At K&L Gates, attorneys tackle sophisticated work for high-caliber clients in a supportive environment. A free market assignment system allows associates to exercise control over their workload, and more-senior attorneys act as willing mentors.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2023)

1.5K - 2K


No. of Partners Named (2023)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2023)



No. of Summer Associates (2023)

75 total (56 2Ls; 19 1Ls)


Base Salary

Our First Year Salaries range from $180k to $215k, depending on...

Vault Verdict

With more than 45 offices worldwide and expertise in dozens of practice areas, K&L Gates is a great place for associates to start and grow their careers. Baseline credentials for getting hired include law school attended, grades, and journal experience, but the firm also looks for candidates who get along well with others, as firm settings are laid back and friendly. People work well together, support one another, and take an interest in others’ personal lives. Partners treat associates like colleagues and value their time and contributions. Partners provide feedback and care about professional development, too, which supplements formal trainings and curriculums created for specific practice areas. They’re also good about orienting lateral hires and getting them work assig...

About the Firm

K&L Gates is one of the largest law firms in the world, with close to 2,000 lawyers across five continents. Among the firm’s top-notch practices are corporate; energy and infrastructure; finance; intellectual property; labor, employment, and workplace safety; litigation and dispute resolution; policy and regulatory; real estate; and asset management and investment funds.


The new millennium saw a flurry of mergers, which formed the firm we now call K&L Gates. In January 2007, Seattle’s Preston Gates & Ellis got hitched to Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham (itself the product of one of the largest U.S.-U.K. mergers in legal history: the 2005 pairing of Pittsburgh-based Kirkpatrick & Lockhart and London’s Nicholson Graham &...

Associate Reviews

  • “Everyone is pretty laid back, and very friendly. Deadlines are important, of course, but I am not constantly pressured to work faster or work later. People are very willing to answer questions and explain new concepts, especially for me as a more junior associate. There are not an overwhelming amount of social activities, which I appreciate because I want to spend my time off with my family. The few social opportunities we have are well timed and often very close to the office (or even in the office), making attendance very easy.”
  • “Everyone at the firm cares about how people are doing, and are always willing to help. There are firm-sponsored events both during and after hours. After-hour events usually occur once a month. We also have an office lunch every Wednesday at the office. The lawyers and staff get along really well. The firm is very family-friendly and supportive.”
  • “The day-to-day atmosphere is collegial and kind. It’s common for colleagues to stop and chat about things outside of work, and colleagues take an interest in each other’s lives outside of work (asking about family, recent vacations, exercise classes, etc.). The same goes for staff. Staff members are very valued within practice groups and the firm culture as a whole. The kindness shown to staff makes K&L stand out among its peer firms.”
  • “I don't think it gets much better for anyone who wants to be in private practice. I have tons of support in terms of resources and technology, and a lot of autonomy over my work, my schedule, and how I go about my practice. Overall, I really like my job. My team is almost fully remote, and we prioritize getting together at least once a month. But we also have a collaborative group that steps in and helps each other, and asks questions.”

Getting Hired Here

  • “I think our firm takes a holistic approach to hiring. Obviously, law school and grades matter, as well as relevant extracurriculars. I think personality/fit in conjunction with those factors is very important. I'm not knowledgeable about ‘feeder schools.’ To my knowledge, we don't have guidelines/training for candidates.”
  • “Our firm does not have any ‘feeder schools.’ We look for candidates who have impressive all-around resumes. The number of summer associate roles is limited in each office, and my understanding is that we receive over 100 applications per open role. The firm hires most of its associates through the summer program, but other attorneys (like me) lateral when there is a need and it's a good fit.”
  • “My firm is looking for really smart candidates who are friendly and positive, and get along well with others. When I was going through the hiring process, my firm required candidates to be in the top 15% of their class, and preferred journal experience, too. There are several excellent diversity programs as well.”
  • “Seemingly open to hiring non-traditional candidates (i.e., law students in their 30s). Academic credentials get you an interview, maturity and personality get you an offer.”

Perks & Benefits

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