Lateral Look: Jenner & Block

Market-leading litigation and pro bono define this Windy City native, but don’t be fooled by the work that they’ve got, they’re still, they’re still Jenner & Block.

Jenner & Block Lateral Profile 2023

We’ll be honest. Several firms we talk to describe themselves as litigation powerhouses, but at Jenner & Block, the identification is actually true. Several of the firm’s lawyers are former Assistant United States Attorneys and Solicitor Generals, and the firm boasts multiple members of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

But this is no one-trick pony. Multiple practices are held in high regard by the guide, including IPmedia and entertainmentNative American lawcorporate and government contracts, amongst others. Work aside, every associate we interviewed cited the firm’s “progressive values” as a reason for joining the firm: “Jenner is always on the front line, looking at the diversity, equity and inclusion implications in court processes, both for billable and pro bono clients.”

Of course, the firm also focuses on DE&I within the firm: “My personal identity is shared by the firm. This is the gayest firm in America!” In addition, Jenner recently pledged to provide $250 million in legal aid services between 2021 and 2025. Alexa, play Money, Money, Money by ABBA.

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…

"Reputation, careers of alums, excellent appellate practice, pro bono practice."

"Stellar media and entertainment practice group; kind and interesting people; pro bono."

"Reputation for commitment to public service; interesting work; welcoming and inclusive culture."


 Secondment Opportunities

Client secondments (view from the firm): We frequently second lawyers to clients as we see the long-term benefits for our clients, our lawyers, and the firm. We work closely with our clients to determine the best fit and structure for any secondment and we recognize there is no “one-size-fits-all” arrangement. We have done full-time secondments for six months or more (to cover an employee on leave or during a search for a new employee), as well as part-time secondments for a few weeks (to handle discrete tasks or a temporary absence). We have had secondments to clients in many industries including technology, media, and entertainment, across the US and the UK.


Career Development & the Path to Partnership



1.1 : 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: No one does career development like Jenner. Our goal is to develop the whole lawyer by helping you have the skills, conversations, and mentorship you need to flourish. Every lawyer here participates in a comprehensive development program focused on giving you a panoply of legal and professional skills--at the right time and the right level--whether you're joining as a first year, leading and managing teams as a senior associate, or joining the partnership.


 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

*The firm did not disclose salaries beyond this point.


The view from the firm: Full-time associates have an annual target of 1,950 billable hours, at which point they are eligible for a discretionary merit bonus. An additional “super bonus” will be considered for contributing more than 1,950 hours.

For bonus purposes, the firm will credit up to 100 hours of approved pro bono, business development, and diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) work toward the 1950-hour threshold, after which all pro bono, business development, and DEI hours, as well as other meaningful contributions will be considered in determining additional “super bonus” amounts.

The firm offers the option of reduced hours targets. Associates with a reduced hour target participate in the annual review process and can receive merit bonuses and true-up of bonus and salary if they exceed their budget. Those above 75% of annual target billable hours are eligible for promotion to partner.


 Is Jenner & Block the right firm for you?




were happy in their current role

     agreed the work is interesting


The view from the firm: We encourage our lawyers to bring their passions to work. Whether it is representing big name clients in industry-shaping transactions; arguing high-profile cases in state and federal appeals courts; investigating and monitoring corporate fraud and corruption; or advocating for clients interest before Congress, you will work alongside internationally recognized lawyers on the impact issues driving progress. As the top-ranked pro bono firm in the United States for 10 of the last 14 years, we've led the way on many of the most important issues of our time, including groundbreaking cases on LGBTQ rights, reproductive justice, civil rights and immigration and asylum.

We offer best-in-class lifecycle career development, an unrivaled commitment to pro bono, DEI, and values-driven work, and a firm culture that emphasizes excellence, ethics, and strong camaraderie and teamwork across practice groups and offices.

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

"The people are real and multidimensional. They care about me as a full person, but just a cog in the firm's machinery."

"Friendly; outgoing; emphasis on pro bono and social justice."

"It was very important to me to be at a firm that is ethically/socially/politically progressive and that supported those values through firm policies, public statements, and the work we do.  Jenner is absolutely that firm."


 Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing





reported strong performance in inclusivity training

of partners are women

of associates identify as ethnically diverse


The view from the firm: The firm has started implementing data driven decision making over the last 6 months. We understand the importance of having data to back up and promote DEI initiatives, so this is being put at the forefront of the firm. One of the first initiatives that has been taken on are biannual check in meetings between the DEI Committee and practice team leaders. Here, leaders of the firm will meet to discuss each practice team’s diversity and how diverse lawyers are being utilized. Having an open discussion during key dates will help promote and support our diverse lawyers. These meetings have been well received so far as it has provided us an opportunity to show firm leadership how they can help diverse lawyers in their practice groups succeed. 


 Pro Bono




average pro bono
per US attorney    

    agreed the firm is committed to pro bono


Pro bono highlights: Challenging Unconstitutional Law Limiting Right to Abortion Services: Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida; 2-1-1 Launches in Chicago: United Way of Metro Chicago


 Sustainability & CSR

The view from the firm: Jenner & Block is committed to sustainability.  Our recycling programs include paper, glass, plastic, aluminum, batteries, toners, electronic waste and even cooking oil (converted to biofuel).  We purchase sustainable consumable products, including biodegradable cups, straws and utensils, recycled paper and remanufactured toner cartridges for our printers.  We limit waste by utilizing reusable containers when possible, and printers are set to 2-sided printing as a default.  Our lighting systems and thermostat controls allow us to optimize energy performance, and our appliances and equipment are Energy Star certified.  We have bike rooms that are designed to promote biking to work.  Unique sustainable features and initiatives like charging stations for electric cars, green roofs, vermicomposting, high efficiency plumbing fixtures, LED lighting, and LEED certified office buildings/interior spaces demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the environment.



Learn more about opportunities at the firm

Recruitment contacts: Tarah Smith, legal recruiting manager (Chicago),

Heather Conrad, director of firmwide legal recruiting (New York),

Linda Hight, director of legal recruiting (DC),

Benson Lee, legal recruiting manager (LA and SF),