfellow. Goodfellow then teamed up with Charles Eells to form Goodfellow & Eells. The firm helped organize the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company after San Francisco’s catastrophic earthquake and fire in 1906 and also worked on water rights matters. In 1910, William H. Orrick joined the firm, and over the years, George Herrington and Er...

Associate Reviews


  • There are many opportunities to socialize for various reasons (e.g., socially, politically, etc.) During the pandemic, the firm appears to have at least one event per week. Partners and senior attorneys are willing to teach young associates and are patient with the young attorneys' professional growth.”
  • Partners make an effort to get to know associates and build relationships. Everyone at the firm is extremely friendly and grounded. Everyone works hard but is also a team player and understanding that people have lives. The day-to-day atmosphere is very friendly and welcoming. I feel as though I have the freedom to live my life but also the ability to do the work I want.”
  • The firm and practice group have made great efforts to keep everyone connected during the pandemic, including with themed trivia games, happy hours, book clubs, and creative events where they send a basket to your home in advance for participation (such as ingredients for a baking event).”
  • Congenial atmosphere with a strong left lean. The firm really emphasizes being a ‘great place to work hard’ and has very pro-associate policies.”
  • Almost all the partners I have worked with are wonderful, though they have different styles and different strengths and weaknesses. Almost all have been pleasant, helpful, and considerate. I think the firm generally does not tolerate a culture of mistreating associates or staff. The firm is also pretty transparent with us, and works to provide lots of opportunities for questions and suggestions.”
  • Partners treat associates with respect, and genuinely want to get to know their associates. It's really great to feel like we are all part of one team. The firm is also very transparent with its associates in all aspects including firm performance and finances, internal promotion and performance reviews.”
  • The level of transparency at the firm is truly impressive. The firm's leadership, when seeking to make important decisions, seeks out associate input and actually listens to that input. Decisions—and more importantly, the reasons for them—are clearly communicated. This same culture permeates individual groups, where decisions large and small are explained to associates. As a result, associates feel respected, because they know they have skin in the game.”
  • I have been incredibly impressed with how transparent, respectful, and inclusive the partners I work with have been. Hierarchy here, rather than being a rigid obstacle to effective communication and useful discourse like it seems at so many firms, instead serves more of a functional role by simply funneling responsibilities for final decision-making and strategy without any of the obstacles or rigidity—partners are transparent and value my input, and I feel comfortable pushing back as needed.”
  • Orrick has a very reasonable billable requirement of 1,950 hours, with unlimited pro-bono and up to 100 non-billable hours that count toward the requirement. These non-billable hours include training, shadowing, business development, and diversity and inclusion.
  • Billable-hour requirement is fair. We recently received an ‘unplug’ 40-billable hour incentive which is great.”
  • I have quite a lot of control over my workload, which makes it easier to craft my work schedule around my life. The firm values flexibility, and even before the pandemic, valued and encouraged remote-work arrangements. The lack of emphasis on face time makes it so much easier to fit the hours into the day, and work around my preferred schedule. Whether someone prefers to work early mornings, late nights, or weekends, run errands in the middle of the day, etc., they have the flexibility to do that.”
  • The partners are very involved in balancing staffing and do not overload unless needed. Partners have taken associates off deals to ensure balanced staffing. Due to the Partner Staffing Committee, staffing is fairly distributed and associates can find work when they want it.”
  • We work too much, but that's definitely a ‘BigLaw’ problem and not a ‘my firm’ problem. I think my firm does a way better job than most prioritizing work life balance, providing flexibility, and remembering to treat lawyers and staff like people. But, nevertheless, everyone spends too much of their time working.”
  • The firm pay matches the market, and there are extra bonuses for high billers.
  • Orrick's compensation is always at market or above. Orrick is not the type of firm that will be the first mover on bonuses or raises, but they always meet market and oftentimes go above market for high performers. In addition, the hours requirement is not strenuous and includes a lot of not traditionally billable hours (including 40 hours of ‘unplug’ vacation time).”
  • Very satisfied with the 2021 special bonus in addition to regular end of year bonuses. There is also a $50,000 referral bonus, which is amazing.”
  • My compensation is at market rates for BigLaw, and Orrick seems to be in-step with pandemic-related bonuses--and is ahead of the market with its new 40 hours of ‘unplugged’ time, wherein we will be given 40 hours of billable time to completely unplug from the firm and our work.”
  • My work is incredibly substantive. I do a balance of trial and appellate litigation, and most of my time is spent drafting briefs. As a sixth-year associate, I was recently counsel of record on a brief filed in the Second Circuit.”
  • I perform substantive legal work that has an immediate impact on the transactions I work on. I analyze transaction structures, draft primary transaction documents, and negotiate deal points with opposing counsel. I also have direct contact with most of the clients I works for.”
  • I participate in everything from case management and strategy to heading up discovery, drafting briefs, developing creative research and argument angles, and more.”
  • I perform substantive legal work that has an immediate impact on the transactions I work on. I analyze transaction structures, draft primary transaction documents, and negotiate deal points with opposing counsel. I also have direct contact with most of the clients I works for.”
  • I find the work I'm given often includes stretch assignments and growth opportunities. The firm is good about ensuring associates move into more senior roles when ready.”
  • The firm's technology before and during the pandemic is terrific. Orrick is always striving to use technology to improve efficiencies, improve quality of life, and to benefit its clients.”
