Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC logo

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC

1101 K St NW
10th Floor
Washington, D.C., DC 20005
(202) 371-2600



DC-based Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox is a top IP boutique, home to approximately 150 attorneys focused on the protection, transfer, and enforcement of intellectual property rights. The firm has led the way in litigating cases before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board since PTAB’s 2012 creation. SKGF is also home to an Intellectual Property and Human Rights Pro Bono Practice—the first of its kind—which focuses on the interplay of intellectual property principles and human rights.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2024)

150 - 250


No. of Partners Named (2023)



Featured Rankings

Best Law Firms for Intellectual Property


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2024)



No. of Summer Associates (2024)

15 total (14 2Ls; 1 1Ls)


Base Salary

1st year: $225,000 at the 2000 billable hours level; $190,000 at...

Vault Verdict

For top-of-the-line intellectual property work in close proximity to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, it’s tough to beat Sterne Kessler and its sole office in Washington, DC. Past experience, technical background, and a related graduate degree take priority over usual hiring criteria like grades, law school attended, and journal experience. It’s also important that new associates are able to fit in the friendly, collaborative, and inclusive work environment in which personal lives outside of the office are respected. As they work with partners, associates can expect recognition of their hard work and that egos won’t get in the way. Associates are expected to contribute and comment on projects, and even challenge partners if they have something wrong. Sterne Kessler offers ext...

About the Firm

Founded in 1978, Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox has grown through the ensuing four decades to become one of the leading IP boutiques in the nation, with a focus on the protection, transfer, and enforcement of intellectual property rights. The DC-based firm employs approximately 150 attorneys and represents clients like Google, Adidas, Apple, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Teva, PepsiCo, and the University of California. 

Shaping IP Law

Sterne Kessler has had its hands in some of the most important IP cases of the last few decades, helping to shape the way patents are granted and protected. In 1995, the firm served as lead counsel for IBM in the landmark In re Beauregard appeal to the Federal Circuit. The case was brought by IBM to establish that a computer program on a disk was pat...

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2025 Vault Rankings

Associate Reviews

● “As previously mentioned, the firm puts in the effort to cultivate a warm and collaborative environment between colleagues, with plenty of opportunities for social events, even if they are mostly virtual for the time being. The firm operates on a merit basis, with recognition of hard work and diversity across timekeepers and staff. Directors, associates, and staff interact as team members working towards a common goal to serve clients. Everyone's contributions are acknowledged.”
● “Our firm has a positive and inclusive culture. Everyone values the importance of maintaining professional social connections.”
● “One of the friendliest places I've ever worked. Everyone is very approachable no matter what level they are in the firm.”

Why Work Here

Sterne Kessler is an intellectual property law firm located in the heart of Washington, D.C. Our team consists of 155 attorneys from diverse backgrounds, with over 50 professionals holding Ph.D.’s in science and engineering. We have cultivated an environment that is welcoming, inclusive, and intellectually stimulating. Our attorneys and staff have voted Sterne Kessler as a Washington Post “Top Workplace” for eight years running and a Washington Business Journal "Best Place to Work" 11 times!

Our attorneys are particularly noted for their technical expertise, industry experience, and litigation prowess. Additionally, we get to work on matters involving cutting edge technologies and legal issues demanded by a broad range of innovative individuals and companies. Some of our clients include Apple, Adidas, Google, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Amgen.

Diversity at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC

"Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C. cultivates and maintains a dynamic and energetic working environment that is inclusive and welcoming. As a result, Sterne Kessler has earned a positive reputation as a great place to work and has been consistently ranked among the top tier of law firms for having a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion. Our firm aims to provide a workplace that is reflective of our global client base and the diverse cultural mix of the greater Washington, D.C. area where we live and work...."

Getting Hired Here

  •   “The firm hires from a wide range of schools. Technical backgrounds appear to be key with a lot of industry, PHD, and USPTO Examiner experienced hires.”

  •       “The firm values past research/industry experience more than law school attended, grades, and journal experience.”
  •       “The firm hires the best candidates that fit its technical needs and into its collaborative environment. All aspects of a candidate's background [are] assessed as a whole, without hard and fast rules as to law school attended or specific types of experience. The ideal candidate has to possess the communications skills, technical expertise, teamwork spirit, and awareness that the firm looks for.”

Perks & Benefits

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