Lateral Look: Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton

With practices as broad and bountiful as blades of grass, this Sheppard has associates Mullin over more than just its “California vibe…”

Sheppard Mullin Lateral Profile 2023

Sheppard Mullin’s entrepreneurial flair has driven its growth in tandem with its high-quality work year on year, and Chambers USA only serves to reflect this. The firm acts as an industry leader in Native American Finance while also scooping up rankings across government contractshealthcarerenewables & alternative energy, and oil and gas. Headquartered in Los Angeles, it’s no surprise Sheppard is also a leading force in California with top honors in the corporate space. Void of cutthroat corporate attitudes, however, Sheppard has “a good working culture” with its “California vibe” stretching from LA to the East Coast… 

View the firm's Chambers USA rankings 

Read the firm's Inside View feature on junior associate life

Why did you join your firm? Associates say…

"Opportunities for business development and better chance of partnership track."

"Partners; prestige; market pay."

"Entertainment practice and social aspects of the group."


 Strategic Recruitment Focuses 2023

Private equity careers

The view from the firm: Our Private Equity Team is focused on providing our clients with the highest quality of legal services, and understanding every relevant aspect of their business. Associates can expect to receive hands-on work on all types of transactions and legal matters throughout the private equity life cycle, including the formation of their funds, platform acquisitions, add-on acquisitions, dividend recapitalizations, realization transactions, and more. We also provide day-to-day legal support to our clients’ portfolio companies.

Private equity clients: Octo Consulting Group; Arlington Capital Partners; Project Farma

Recent work highlight: Represented private equity firm Arlington Capital Partners in the sale of Octo Consulting Group.

Life sciences careers

The view from the firm: We work hand-in-hand with our life sciences industry clients in their drive for success and profitability. Associates can expect to advise on strategic issues that range from acquisitions to antitrust, entity formation to enforcement and investigations, incorporations to IPOs, licensing to litigation, patents to product liability, and trademarks to transactions. We represent a diverse client base in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical (prescription and OTC), medical devices and diagnostics, digital health and medtech sectors, ranging from large publicly-traded organizations to early and mid-stage start-up companies.

Life sciences clients: Reckitt Benckiser; Gilead Sciences; Cardiff Oncology

Recent work highlight: Represented Permira Funds, a private equity firm, in its sale of Lyophilization Services of New England to PCI Pharma Services.

Healthcare careers

The view from the firm: Lawyers in our highly ranked healthcare practice provide experienced legal counsel to healthcare providers, payors, institutions and almost every form of healthcare related organization. We develop effective solutions to fit our clients' needs and objectives within a complex framework that includes fraud and abuse, antitrust, Medicare/Medicaid/commercial reimbursement, HIPAA, corporate M&A and restructuring and insolvency issues, to name only a few. Our associates assist hospitals, health plans, healthcare providers and other healthcare organizations in transactional, regulatory, litigation, tax, finance, labor/employment, real estate, privacy, information technology, intellectual property, and antitrust matters.

Energy careers

The view from the firm: Our team has a deep understanding of the technical, business and political aspects of the energy industry, enabling us to achieve our clients’ business objectives by anticipating and resolving the industry-specific issues that matter to them in the wind, solar, electrical power, oil and natural gas sectors. We represent many of the largest and most innovative energy industry players, including leading utilities, independent power producers and financial institutions. Our clients are involved in all aspects of renewable energy generation, including solar, wind, hydroelectric and geothermal power, biomass, ethanol, and biodiesel projects across the United States. Associates will advise founders and companies regarding new technologies, structural issues, financing, taxation, employment and technology protection. Lawyers will provide advice to developer clients on environmental issues, permitting, community relations, land rights, equipment procurement, finance, power purchase arrangements, and project acquisitions and divestitures.

Energy clients: Green Hydrogen Coalition; University of Florida; Enable Mississippi River Transmission

Recent work highlight: Advising the University of Florida on federal regulatory issues concerning fuel and its transportation to a planned power plant.