  • I think we have some of the best technology out there and believe the firm highly prioritizes improving it. Is it all perfect? No. But I don't think the weaknesses go unnoticed and I think the firm works to improve its tech constantly.”
  • Even before the pandemic, the firm was remote-work friendly, and had the policies and technology savvy (not to mention office culture) to make that work for people. I think that made the transition during the pandemic to an all-remote-work environment smoother, because so many people were already used to accommodating remote work.”
  • The firm's tech adoption has been great during COVID-19. Our suites of software work well together, and the service desk does a good job with any issues. We use a lot of emerging tech, and even have developers in-house working on new tech.”
  • Wellness is a big focus for the firm. The firm offers regular reminders to unplug, get good sleep, exercise and eat well. These efforts have increased since the lockdown”
  • The firm offered three days of paid hours last year to take mental health days during the pandemic and racial justice protests of the summer. They also recently unveiled 40 hours a year of extra paid vacation hours to completely unplug from work. They have previously offered $15,000 vacation bonuses to high billers. And they regularly offer programming in the wellness space. I feel like the firm is truly making an effort to support associate wellness and putting real resources behind it.”
  • Orrick offers counseling, exercise programs (e.g., Office Chair Yoga), meditation, and all wellness efforts are fully support by the firm management and partners. Both management and partners continue to encourage associates to take at least a full week vacation and record the time as billable via the Unplugged Time.”
  • I can't imagine there is a firm that has a greater focus on attorney wellness. We have many workshops, daily yoga/meditation opportunities, etc.”
  • The firm's training is fantastic—from new associate training, learning to manage a team, discovery and other practical clinics, as well as business development.”
  • First-year associates have formal partner and associate mentors assigned to them. Each year, associates are given the opportunity to request a change in their formal partner mentor for any reason. In addition to the formally assigned mentor, there are plenty of opportunities to develop informal mentorship relationships because, at least in my experience, most of the partners enjoy mentoring and are more than happy to provide guidance even if they are not your assigned mentor.”
  • Training is unlimited for my role. There [are] monthly firm trainings (or sometimes more than monthly). We also have unlimited access to PLI. All associates have a partner mentor as well. There are quarterly peer mentoring events, and my partner mentor, and I meet monthly via Zoom right now. Mentoring time counts towards our billable credit.”
  • Training and mentorship is excellent. There is both formal training, and optional training sessions. The practice group also has partners rotate in providing ‘coaching’ sessions on hot topics.”
  • The firm is very transparent about the partnership process, and describes the path to partnership to first year and new associates at the very start of their time with the firm.”
  • Promotion to partner is very realistic for people who would like to make partner. If you are uninterested in making partner, Orrick has career associates and of counsels.”
  • I love that Orrick does not limit or pigeonhole people. Where they see potential and creativity, they allow people to carve out career paths for themselves, so I feel fully confident that I will be able to do so as my career develops.
  • Partners have been very supportive of my career options—whether I want to go for partner or remain an associate, I feel supported and set up to succeed (however I define success for myself). Associates at my firm regularly go on to careers in a variety of in-house positions as well as proceeding through the ranks to partnership.”
  • Pro bono hours count toward billable hours and the firm just instituted yearlong racial justice fellowships for six associates at nonprofits.”
  • We receive 1:1 billing for pro bono. Our firm consistently has a wide variety of projects that people can sign up for and our pro bono director is very open to allowing you to propose projects.”
  • The firm gives associates unlimited pro bono hour credit and all attorneys are required to bill at least 20 hours a year to pro bono matters. I recently helped with the formation of a nonprofit focused on rehabilitation of prison inmates and also worked on a services agreement for a musician who does music therapy.”
  • There is a pro bono coordinator who sends out opportunities frequently. All pro bono hours count as billable hours. I've recently been working on an amicus brief for the ACLU regarding the use of psilocybin in terminally ill patients.”
  • Orrick offers billable credit for diversity-related work and activities and also offered ‘mental health’ time off for individuals affected by the George Floyd murder and the recent anti-AAPI hate crimes. Flexible work arrangements that predate the pandemic have been helpful for parents juggling young children and demanding jobs.”
  • The firm does offer billable credit for diversity related activities and during the summer of 2020, increased that amount to 50 hours. I know that Orrick really focuses on diversity efforts in both recruitment and general training / information presentation to current employees. They are one of the few firms that have a Middle Eastern and North African affinity group and regardless of how small it is, receive support from the diversity staff to develop programming and recruitment efforts. I have also seen consistently that Orrick hires very diverse summer associates, at least in the LA office.”
  • Orrick, like all big law firms, can improve on diversity. However, Orrick is working hard at improving. For example, it is one of four firms who is participating in Diversity Lab's Move the Needle Fund, which is a five-year project designed to ‘move the needle’ on diversity, equity and inclusion. The project includes many bias interrupters and other programs designed to create a more inclusive work place. We also have pride events, affinity groups, six months of maternity leave, a parents' group, and yes, the firm provides credit towards bonuses for diversity related work/activities.”
  • The firm takes diversity and inclusion very seriously. We have implemented the Mansfield Rule to ensure retention and advancement of diverse attorneys, and we are a founding member of the Move The Needle initiative. The firm hosts numerous diversity and inclusion events throughout the year and generally takes a position on social issues that I almost always completely agree with. The firm offers billable credit hours for participating in diversity initiatives and serving on the diversity committee.”

