20 Top Law Firms by WetFeet

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It now employs 140 lawyers in intellectual property alone—”We’ve tried to recruit more intellectual property attorneys than any other firm in the country,” says an insider—and 70 lawyers in the private equity and venture capital divisions. McDermott has large biotech groups in all of its offices, which are bound to see a lot of action in coming years, as the biotech industry continues to expand and evolve. Recruiters say the firm will continue to recruit lateral hires, focusing on the New York, California, and London offices.

That was the beginning of Heller Ehrman’s long-standing commitment to the life sciences. The firm has continued to play a pivotal role in shaping life sciences law and has provided legal services to such key biotech companies as MorphoSys AG, Roche Bioscience, GlaxosmithKline, Maygen, Bayer AG, Genentech, and others. Heller Ehrman has been involved in one of the most visible legal battles in recent years, by representing the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation in its stem-cell suit against Geron Corporation, winning a favorable verdict in January 2002.

Heller Erhman consistently receives high marks for attorney and staff diversity. Members of minority groups, including gays and lesbians, make up 7 percent of shareholders, 31 percent of associates, and 32 percent of summer associates firmwide. The Minority Law Journal ranked the firm in the top 25 for diversity. Women comprise 18 percent of shareholders, 41 percent of associates, and 53 percent of summer associates. The American Lawyer ranked Heller Ehrman among the top five law firms in America for women.

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