The go-to firm for startups and early-stage companies, Cooley is ideal for those seeking cutting-edge work with innovative clients. The firm is also known for its work with life science and technology companies. Cooley has a highly social culture in 18 worldwide offices that will no doubt appeal to affable personalities, and boasts a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Total No. Attorneys (2023)
No. of Partners Named (2023)
No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2023)
No. of Summer Associates (2023)
Cooley has historically been thought of as one of the more balanced BigLaw firms, and that sentiment doesn’t seem to have changed even as the market has soured a bit from the scorching highs of the pandemic. Associates say the firm’s hours requirement (and the bonus structure tied to it) are reasonable and predictable, although some express a desire for Cooley to join those of its peers who have done away with such requirements altogether. The general sentiment is that partners are approachable and respectful and that the firm is direct and transparent about the decisions it makes. Both the formal and informal training structures receive high overall marks, and work is reported to be always substantive and appropriate to associate experience levels. Technology works well, and remo...
About the Firm
With more than 1,400 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.
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 We...
- “Overall great culture—we're social, but not excessively social. Certain groups can be a bit cliquey. Partners are generally very approachable.”
- “The firm really values collaborative attitudes and getting together. While it respects work from home, there has been a push to bring us back to the office, and incentives like lunches or programs to do so. Groups tend to get together outside of work.”
- “The associates get along great, and some of my best friends are associates here. The culture is definitely way better than what I understand it to be like at other firms. That being said, the hours are still long, and it can be stressful. It's definitely BigLaw, and not a ‘lifestyle’ firm. But if you have to be in BigLaw, I think Cooley is about the best you can do.”
- “Everyone is extremely welcoming. I enjoy coming into the office and seeing the friendly faces. There are typically 2-4 different catered events throughout each week, where we can all mingle and have a break together. Many lawyers and staff know each other on a personal basis, and have good relationships with each other.”
Diversity at Cooley
Getting Hired Here
- “Law school, grades, prior work experience, and diversity are all very important. Personality is huge, given the tightly woven social network at the firm.”
- “It appears the firm is looking for strong candidates from well-ranked law schools, but also individuals that are down to earth and can connect with all types of people.”
- “I think the firm tries too hard to grab T14 students, which is, of course, to compete with our ‘peer’ firms. The firm does offer trainings on how to conduct interviews.”
- “Cooley looks for team players who are sociable, intelligent, and self-starting. Prior work experience does seem to come into play, and Cooley seems less focused on top schools and grades, especially for those with strong prior work experience.”