Fox Rothschild LLP - The Inside View

E pluribus Rothschildum: associates at this national firm likened its network of offices to a federation that’s united by an entrepreneurial focus on the middle market. 

Philly-born Fox Rothschild hits the sweet spot for associates for this reason especially: “It’s a big name with valuable resources, but there’s also individual office autonomy and close-knit local ties.” The firm’s passion for acquisition in a wide range of US markets acted as another point of attraction for ambitious juniors. “The fact that the firm was built on several niche practices and there wasn’t one practice that [at the time of applying] comprised more than 25% of the firm’s total billings, was highly attractive.” Indeed, this approach for acquiring smaller firms has given Fox 27 bases across the US, as well as a host of accolades in Chambers USA for areas mainstream and niche.  

On a nationwide basis, Fox gets a top nod for its gaming and licensing work, as well as for its know-how in the evolving field of cannabis law. The firm gains rankings in eight states, with some of the highlights including Washington’s bankruptcy and restructuring practice; Pennsylvania’s corporate and litigation work; North Carolina’s healthcare and employment remit; and New Jersey’s real estate prowess. The firm’s focus on “midmarket clients from diverse industries” also made associates realize they would have the opportunity to gain real experience and knowledge on matters sourced from various sectors.  

The Work 



The juniors on our list were spread between 20 offices and across 15 states. Offices with a few juniors in each included New YorkPrincetonSeattleDCGreensboroChester CountyMorristownSan FranciscoPhiladelphia and Minneapolis. There were also the odd one or two juniors in places like AtlantaBucks CountyChicagoDallasDenverLas Vegas and Raleigh. Just under half were found in Fox’s litigation department, while around a quarter where split between corporate and real estate. The rest could be found in entertainment, restructuring, IP, employment, and tax and wealth. When it comes to work assignment, the general consensus among associates was that “it’s up to the individual to steer their way once they’re in the department.” Litigators mentioned getting general work where the business need was, “while also being able to develop your niche as you spend more time getting to know the work.” Corporate juniors noted how “it can be challenging to get the work you want as it requires a good amount of internal networking to get a steady flow of work. If you’re part of a smaller subgroup then it’ll easily shape your experience.”  

Fox’s litigators tend to be generalists for at least the first three years before carving out a niche. Each office has its own specialisms and focus areas: Philly, we heard, has plenty of employment and cannabis-related cases, as well as professional liability and attorney malpractice matters. DC, meanwhile, “is truly a machine that is devoted to government contracts and construction work. The other groups, such as IP and international trade, are more ancillary.” New York also covers construction, as well as real estate and bankruptcy litigation (among other litigious strands). Elsewhere, sources highlighted the depth of Fox’s environmental and white-collar work. Juniors’ responsibility levels increase over time “if you show the team you can handle it.” First-years can expect to get started on small research tasks, as well as simpler motions and discovery matters. “Taking on midlevel duties can be exciting, challenging and gratifying in a lot of ways,” said a second-year. “I’ve defended a deposition, handled research on larger cases, churned out memos, and written dozens of motions for summary judgment,” recalled another responsible junior.  

Litigation clients: Germantown Cab Co., Del Frisco’s Steakhouse, Impax Labs. Represented Par Funding, a merchant lender, on fraud charges brought by the SEC in the District Court for the Southern District of Florida.  

Over in corporate, the department handles midmarket M&A deals (on both the seller and buyer side) and devotes a fair chunk of its resources to counseling larger publicly traded companies on general matters. Sources in Philly mentioned how the office specialisms are based more on what individual lawyers are known for, as opposed to the department itself: “We have some attorneys who do a lot of healthcare matters, and others who focus on bond work.” Other areas on the table in Philly include general M&A deals, corporate governance matters, and export compliance work that’s focused on defense regulations. New York, meanwhile, is known as “the major office for emerging companies and venture capital practice (ECVC) work. They do everything from forming companies with their initial employment and grant documents, to raising first series financings or more traditional Series A or B financings.” ECVC associates handle the “brunt of the junior work, but also get around 3040% of real substantive drafting experience. That’s just down to the smaller size of the group.” More generalist corporate juniors can expect to work on “smaller ancillary documents that are attached to corporate governance deals. We do a lot of resolutions and operating agreements, but also deal with corporate filings and assist with closing checklists and disclosure documents. There’s also client-facing work.”  

Corporate clients: Rakuten Mobile, Trice Medical, Quantum Global Tech. Represented Velicept Therapeutics, a drug developer, on two bridge financing transactions.  

