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Desmarais LLP

230 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10169
(212) 351-3400



Founded in 2010 by former Kirkland attorney John Desmarais, Desmarais LLP focuses primarily on trial and appellate-level intellectual property litigation, including patent infringement, counterfeiting, trademark, and trade dress matters, and the firm handles both plaintiff and defense cases for their clients. Clients range from Fortune 100 companies to individuals, and include major names like Apple, IBM, Enzo Biochem, and GSK. Desmarais eschews the traditional billable hour model, instead working with clients to set fee arrangements t...

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2024)

50 - 100


No. of Partners Named (2023)



Featured Rankings

Top 150 Under 150


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2023)



No. of Summer Associates (2023)

22 total (15 2Ls; 7 1Ls)


No. of U.S. Offices


Vault Verdict

If you have the chops for IP litigation, Desmarais LLP might be the perfect fit for you. This firm has a very friendly and sociable culture, with both formal firm-sponsored events and informal associate-organized events happening frequently. Partners treat associates well, and John Desmarais himself has quarterly meetings with each associate class, but there could be more transparency around the partnership track and what is required for promotion. Associates here work a lot, but the fact that they aren’t required to bill hours is universally loved. In addition, the firm pays market salaries, and the above-market bonuses aren’t tied to billable hours. Associates are given complex, substantive work early and often. The firm has a majority in-office work policy, and some technology ...

About the Firm

In 2010, John Desmarais left a successful patent litigation practice with Kirkland & Ellis to hang his own shingle with some of his former Kirkland colleagues. The result was Desmarais LLP, now a successful and expanding midsize law firm focused primarily on trial and appellate-level patent litigation. The firm represents a wide array of clients as both plaintiffs and defendants, including tech giants such as Apple, Cisco, Google, IBM, Samsung, and Intel, and major life sciences and pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson. The firm also represents smaller entities—including individuals—who seek to enforce exclusive rights to their inventions or technology.

Small Firm, Big Results

At its core, Desmarais is a trial firm, adept at handling al...

Associate Reviews

  • “The firm has a very collaborative and friendly culture. Lawyers often hang out outside the office and impromptu happy hours are relatively common.”
  • “Very sociable office (and firm generally). Both firm-sponsored [events] (weekly) and as friends after hours. Staff is treated as family, perhaps due to small firm size.”
  • “The firm culture is very social. We do weekly catered lunch, and there seem to be a lot of social events (trial training party, Christmas party, etc.). My class spends a lot of time together outside of work socializing.”
  • “Lawyers often socialize together at weekly firm-sponsored lunches, as well as at informal happy hours. The day-to-day atmosphere is very friendly, and I often look forward to coming into the office.”

Why Work Here

We believe that Desmarais LLP is the best place to practice high-stakes, technology-related litigation. Whether you are a law student, a recent graduate, or an experienced attorney, our unique combination of small-firm culture and big-firm work provides a terrific environment to learn and grow your practice.  In addition, our unparalleled practice and training programs offer the opportunity for each lawyer to accelerate his or her professional development.

Firm Culture:  Desmarais LLP is a collegial workplace where all employees are treated with respect. We offer an informal, relaxed atmosphere which includes having lunch weekly.

Getting Hired Here

  • “…The firm hires from a broad range of schools, although most associates seem to have attended T14 law schools. I believe personality also plays a big role in the hiring process.”
  • “Firm considers law school, grades, and personality most. Firm hires a lot from NYU, Harvard, but is open to many different schools.”
  • “DLLP is very selective in the types of candidates it prefers, which makes the hiring process competitive. DLLP generally looks to hire candidates from the top law schools with high grades who also have technical engineering or scientific backgrounds. That pool is a small Venn diagram, but if you check those boxes, the hiring process is mostly based on fit, and it is easier to make it in.”
  • “The firm is looking for law students with good grades, a technical background, and interest in doing trial work. The firm tends to hire from good law schools but will hire outside the top schools for people who fit those criteria.”

Perks & Benefits

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