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At a Glance


“Support for pro bono and diversity.”

“The transparency of the management.”

“My colleagues are amazing humans and make me laugh on a daily basis.”


“Billable-hour expectations.”


About Cooley


With more than 1,200 lawyers practicing across the U.S., Europe, and Asia, Cooley is synonymous with tech and venture capital work. The firm is also well regarded for its clean tech, cyber/data/privacy, IP, M&A, private equity, and securities practices.

Tech Roots

Cooley was founded by Arthur Cooley and Louis Crowley in 1920 in San Francisco. Six decades later, the firm opened an office in Palo Alto, the epicenter of American technology. The rest is history. The firm began working with venture capitalists, life sciences companies, and emerging technology startups, representing the likes of Adobe Systems and Gilead Sciences; it also took Genentech and Amgen public in 1980 and 1983, respectively. The firm also advised on the formation of Draper, Gaither and Anderson, the West Coast’s first venture capital partnership. In other words, the firm built a strong tech foundation and continues to be a leader in the space today.

Start ’Em Up

Cooley lawyers work in a variety of industries. The firm works in the technology sphere, including such areas as AI, big data, cloud solutions, cybersecurity, digital currency and blockchain, fintech, and more. But the firm’s experience extends much broader to such areas as aviation, clean tech, communications and media, education, food and beverage, life sciences and health care, national security, and retail, to name some.

The No. 1 firm for Emerging Companies and Venture Capital in Vault’s practice area ranking, Cooley is a go-to firm for all aspects of startups and early-stage companies. The firm handles more than 1,000 venture capital financings each year, advising both investors and companies. The firm’s lawyers work through the whole life cycle of a startup and offer a multidisciplinary approach, integrating experience in financing, IP counseling, licensing, M&A advice, and more. And through the firm’s web resource Cooley GO, startups can receive in-depth information on everything from getting started, raising funds, building a team, creating a board, and selling their businesses.

Cooley also has a bustling corporate practice, with a strong M&A team of more than 180 lawyers. The firm has worked on more than 1,300 M&A deals in the past seven years. On the private equity side, the firm handles everything from buyouts, going private transactions, growth equity investments, minority investments, and spinoffs—to name a handful. Meanwhile, on the litigation side, the firm has experience in myriad areas, including antitrust, environmental law, IP, privacy and cybersecurity, restructuring, securities litigation, tax, and more.

Best in Class

Many leading industry organizations say Cooley is a great place, including repeat recognition from Diversity Lab, Working Mother, the Women in Law Empowerment Forum, and more. And we can see why—the firm tries to go the extra mile for its people. For associates, the firm offers a shadowing program, internal career coaches, and a liaison for those taking leave. The firm even helps its associates get shut eye—it offers new parents smart sleeper rentals on the firm. Now that’s what we call a perk.

COVID-19 Update

With respect to Cooley, we are very fortunate to have a global footprint, a diverse array of practice groups and strengths in areas that are in high demand at this point. Cooley takes a long-term view when hiring talent and has continued to actively recruit in light of the global pandemic. While these are unprecedented times indeed, we feel well positioned to not only emerge, but emerge stronger. While we can’t predict the future, we can respond to the situation at hand in ways that best position us for long-term success.

News & Awards

  • Adree Edmo v. Idaho Department of Correction et al – A landmark victory earned by persuading the U.S. Supreme Court to let stand a federal court decision that ordered the Idaho Department of Corrections to provide medically necessary gender-confirmation surgery to a transgender woman.
  • David Elliot et al v. Google – In an important “genericide” trademark suit, Cooley achieved a significant victory that prevented Google from losing its eponymous trademark.
  • In re: Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation – A Cooley team successfully advised Facebook on a $15 billion multidistrict litigation that alleged the company unlawfully tracked users' browsing activity after they signed off.
  • Five-Time Perfect Score—Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index
  • Mansfield Rule 3.0 “Plus” Certified—Diversity Lab            
  • 10-Time Best Law Firm for Women—Working Mother
  • 7-Time Cybersecurity & Privacy Practice Group of the Year—Law360
  • Tech Practice of the Year, 2021—The American Lawyer

3175 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone: (650) 843-5000

Firm Stats

Chairman & CEO: Joe Conroy
Vice Chair: Mike Lincoln
Chief Legal Talent Officer: Carrie Wagner
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
1K - 1.5K
No. of Partners Named 2021:
Billable-Hour Requirement:
1,950 hours (or pro-rated equivalent) for bonus eligibility

Base Salary

1st year: $205,000
2nd year: $215,000
3rd year: $240,000
4th year: $275,000
5th year: $305,000
6th year: $330,000
7th year: $350,000
8th year: $365,000
9th year: $375,000
Summer Associate: $205,000 annualized, paid semi-monthly (approximately $3,942/week)

Employment Contact

Carrie Wagner
Chief Legal Talent Officer
(703) 456-8115
Recruiting contacts for all locations can be found in the careers section of

No. of U.S. Offices: 11

No. of International Offices: 6

Major Office Locations

Boston, MA
Denver, CO
Chicago, IL
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Palo Alto, CA
Reston, VA
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
Seattle, WA
Washington, DC | Beijing
Hong Kong

Major Departments

Antitrust & Competition
Commercial Litigation
Capital Markets
Health Care & Life Sciences Regulatory
Emerging Companies
Fund Formation
Intellectual Property Litigation
Insurance & Reinsurance
Life Sciences Corporate Partnering & Licensing
Mergers & Acquisitions
Patent Prosecution and Counseling
Privacy & Data Protection
Public Companies
Securities Litigation
Tax Transactional/Controversy
Technology Transactions/Outsourcing
Trademark, Copyright & Advertising
Venture Capital
White Collar & Regulatory Defense
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.