Strategy & Future 



While some felt Fox had been “as transparent as possible” during the pandemic, others felt that “some things aren’t communicated well and that’s something the firm could do better. That has been magnified during the pandemic.” Those in Pittsburgh were more positive and mentioned a monthly meeting with the office’s managing partner, “where he talks about where the firm is going. If he didn’t know the answer to our questions, he would always tell us that he isn’t hiding anything and would try get the answer to us as soon as possible.”  

Associates did praise the firm’s appetite for growth, which has been directed at lateral hiring of late: 2020 saw Fox add a number of attorneys to its taxation & wealth planning group. More recently, the firm also added partners in its real estate, corporate, litigation, IP and employment departments. 

Career Development 



Career development is one of the things Fox is “very clear on,” with this junior emphasizing how the “partners make it clear that they are trying to make juniors better lawyers and help us to build our scale.” Another added: “The firm really wants people to stay on and build their own book of business and create a niche.” To aid this process, the firm gives associates $500every year to put toward connecting with clients and marketing promotion activities/resources. “There’s an emphasis on and encouragement of business development from an early stage in your career,” an interviewee reported. 

“The firm really wants people to stay on and build their own book of business and create a niche.” 

A range of training programs are also in place to build up those core skills. For litigators, these include “deposition training, plus a legal research and writing workshop in Philly, where they get you to write your best brief.” Others praised the good level of feedback they’d received on their work: “The partners pretty routinely redline your work and explain what they did and didn’t like and how you can improve.” Corporate associates did feel that their training had been more “hands-on and connected to new projects” as opposed to learning via formal sessions, although “the firm has given people the opportunity to go and seek out different CLEs and courses they could do.” 

Hours & Compensation 



Billable hours: 1,850 target (1,900 litigation) 

Bonuses are “a pure numbers game” according to juniors. To receive a bonus, associates must hit 1,900 hours, which can comprise client-billable hours, firm-billable hours, and certain nonbillable hours, including 50 hours of pro bono work. The amount awarded increases in 25-hour increments, although bonuses for those who bill over 2,300 hours are determined at the discretion of the firm's managing partner. Base compensation varies by location, with juniors in those larger markets like DC and New York identifying that “the pay is behind the top firms.” Some did “wish it was market-rate" and expressed how salary considerations “could be a motivation to look elsewhere.” However, in New York juniors still noted that “it’s not like we’re making small amounts of money either – we're closer to the market rate here.” Others highlighted the lower billing targets as a trade-off for not making the megabucks paid out by New York’s elite crop of law firms.  

“...the hours at Fox are reasonable.” 

Most associates told us they start their day around 8:30–9am and log off by 7pm. “There are some nights when I’m working until 10pm, but when I compare that to my friends who are in other BigLaw firms, the hours at Fox are reasonable,” said one litigator. Our sources also mentioned they have “more flexibility on weekends in particular. They really do make an effort to leave you alone. That said, if a client wanted something, you’d rearrange your plans in some cases, but that’s not common!”  

Pro Bono 



One junior felt that the approach to pro bono echoed the culture more generally: “It’s very much an ‘if you want to do it then go and look for it and do it yourself’ kind of thing.” Others agreed that while emails are circulated with opportunities, “it isn’t as if people are walking around and clapping if you do pro bono – there have the 50-hour billable credit incentive right, but maybe they could do more to facilitate and encourage pro bono.” Another junior said they’d “spent a ton of time on pro bono this year,” but was “never under the illusion that it didn’t come second to billable time – it's available but it’s something that has to be done on top of work.” 

Those who did take on pro bono work found themselves working on cases for organizations such as the Philadelphia VIP (Volunteers for the Indigent Program) that involved a variety of housing, family and income issues. “I’ve been able to draft community benefits agreements with the local neighborhood association,” one junior reported. The Philadelphia office also does a lot of work with the Innocence Project. In addition, partner Brian Stolarz had his moment in the spotlight in the Netflix docuseries The Innocence Files, which detailed how Brian and his team exonerated death row prisoner Alfred Brown, who was wrongfully convicted of murder in Houston.  

Pro bono hours 

  • For all attorneys: 9,245
  • Average per attorney: 9

Culture 



Despite the streak of entrepreneurial “do it yourself” culture that some interviewees mentioned, we nonetheless heard how “teamwork is a priority here: it’s an expectation from the first day.” That proved to be “very appealing” to many associates. Another source noted that the “people are helpful, collaborative, and interested in associates’ individual growth. People seemed to genuinely like working here, and that was huge for me, as I absolutely did NOT want to go somewhere where I dreaded going into work every day.”  

“...teamwork is a priority here: it’s an expectation from the first day.” 