 

Why Work Here


Seven Stats about Orrick

1.     We focus on serving the Technology & Innovation, Energy & Infrastructure and Finance sectors. Globally.

2.     We give our associates the opportunity to chart your own course. It means early responsibility. World-class training. And the chance to make a social impact.

3.     We were named the #1 most innovative law firm in North America in 2017 by Financial Times, for the second year in a row.

4.     We’re on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For (#31), and we rank #4 for job satisfaction by AmLaw in 2018. In part, that’s because we don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to how our lawyers work. Instead, we offer agile working. This includes flexible work arrangements, job sharing and remote working.

Diversity at Orrick

"Orrick has a long-standing commitment to improve the diversity and inclusion of our firm and the legal profession. Our goal is to be the most diverse and inclusive firm among our Tech & Innovation, Energy & Infrastructure, and Finance law firm peers. To support this goal, we continue to increase the diversity of our leadership team, our partnership, our client teams and our summer associate classes. Most recently and most exciting, we have focused on innovative ways to collaborate more closely with corporate legal departments who share our..."

Getting Hired Here


  • Orrick is looking for individuals with demonstrated grit, a positive attitude and innovation. While the firm has traditionally hired top candidates from top law schools, there are several efforts in place to diversify our incoming class based on law school and life experiences. Diversity is a huge plus.”
  • We look for grit, EQ, and teamwork as primary traits, along with fit with culture. We do value diversity.”
  • Personality, diversity, and work experience are most important. The firm provides fact sheets for those who interview candidates.”
  • The firm is looking for smart, kind candidates with grit and a desire to make the firm a better place to work. The firm looks at the whole candidate—grades, schooling, prior experience, diversity, personality, etc.—in hiring, and all are important. Different groups value different things depending on their needs, but diversity and personality are always high on the list. …”
  • Talking about past experiences/resume [and] asking for examples of times where the candidate displayed our values.”
  • I ask about practice group interest, what attracts them to this firm, long-term goals—[those] kinds of things. I also try to strike up more informal conversations. Typically, if they got an interview, they are qualified candidates. So my experience with the interviews is that its more about figuring out if they are a good cultural/personality fit with the firm and whether they plan to stick around and why they are attracted to this non-partner role.”
  • There aren't required questions to ask, but folks usually ask questions like: ‘Why Orrick?’ ‘Why this particular office location?’ ‘What makes you interested in being a lawyer?’ Then we usually go into work experience and what the candidate wants in a law firm.”
  • I attended the new associates training period even though I wasn't a first year. Orrick provides market clerkship bonus.”
  • Many associates join the firm as lateral or clerk hires, which makes the integration of new lateral and clerk hires pretty seamless. The firm is, generally, a welcoming place, and new hires (including myself) feel at home very quickly.”
  • The firm provided ample training and orientation, even in a remote environment. I had the ability to talk to many, many partners and associates, and there was a practice group Zoom meeting specifically for the purpose of introducing new hires.”
  • I was provided with great mentorship opportunities and an awesome team that quickly accepted and integrated me.”

Practice Area Q&A’s


Giji John

Partner

Orrick
Alex Stathopoulos
Orrick
Dao Huynh

Senior Associate

Orrick
Karen Johnson-McKewan

Partner

Orrick

Perks & Benefits