Venable prioritizes personality in the hiring process—those who are down-to-earth but take their work seriously will be a good fit here. Associates also appreciate that the firm provides work-life balance along with top-tier legal work. Venable specializes in corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property, and government affairs. The firm’s Litigation practice carries a particularly heavy workload in products liability, toxic torts, and environmental law cases, with corporate defense being the group’s overwh...

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2021)

750 - 1K


No. of Partners Named (2021)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)



No. of Summer Associates (2021)

52 total (45 2Ls; 7 1Ls)


Base Salary

All offices:1st year: $205,000

Vault Verdict

Venable often puts law school in the backseat when making hiring decisions, instead focusing more on personality, extracurriculars, and work experience. The culture is professional yet friendly, with opportunities for socializing outside of work. Associates feel that individual partners are invested in their career development, but they agree there is a lack of transparency into firm decisions—the most common complaint being a lack of clarity into bonuses. The billable-hours requirement is slightly reduced for first-year associates, and most associates don’t have any issues meeting it. Associates are satisfied with compensation—even though bonuses are below market, they acknowledge there is a corresponding trade for work-life balance. Assignments are doled out so that associates r...

About the Firm

The venerable, mono-monikered Venable is a titan of the mid-Atlantic I-95 corridor (where seven of its nine offices are located) and is home to nearly 800 lawyers. Venable complements a conventional BigLaw practice with Beltway-specific work. 

A Morphing Midsized Regional

Call it a victory for career services: Venable, Baetjer & Howard was formed in 1900 when Richard Venable, a law professor in Baltimore, partnered with two of his former students. The firm has grown substantially since the millennium, thanks largely to a series of mergers to bolster its Beltway contingent, tech offerings, and litigation department. These changes landed the firm two locations in California and one in New York. And in 2018, the firm bolstered its IP practice by merging with Fitzpatrick, Cell...

Associate Reviews

  • “The vast majority of people at this firm are friendly, helpful, and considerate. The atmosphere is generally quite pleasant.”
  • “Demanding work expectations, but a professional and respectful work atmosphere. Colleagues enjoy socializing together, but there is not too much pressure to do so.”
  • “I've only been an associate during COVID, so work has been remote. However, everyone has been extraordinarily welcoming, and my associates in my group have weekly Zoom meetings to catch up and talk about non-work matters.”
  • “The day-to-day atmosphere is collegial and friendly. When able to do so in person, the firm provides sponsored opportunities to socialize, such as lunches, happy hours, and gatherings to celebrate different holidays. In the remote environment, the firm has found a way to transition these interactions online.”

Diversity at Venable LLP

"At Venable, we believe the best way to help our clients resolve their legal and business issues is by bringing the broadest possible range of perspectives and experience to bear. We firmly believe that a talented and diverse legal team delivers the best results for our clients. Supporting our clients begins with attracting, retaining, and promoting a diverse and talented attorney base within the firm. Venable's commitment to diversity starts at the top. Diversity and inclusion are primary objectives of the firm's strategic plan...."

Getting Hired Here

  • “The firm is committed to hiring from a diverse base of law schools and experiential backgrounds and does not necessarily seem to focus on top-ranked schools or folks coming from specific firms/judicial experiences. In terms of important hiring considerations from the law school side, the firm places a premium on grades and at least one of journal, moot court, or mock trial, but also tries to incorporate ‘X’ factors such as personality and ‘fit’ with the firm as a whole. …”
  • “I think the firm is less focused on academics and is very focused on finding people who are good fits for the culture. To me, this means people who are charismatic, conversational, and nice. Of course, grades are also considered.”
  • “We recruit many candidates from the NY area schools. Most people aren't ‘school snobs’ which I appreciate. Hard work and a personality that will ‘fit’ with the firm are considered.”
  • “The firm does a good job of recruiting summers who fit among the firm culture: hard-working but down-to-earth people. No particular schools are heavily recruited [from], but the firm focuses mostly on the local schools in the cities the offices are located in. Personality is a major factor, and the firm has had a multi-year push to expand diversity efforts.”

Perks & Benefits