Career Development & the Path to Partnership



1 : 1


partners made in 2022

associate : partner gearing

of associates intend to make partner




felt partnership was achievable for attorneys with children felt partnership was achievable at the firm agreed partners
are nurturing
future leaders


The view from the firm: We provide our associates with the resources to succeed at every level of their career through practice group and level specific training. We provide a systematic program of professional education, designed to provide knowledge of substantive law and practical suggestions as to day-to-day legal practice. The firm holds multiple annual retreats a year, including level-specific training academies, affinity group retreats, and individual practice group retreats. CLE is offered in a variety of formats including in PLI, CEB, and internally-hosted trainings. Our mentoring program allows associates to select a partner mentor to aid career development and enhance their firm experience by promoting communication, encouraging relationships and refining their professional development and business plans. We provide individualized coaching, in areas such as writing, professional and business development skills. Our Career Advisory Program provides confidential counseling for associates interested in going in-house.

Hours & Compensation





billable hours

average number of vacation days associates took in one year

average number of hours associates worked in one week




agreed they had a good work-life balance

said the benefits package makes the workload worthwhile

found the bonus allocation fair and transparent



1st year: $215,000

2nd year: $225,000

3rd year: $250,000

4th year: $295,000

5th year: $345,000

6th year: $370,000

7th year: $400,000

8th year: $415,000


The view from the firm: Associates are expected to bill at least 1,950 client-chargeable and credited non-chargeable hours during the firm’s measuring period. Credited hours can include unlimited pro bono hours and up to 75 hours of other activities including, practice group activities, community activities, firm administration, diversity and inclusion, client development, recruiting and continuing legal education. Associates may also receive client-chargeable credit for up to 40 hours of Unplug & Recharge time each measuring period after meeting certain thresholds.

Promotions are determined by an associate’s practice group and the Chief Human Resources Officer, based on associate performance and progression through competencies reflected in the attorney evaluation form and their ability to meet hours expectations.

We pay lockstep market bonuses with an opportunity to receive up to 120% of the standard bonus for associates whose hours exceed the minimum billable target. Associates missing the target by 50 hours or fewer may earn a partial bonus. The firm also awards discretionary bonuses for associates for extraordinary contributions. The firm is committed to making flexible work arrangements available under appropriate circumstances for both male and female associates who sometimes need to redesign work arrangements for family, health or other personal reasons.


 Is Sheppard Mullin the right firm for you?




were happy in their current role

     agreed the work is interesting

The view from the firm: While the firm is committed to developing and promoting associates from within, the addition of strong lateral associates is integral to our firm's growth plan. Lateral hiring is intended to diversify and support the growth of our practice groups and industry teams. We seek top tier legal talent that will embrace our firm culture, which emphasizes civility, teamwork, transparency and a commitment to excellent client service. Our ideal candidates are skilled and experienced lawyers who seek a firm with long-term development and career opportunities.

We asked survey respondents what stands out about the firm's culture?

"Small team feel with big firm resources; respect for work-life balance."

"Not a lot of big egos and plenty of collaborative associates."

"Understanding of mental and emotional well-being; flexible office schedule."


 Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing





reported strong performance in inclusivity training

of partners are women

of associates identify as ethnically diverse



 Pro Bono




average pro bono
per US attorney    

    agreed the firm is committed to pro bono

Pro bono highlights: Disability Rights Advocates; Razom for Ukraine & Cross Border Civilians Foundation; Magnum Foundation; Oceana


Sustainability & CSR

The view from the firm: Our commitment to sustainability is intertwined with our strong pro bono program. We are proud to advocate for organizations throughout the U.S. that support the environment. We support the non-profit organizations and communities by volunteering to further awareness and clean-up efforts within our communities.
The firm is a member of the Law Firm Sustainability Network (LFSN), a nonprofit organization of global law firms committed to promoting the benefits of environmental sustainability within their firms and throughout the legal industry. Through participation with the LFSN, Sheppard Mullin has supported the global Earth Hour initiative to reduce power consumption and promoted legal industry Earth Day initiatives.



Learn more about opportunities at the firm

Recruitment contact: Christina Jurado, senior manager of lateral recruiting & integration