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Wilmer Hale

Headquarters: 1875 Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20006
Lawyers: 1,000
Co-Managing Partners: William Perlstein and William Lee
Privately held


Career Site

Wilmer Hale is a law firm with offices in 12 cities in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Its practice includes over 500 litigators with trial, appellate and Supreme Court experience; a preeminent securities law practice with over 200 lawyers; a regulatory practice that includes more than 100 lawyers who have held high-level government positions; an intellectual property practice enriched by the expertise of more than 160 attorneys and technology specialists who hold scientific or technical degrees; more than 300 seasoned corporate transactional lawyers and business counselors; and lawyers who focus on bankruptcy, environmental, labor and employment, private client, real estate and tax matters.

The DC office is the firm's largest and has more than 400 attorneys.


The firm was originally founded in 1918 when Richard Hale joined with Dudley Dorr, Frank Grinnell, Roger Swaim and John Maguire to form the partnership Hale and Dorr. Clients included moderated-sized commercial enterprises in industries such as fishing.

In 1938, the average starting annual salary of an associate at Hale and Dorr is $1,200.

Benefits and Compensation

In 2010, WilmerHale transitioned from a lockstep compensation model to a merit-based compensation model. Under the merit-based model, we continue to have a highly competitive total compensation package for all associates, senior associates and counsel that recognizes and rewards an individual lawyer’s skill level and the value of his or her overall contributions each year. The merit-based model aligns well with our clients’ focus on value delivered, rather than simply hours billed. Our overall objective in implementing a merit-based compensation model was to recognize and reward strong performance at all levels, and to recognize and reward lawyers for the qualities and contributions that both the firm and our clients value most.

Annual performance bonuses are awarded based on factors such as: core competencies (commitment; confidence; matter management; oral communication; problem solving; relationship building; teamwork; writing); a lawyer’s level of experience; productivity and value; and overall firm performance.

The starting salary for a first-year associate is $160,000.

Benefits include:

  • Health, dental, vision, and life insurance
  • Disability and long-term care insurance
  • Paid parental leave
  • Blackberries, laptops and remote network access
  • Reduced hours and flextime alternatives
  • 401(k)
  • Four weeks vacation annually
  • Flexible Spending and dependent care reimbursement accounts
  • Bar expenses and CLE 
  • Moving expense reimbursement
  • Emergency child-care and in-home family care services
  • Domestic partner benefits  
  • Onsite Fitness center access (Boston and DC); subsidized health club membership (NY, LA and Palo Alto) 
  • Onsite cafeteria (Boston and DC)
  • Counseling and referral programs
  • Pre-tax parking/commuter programs; daily bicycle storage
  • 529 College Savings Plan

Updated November 19, 2011

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