Most firms emphasize the same positive qualities, making it difficult to make meaningful distinctions among firms. We believe that the more you get to know the people at Fenwick, the more you will appreciate that Fenwick truly has a distinctive culture and approach to the practice of law.
At Fenwick, we are committed to the highest level of excellence, yet we value and maintain a collegial and fun work environment. We respect the individual and value team players. We seek out and hire individuals with diverse backgrounds and unique personal experiences. We believe it's that diversity of perspective that makes us highly creative problem solvers and a stronger team.
Our attorneys work hard and have fun doing it, but don't need to fit into any "personality mold" to succeed. Our firm's perspective mirrors that of the entrepreneurs, engineers, and scientists who populate the rapid-growth companies of the West Coast—we have a passion for excellence and we value results, not conformity. Law firms definitely have personalities, and we very much value ours.
We are proud that Fenwick is frequently ranked as one of the best and most diverse places to work. We are also proud of our certification as a Santa Clara County "Green Business." And in July 2009, Fenwick & West in Seattle became the first law firm in the United States to be awarded LEED-CI Platinum Designation by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
Free Market System
Nothing is more important to an attorney than a firm's system for assigning work.
For this reason, we created our Free Market System, which provides associates with a significant opportunity to choose their work assignments and the partners with whom they will work. In fact, they are actively encouraged to take that initiative.
While many large firms have a central work assignment system in which associates are simply told what to do, Fenwick's Free Market System encourages associates to take ownership of their careers, develop the necessary contacts within the firm to find work that interests them, and maintain positive work relationships. It also motivates partners and senior associates to be invested in junior and mid-level associates' professional development and to earn their trust and respect. Partners who don't learn that lesson may have trouble staffing their projects.
While our system is very flexible, the key is that we actively encourage associates to shape their own work experiences. While you can simply choose to have assignments handed to you, you will get more out of the Fenwick experience if you are actively involved in shaping your own career.
Compensation & Benefits
Fenwick is committed to paying a competitive salary commensurate with major law firms in our market. The firm also provides a broad range of benefits that promote financial security, work/life balance and a healthy lifestyle.
For a detailed list of our compensation and benefits click here.
In order to become a successful attorney, your education can't end when you leave law school. We believe in providing meaningful training opportunities for all of our attorneys and we commit substantial resources to our multifaceted professional development program.
Through our innovative Fenwick University program, associates learn how to build a career with programs focused on developing soft skills like networking (internally and externally), making presentations and client pitches, and drafting personal business plans. Associates learn to build on and reinforce these skills as they progress through the junior, mid and senior levels of the Fenwick University curriculum. These are invaluable skills regardless of the direction your career ultimately takes.
We also have an amazing array of opportunities to develop substantive legal skills and knowledge. We provide our junior attorneys with intensive skill building "boot camp" courses within individual practice groups to cover foundational knowledge and skills. We have additional stand-alone formal training programs for associates and many practice group-specific presentations that touch on practical teachings, as well as on breaking developments and hot issues in the technology and life sciences legal practices. It is not at all unusual for there to be three different lunch-time CLE programs in a single week.
Confidential Advisor Program
At Fenwick, we believe that partners and senior associates can contribute significantly to the development of junior associates (those in their first or second year of practice). Our Confidential Advisor Program ensures that junior associates benefit from the experience of their more senior colleagues by providing them an advisor to help enhance their career development and experience with the firm.
By taking time to listen and understand the experiences, aspirations and concerns of associates, advisors can provide guidance and support to enhance a first- and second-year associate's professional development. Specific goals of the Confidential Advisor Program include:
- Providing consistent support and mentoring for the professional development of associates in their first and second years of practice.
- Accelerating acculturation to the firm.
- Creating opportunities for participants to have greater interaction with each other across levels.
- Encouraging discussion about our unique culture, including its values, processes, expectations and vision.
- Enhancing associates' knowledge and skills in all relevant areas.
As junior associates begin their third year of practice, they will transition out of the Confidential Advisor Program and into the Professional Development Mentoring Program. In the new program, each associate is paired with a partner within the associate's own practice group. Pairings are made by asking the associates which partners they would most like to be paired with, and every effort is made to pair every associate with his or her first choice.
