2022 Vault Rankings
- Pro Bono#3
At a Glance
“You really feel like the partners and higher ups genuinely care about your well-being and career.”
“Attorneys receive no budget to set up a home office.”
“Heavy workload and high expectations.”
About McDermott Will & Emery
A Chicago institution since the 1930s, McDermott Will & Emery has, in recent decades, broadened its gaze to new markets in the United States and abroad. The strategy has paid off in spades, with McDermott firmly ensconced among the world’s largest and most elite law firms.
A Windy Start
McDermott opened for business in 1934 as a tax firm run by Edward H. McDermott and William M. Emery. A mere seven years later, the third and final name partner was added in corporate specialist Howard A. Will. The firm’s name has remained the same ever since, a remarkable feat of continuity in the modern atmosphere of shortened firm names, legal mergers, and buyouts. McDermott added an Estate Planning division in 1941, and by 1944, the firm had burgeoned to 16 lawyers. Over the next half century and into the 21st century, the firm expanded both domestically and internationally. Today, McDermott is home to more than 1,100 lawyers across 20-plus offices around the world.
Flexing Their Practice Area Muscles
While the firm is still known for its strength in tax, McDermott’s reach has expanded over the decades. The firm counsels its clients on newer areas such as life sciences, renewable energy, and privacy law, which complement its more traditional practices like M&A, antitrust, health care, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and insurance.
McDermott is a leader in health care law, holding the No. 1 spot in Vault’s Health Care rankings. The firm uses multidisciplinary, cross-border teams to handle its clients’ sophisticated issues. Hospitals, health private equity funds, digital health companies, home health agencies, hospices, medical device manufacturers—and more—call on McDermott for advice.
The firm also has a stand-out IP department, with experience in copyright, domain names, International Trade Commission matters, patents and patent litigation, trade secrets, trademarks, and unfair competition. The firm is a regular before the USPTO, including in post grant review proceedings. Among the industries the firm’s IP attorneys serve are energy, life sciences, media, and telecommunications.
Blogging About It
With nine blogs on its website—including an Antitrust Alert blog, Employee Benefits Blog, Energy Business Law Blog, FCA Update blog, Of Digital Interest blog, a Tax Controversy 360 blog, Inside SALT blog, and an Alcohol Law Advisor—McDermott shares the latest on a variety of legal topics with the blawgosphere. The firm also offers three regular podcasts: Governing Health, Of Digital Interest, and Collaborative Transformation: Driving the Deal.
News & Awards
- McDermott’s Appellate team secured a U.S. Supreme Court Victory in Nasrallah V. Barr. The case centered around a provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act that bars courts from reviewing the immigration agencies’ factual conclusions during judicial review of certain noncitizens’ removal orders.
- McDermott’s Litigation team succeeded in a decade-long immigration case. In a decision of sweeping importance to a range of immigration litigation in federal courts, the Supreme Court held that the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) permits courts of appeals to review the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (BIA) application of law to undisputed or established historical facts.
- McDermott advised longstanding client Dogfish Head on its strategic merger with Boston Beer. The merger brought together two pioneering independent craft breweries and two illustrious founders and brewers, Jim Koch and Sam Calagione. The transaction was valued at approximately $300 million and closed in the second quarter of 2019.
- #1 Best Law Firm to Work For, 2022—Vault
- Top Workplace in Chicago, 2020 and 2021—Chicago Tribune
- Best Law Firms for Women, 2021—Working Mother
- Legal Diversity Champion, 2020—Facebook
- Best Law Firm for LGBTQ+ for 15 consecutive Years, 2021—Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index
Why Work Here
When you join McDermott, you become part of a purpose-built, tightly woven network of legal trailblazers who marry global business insights with a deep, focused understanding of the law. Delivering highly effective, often unexpected solutions that propel success, we bring our personal passion and legal prowess to bear in every matter for our clients in 20 locations worldwide.
Our mission is to propel the success of the world’s most respected, dynamic and important organizations. Together, we fuel missions, knock down barriers and shape markets.
444 West Lake Street
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 372-2000
Chair: Ira J. Coleman
Co-National Hiring Partners: Lisa Schmitz Mazur and Allison Wilkerson
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
1K - 1.5K
No. of Partners Named 2021:
The full-time associate target for client billable hours (including client billable equivalent hours, such as pro-bono) is 2,000 hours.
Class of 2021: $202,500
Class of 2020: $205,000
Class of 2019: $215,000
Class of 2018: $240,000
Class of 2017: $275,000
Class of 2016: $305,000
Class of 2015: $330,000
Class of 2014: $350,000
Class of 2013: $365,000
Summer Associate: $3894 per week
Director of Associate Recruiting
No. of U.S. Offices: 13
No. of International Offices: 7
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Orange County (Irvine), CA
San Francisco, CA
Silicon Valley (Menlo Park), CA
Wilmington, DE I Brussels
Corporate & Transactional
Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
Global Privacy &
Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Private Client & Wealth Management
Regulatory, Government, & Lobbying Strategies
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.