Handling cases that often make front page headlines, WilmerHale is a litigation super star, with particular strength in intellectual property. The firm boasts a respectful culture where associates feel supported by partners and have the resources they need to soar with high-level matters. The firm has a deeply-rooted commitment to pro bono and opportunities to dive headfirst into meaningful projects are around every corner. WilmerHale is a good fit for those looking for a hardworking but easy going environment.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2022)

1K - 1.5K


No. of Partners Named (2022)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2022)



No. of Summer Associates (2022)

104 total (92 2Ls; 12 1Ls)


Base Salary

All offices

Vault Verdict

The hiring process is competitive at WilmerHale—strong academic credentials, prior work experience, diversity, and intellectual curiosity are all taken into consideration. The firm promotes a supportive, respectful, and friendly culture. Associates believe the partners are genuinely invested in their professional growth and development, providing them with consistent feedback and adequate insight into firm performance and finances. Some find the 2,000-hour billable hour requirement to be high, but the firm’s practice managers aid in monitoring workloads and evenly distributing work. Associates are pleased with their top-of-market compensation, with over-market bonuses for high billers. Varied and interesting, the work is appropriate for the associates’ level of experience and ofte...

About the Firm

With 1,000 lawyers across the U.S., Asia, and Europe, WilmerHale is a litigation powerhouse, known especially for its work in IP, securities, and appellate litigation, as well as its life sciences and technology experience. The firm counsels in a range of industries, including aviation; big data; education; energy, environment, and natural resources; financial services; health care; insurance; media and entertainment; national security; professional services; and technology. 

Beantown Meets the Beltway

WilmerHale was formed in 2004 when Hale and Dorr LLP and Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP joined forces. Legacy firm Hale & Dorr dated back to 1918. Among other things, the firm was known for its work in government matters. Firm lawyer Joseph Welch represented the U.S. Army in the legendary U.S. Army-McCarth...

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2023 Vault Rankings

Associate Reviews


  • “Even during the pandemic, I've found the culture to be friendly and social (at least, as much as it can be). When re-opening the office, the firm provided lunch twice a week, which turned into opportunities to sit and have lunch with colleagues and friends.”


  • “Appropriately social firm. People socialize with one another while still having the space to go home to family and friends at the end of the day. Very kind, understanding colleagues who expect outstanding work but are reasonable.”
  • “I'm happy here. I'm looking forward to a post-pandemic experience when I can get to know my colleagues better and can rely less on Teams meetings. But in the windows when COVID wasn't surging, the firm hosted lunches and other events. Day-to-day in the office is fairly casual and friendly. Everyone is welcoming and collegial. It's a team-based atmosphere.”
  • “Socially, an incredibly tight-knit, supportive, warm firm. Everyone is welcoming and collaborative, even when we're all very busy. It's a no nonsense, non-hierarchical place, where even the most junior lawyers can speak up and discuss strategy with partners…”

Why Work Here

WilmerHale is committed to providing consistently world-class legal services and we pride ourselves on finding innovative solutions to complex problems that require us to draw on our full range of knowledge and experience. We foster a work environment that is deeply rooted in our mission to provide unparalleled, high quality service to our clients. In an effort to continuously develop and support our workforce, we provide extensive in-house and external training opportunities and actively promote the overall well-being of every individual in the WilmerHale community.

Diversity at WilmerHale

"Our commitment to diversity and inclusion starts at the top: for the first time this year, as part of the partner compensation process, partners will be asked to summarize their demonstrated efforts to help meet the firm's diversity and inclusion goals. We recently established a permanent Executive Diversity and Inclusion Committee (EDIC), held our inaugural Diversity Summit, and developed a new approach to networking and mentorship through Diversity Mentoring Circles. The EDIC members are selected from practice group and..."

Getting Hired Here



  • “Our firm is looking for the best of the best from top law schools. We value strong grades, journal experience, clerkships, personality, and diversity. There are some strong schools, like Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Georgetown, and NYU, that I see a lot, but amazing lawyers come to our firm from other schools too.”
  • “I think the most successful candidates (and associates) are those that are intellectually curious and driven and take every opportunity to get involved in a new case. This includes asking questions and not being afraid to tackle a new type of assignment.”
  • “I think it's fairly competitive to the extent that, at least in litigation, Wilmer prioritizes candidates who have strong legal writing skills, worked on law journals, and, ideally, intend to clerk.”
  • “WilmerHale is one of the top firms in Denver, so it is very difficult to join. The firm is looking for strong academic achievement, exemplary writing skills, attention to detail, and overall pleasantness to work with. The particular law school someone went to is not as important as showing a strong capability, which varies across schools.  Clerkship or other government work can be helpful, as can journal experience. For laterals, hands-on experience is valued.”

Perks & Benefits