This program provides a second formal mentoring relationship for each associate as he or she progresses at the firm. Whereas the Confidential Advisor Program seeks to foster integration and acculturation, for mid-level associates, the Professional Development Mentoring Program focuses on increasing and broadening work assignments and opportunities, gaining access to a variety of partners, and expanding one's internal networks. For more senior associates, the program offers opportunities to explore career options, and to discuss professional development opportunities, including business development, with partners.
Once in place, these relationships may remain unchanged for several years. However, either party may request a change at any time and requests will be handled promptly, with sensitivity and without judgment.
Fenwick University for First-year Associates
This interactive one and one-half day program for first-year associates will begin with an evening of cocktails and dinner with practice group leaders, advisors and members of firm management. A panel of second-year associates will share with their more junior colleagues an entertaining rendition of “What They Wish They’d Known” when they were first-year associates. The following day will feature a series of activities designed to facilitate learning about their colleagues through sharing, collaborating and working as members of a team.
Fenwick University for First-year Associates
This interactive one and one-half day program for first-year associates will begin with an evening of cocktails and dinner with practice group leaders, advisors and members of firm management. A panel of second-year associates will share with their more junior colleagues an entertaining rendition of "What They Wish They'd Known" when they were first-year associates. The following day will feature a series of activities designed to facilitate learning about their colleagues through sharing, collaborating and working as members of a team.
Women’s Leadership Initiative
In 2006 we established our Women's Leadership Initiative, recognizing that women lawyers face unique challenges that can prevent them from realizing their full professional potential. It is important to us that our women attorneys enjoy the benefits that flow from a supportive network of colleagues with whom they can confide, share their experiences, tell their stories and listen to one another.
Our programs are designed to provide regular opportunities to discuss issues that are relevant to women in the firm and legal community, to foster learning and career development, and to provide a supportive network for talented attorneys as they find their paths to leadership.
Some programs are purely social, designed to bring colleagues together from different offices and practice areas and to give summer associates a feel for the esprit de corps that permeates our culture. We've hosted events ranging from tea at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in San Francisco, to indoor rock-climbing and yoga events.
We also offer programs that focus on professional development and mentoring, including one-on-one communications skills coaching, and networking and business development training.
Finally, we host events that include our women clients, which have been very well received and have helped to strengthen these professional relationships.
Recognizing the value that judicial clerkships bring to both our firm and our clients, we actively recruit judicial clerks each year. To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample and transcript to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fenwick enjoys abundant awards and recognition showcasing our nationally and internationally ranked practices in complex financial and commercial transactions, intellectual property protection and licensing, “bet-the-company” litigation, and tax planning and tax controversies.
For more information about our core practice areas click here.
We represent companies that have changed, are changing, and will change, the face of technology, life sciences and cleantech. Many of our clients are well-known companies redefining e-commerce, communications, entertainment, and social media. We also represent a growing number of life sciences companies spanning the spectrum of therapies from small molecules and protein- and nucleic acid-based therapeutics, to medical devices and drug delivery systems and innovative personalized medicine diagnostics. In recent years, our client list also includes a number of cleantech companies at the forefront of alternative energy.
For more information about the industries we serve, click here.
Click here for NALP Forms.
Diversity and Inclusion
From our founding in 1972, diversity and inclusion has been a core component of our culture, and we commit significant resources towards improving our efforts at the firm across all levels.
The firm actively recruits diverse attorneys—race, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, geographic/cultural background—through numerous channels, including on-campus initiatives and minority bar associations and job fairs. We believe that respect and acknowledgment of others' backgrounds fosters cooperation, creativity and mutual understanding and helps us serve our clients better.
Fenwick has implemented a number of diversity and inclusion initiatives, including:
- Diversity and Inclusion Committee: To refine existing diversity programs as well as plan and implement innovative new diversity and inclusion initiatives.
- Women's Leadership Initiative: Focused on building the leadership, management and business development skills of our women attorneys.
- Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Initiative: Partners commit to fulfilling a variety of diversity-promoting action items throughout the year.
- Bar Association Activities: To promote the advancement of diversity and inclusion initiatives in the broader legal community, Fenwick attorneys chair key diversity and inclusion committees.
- Affinity Groups: Informal attorney groups centered on common interests and backgrounds to create a more comfortable and inclusive environment.
- Attorney Recruiting Initiative: A commitment to maintain strong representation of diverse attorneys in Fenwick's summer program as well as participation in minority job fairs and interfacing with diverse law student groups.
The firm recently received high honors on The American Lawyer's 2010 Diversity Scorecard, and for the second consecutive year held the top-seven national ranking as one of the most diverse U.S. law firms.
- Click here to view our Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter.
At Fenwick, we are proud of our commitment to the community and to our culture of making a difference in the lives of individuals and organizations in the communities where we live and work. We recognize that providing legal services is not only an essential part of our professional responsibility, but also an excellent opportunity for our attorneys to gain valuable practical experience, learn new areas of the law and contribute to the community.
The pro bono work we provide to our clients results in changes to businesses, futures and lives. During 2010, our firm donated over 10,000 hours, valued at more than $5 million in legal fees.
Our pro bono program allows our attorneys to serve others and to grow as professionals and individuals. They provide services ranging from corporate business counseling, intellectual property and tax services to women's rights, voter protection and assistance to lower income individuals, people, and organizations in our communities. Our litigation associates also have the chance to brief and argue cases in the Ninth Circuit–an invaluable experience to have at an early stage in their careers.
Working with a variety of local and national organizations, Fenwick's pro bono efforts include fellowships, child advocacy, civil rights, impact litigation, Appellate Project, Street Law, AIDS Project, death penalty, corporate, intellectual property, tax and political asylum/immigration.
- Click here to view our Pro Bono Annual Report.
Current Openings—Attorneys and Legal Professionals
All employees and applicants are evaluated on the basis of their qualification without regard to race, religion, color, marital status, national origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, gender, genetic characteristics or any other classification protected by applicable local, state or federal employment laws. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all.
Judicial Clerk Hiring (Silicon Valley office):
We are seeking applications from candidates who are currently in judicial clerkships for our Litigation Group in our Silicon Valley office. We seek dynamic, self-directed professionals with strong academic credentials, a history of achievement, and a passion for serving leading technology clients. Technical training and work experience is valued, but not required. Fenwick recognizes the value of having a wide range of viewpoints and life experiences; as such, we encourage applications from women and diverse candidates. Judicial law clerks receive a competitive clerkship bonus.
To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample and law school transcript to: email@example.com.
Patent Agent/Technical Specialist Program:
Fenwick & West has been a leader in technology and life sciences law since 1972. One reason for its success is its Patent Group, which is consistently ranked among the top patent practices in a general practice law firm in both the U.S. and internationally. The Patent Group has deep expertise in technology and life sciences. Our patent attorneys all hold technical degrees–many having Masters and/or Ph.D. degrees and many have substantial work experience prior to becoming lawyers. We have been further enhancing our technical expertise and depth through a patent agent and technical specialist program. Our patent agents and technical specialists have outstanding technical backgrounds and an interest in working in the area of patent law. Our patent agents and technical specialists focus on patent prosecution, although they also assist with litigation and corporate matters that require technical assistance. In addition, our patent agents and technical specialists are also eligible to participate in our tuition reimbursement program for law school.
Presently, we are seeking candidates with degrees or seeking degrees in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Physics, or Computer Science. Candidates should have strong academic credentials and/or prior work experience. Candidates should also have strong written and verbal communication skills. Candidates need not have prior patent law experience and need not be registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Candidates that are willing to prepare for and take the registration exam to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are eligible for a reimbursement program for this exam.
To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and transcript (undergraduate and graduate, if applicable) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attorney Recruiting Contacts:
Manager of Attorney Recruiting & Diversity
Fenwick & West LLP
Silicon Valley Center
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
Attorney Recruiting Coordinator
Fenwick & West LLP
Silicon Valley Center
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
top-tier practice, small firm feel