2021 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“Really interesting clients and work.”
“Positive attitude towards pro bono.”
“Lack of transparency by firm leadership.”
About Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
With 800 attorneys across 16 offices around the world, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is a global player with very deep tech roots. The firm has become a leader in tech licensing transactions, technology financings and M&A, and intellectual property.
Running Circles Around Everyone
Wilson Sonsini began as a simple three-man shop in Palo Alto under the name McCloskey, Wilson & Mosher. It was founded by John Wilson, Pete McCloskey, and Roger Mosher; McCloskey departed shortly thereafter in order to take a seat in Congress. Larry Sonsini became a name partner in 1973 after working at the firm for seven years. John Goodrich and Mario Rosati came on board in the early 1970s, and after Mosher’s departure, the firm took its current name of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
One of the early hallmarks of the firm was its “Three Circles” business model, which focuses on representing enterprises through all stages of their growth.
All About Tech
Wilson Sonsini focuses on five major practice areas—antitrust, corporate, IP, litigation, and regulatory and compliance—with a host of sub practices. The firm’s technology experience has become as diverse as the industry itself. The firm now works with clients in the semiconductor, software, renewable energy, networking, media, fintech, social media, biotech, medical device, data storage and cloud, and consumer tech sectors. It also has a strong corporate finance practice that works closely with financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Last but hardly least, the Wilson Sonsini venture capital practice has grown in tandem with early clients like Sequoia Capital, Mayfield, and Oak Investment Partners. To date, Wilson Sonsini has worked with thousands of companies and has helped raise billions of dollars. The firm has represented more than a hundred venture capital and private equity firms—many of which it helped create.
The firm boasts a strong IP practice—ranked among the top 10 in Vault’s Intellectual Property Practice Area Ranking. The patents and innovations team has 180 attorneys, patent agents, and scientific advisors who work on everything from patent applications and patent prosecution to patent litigation and patent portfolio management to licensing and regulatory submissions and FDA-related submissions. Firm attorneys are also regulars before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Unique to the firm is its technology transactions practice, which focuses specifically on commercial transactions that are driven by intellectual property. Fifty of the firm’s lawyers focus exclusively on this practice. The group works with startups and tech clients across such industries as 3D printing, big data, biotech, digital media entertainment, e-commerce, fintech, health IT, open source, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, and many more.
Ready to Launch
Corporate first and second years in the firm’s Bay Area offices can participate in Launch—a work allocation system for the corporate and securities practice. Associates in this program will receive a variety of assignments across the practice, rather than specializing in one specific area. A staff coordinator manages the workflow and provides regular feedback.
Wilson Sonsini is committed to hiring exceptional candidates who have the passion to work with our innovative clients. While the firm will continue to work remotely in the U.S. through February 1, 2021, we have likewise adapted to the remote environment by moving our traditional in-person recruiting process online. Candidates can expect to learn about the firm and our client base and get to know our attorneys through a variety of virtual opportunities including pre-recorded videos, live webinars, live presentations with breakout rooms and traditional programming through Career Service Offices. Additionally, we plan to connect with law students through student group programming partnerships, hosting virtual attorney coffee chats, virtual meet and greets, as well as tried and true direct outreach to our attorneys.
News & Awards
In early 2020, the AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP), a public interest firm that has long provided top-quality pro bono legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS in the San Francisco Bay Area, selected Wilson Sonsini as the nonprofit's 2020 Law Firm of the Year. The firm has provided pro bono legal services to referrals from ALRP in various matters, including primarily asylum cases in recent years.
In May 2020, Wilson Sonsini’s tech subsidiary SixFifty released an automated Return-to-Work Toolkit to help businesses safely transition their employees back to the workplace amid COVID-19. The Return-to-Work Toolkit leverages SixFifty's automation platform to efficiently and cost-effectively deliver the firm’s employment expertise during the COVID-19 pandemic. The toolkit follows a number of other resources, including privacy and compliance solutions.
The firm was recognized as part of the Daily Journal’s 2020 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) awards. The CLAY awards recognize California attorneys whose work made a significant impact during the previous year. The firm was recognized in the capital markets category for its work on Lyft’s IPO—one of the first “unicorns” to announce plans to go public in 2019.
In December 2019, Wilson Sonsini announced the firm elected 17 new partners from its attorney ranks. The partner-elect class included 10 women and 7 men from the firm’s corporate, litigation, intellectual property, and regulatory practices.
- In 2020, Wilson Sonsini served as lead antitrust counsel to Deutsche Telekom, parent company to T-Mobile, in its $26 billion merger with Sprint Corporation.
- In 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Carney v. Adams, agreeing to review the appeal of a lower court ruling overturning longstanding provisions for a politically balanced judiciary. The firm represented Governor Carney in the matter.
- In 2017, the firm secured a win for Amphastar Pharmaceuticals in a $900 million patent infringement suit brought by Momenta Pharmaceuticals and Novartis AG’s Sandoz unit.
- In 2016, the firm advised LinkedIn in its $26.2 billion acquisition by Microsoft.
- No. 8, The American Lawyer’s 2020 Diversity Scorecard
- A top firm under “hiring practices” relating to gender equity and diversity, Yale Law Women’s 15th annual “Top Firms for Gender Equity & Family Friendliness Report,” 2020
- No. 1 for total number of all rounds and No. 1 for number of venture capital rounds raised on behalf of clients in FY 2019, Refinitiv
- Mansfield Plus Certification, 2019
- No. 13, “Global Elite” law firms, GCR 100 by Global Competition Review, 2020
Why Work Here
What You May Not Know About Us
WSGR fosters an entrepreneurial and collaborative environment across its attorney ranks. We understand the importance of mentorship and strive to promote career growth and help our attorneys build leadership and relationship skills with clients and colleagues. We want to inspire them to think about the best strategies to enhance their practices.
WSGR’s culture encourages independence and responsibility from an early stage. We motivate our attorneys at each step of the way, helping them to contribute at a sophisticated level across all work areas and increase accountability and ownership levels.
In addition to having a robust M&A and capital markets practice, we represent and advise clients on a broad array of other legal matters, including litigation, intellectual property, employment law, taxation, employee benefits, and more. Some details:
650 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone: (650) 493-9300
Board Chair: Katharine Martin
Managing Partner: Douglas Clark
Hiring Partners: Andrew Hoffman, Maura Rees, Kathy Rothman
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
750 - 1K
No. of Partners Named 2020:
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
4th year: $255,000
5th year: $280,000
6th year: $305,000
7th year: $325,000
8th year: $340,000
9th year+: $350,000
Summer associate: $3,654 per week
Senior Manager, Firmwide Law School Recruiting Manager
Senior Manager of Lateral Recruiting
Director, Attorney Recruiting
No. of U.S. Offices: 11
No. of International Offices: 5
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Palo Alto, CA (HQ)
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA (Financial District)
San Francisco, CA (SOMA)
Wilmington, DE I Beijing
Employee Benefits & Compensation
Energy & Infrastructure
Export Control & Sanctions
Finance & Structured Finance
Mergers & Acquisitions
Patents and Innovations
Privacy & Data Protection
Regulatory & Compliance
Securities & Governance Litigation
Tax & Tax Equity
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.