Other interviewees speculated over the extent to which Fox’s appetite for acquisition had shaped the firm culture: “Fox has expanded significantly over the last ten years. I think that as it’s acquired smaller offices in, for instance, Minneapolis, Seattle and LA, the culture has become more dependent on what your local office is like. For example, you could go to Philly, and they’d openly let you know how they do things there, plus the billable rates and starting salaries are set at differing points.” Another summed up the firm’s various office cultures as existing within a federation model “as opposed to the firm being like a small country that houses a homogenous group of people who have similar interests.” At the same time, we heard that the firm does makes an effort to center all offices around a shared “entrepreneurial focus that is honed on middle market clients – that’s our specialty.” Fox’s very own “culture club” was highlighted as another avenue for creating connections across locations: at the time of our calls, partners and associates were connecting via virtual happy hours.  

Diversity & Inclusion 



In June 2020, Fox appointed Kim Gatling as its chief diversity and inclusion officer. This appointment followed the launch of the firm’s diversity fellowship in 2020, which offers six students from diverse backgrounds the chance to complete a 1L summer position before hopefully returning as 2Ls and then juniors. “The firm is definitely making a visible effort to recruit diverse candidates,” our sources agreed, but comments were made about retention issues, especially when it came to racially diverse attorneys. Juniors were hoping to see the “creation of more space for certain affinity groups” as a next step for Fox’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.  

“The firm is definitely making a visible effort to recruit diverse candidates.” 

Sources were generally very positive about the progress of gender diversity at Fox. “There’s a pretty large network for the women’s group, and locally we will meet up once a month,” said a junior in one of the smaller offices, while another in New York told us: “There’s a great community of women in the office. I look up to the mothers who are still maintaining their practice as partners. The men in leadership roles who I work with are very encouraging of women.” On a mental health and wellbeing note, this interviewee felt that the firm had been “supportive in our everyday lives. I’ve never felt judged if I had to take time off for appointments or mental health days if I’ve been working around the clock. If I am seen to be working a lot, I’ve always been told to not work past a certain hour and they’re sensitive to it.” 

Get Hired 



The first stage: recruitment on and off campus  

OCI applicants interviewed:  775  

Interviewees outside OCI:  47 

Fox Rothschild visits approximately 40 law schools nationwide, and interviews around 20 students per school.  

Fox has a firmwide recruitment committee made up of both associates and partners – the firm typically pairs associates and partners together to conduct the interviews. During interviews, interviewers ask questions aimed at measuring “students’ analytical abilities, motivation/initiative, judgement and previous experience,” Natalie Quinn  (Director of Associate Recruitment) tells us.  

Top tips for this stage:  

“My first round was focused on the kind of work I did, what I wanted to do and if my goals matched with what they were looking for. The second round I met with a whole bunch more people – a lot of those conversations were based on what I wanted to know from them.” – a third-year junior associate  

“It was nice – a very natural interview, not stressful, not confrontational, just very conversational.” – a third-year junior associate  

  

Callbacks  

Applicants invited to second stage interview: 278  

Whether virtual or in person, all interviews will begin with an overview of the summer program presented by a member of the professional recruitment team. Interviews will then be conducted in one of two formats, either as a panel style interview or four consecutive one-on-one interviews. “At this stage, candidates should continue to expect to answer competency-based questions. Additionally, we are trying to determine a candidate’s interest in Fox in particular, versus wanting to work generally at a large law firm,” explains Natalie Quinn. Some offices will also host office-wide networking opportunities, whether virtually or in person, to provide students the chance to meet more lawyers and “get a feel for the culture.”  

Top tips for this stage:  

“It was a very different interview experience than the others. I met with multiple people throughout the interviews. Usually it’s just one person at a time at other firms, but here I met a very senior partner, three senior associates, then two associates and then the office managing partner.” – a second-year junior associate  

“The whole way they did interviews was totally different and felt I was really able to get the feel for the people.” – a second-year junior associate  

  

Summer program  

Offers:  55 (plus 8 1L offers)  

Acceptances:  32 (plus 6 1L acceptances)  

Fox's summer program lasts for 10 weeks and starts with a firmwide orientation. Throughout the program, summer associates will meet regularly as a class for trainings, professional development opportunities and social events. Social events include the trivia nights, scavenger hunts, and cooking classes.  

Fox does not have a rotation program, so summers are free to sample work from various practice areas. Assignments are obtained via an online portal and accompanied by weekly trainings that are delivered by video-conference across the offices. In addition, summers can expect a one-one writing session and business development training (the latter is delivered by the firm's marketing department). All summer associates are assigned two mentors: one is an associate and the other is a supervising partner, who keeps an eye on summers' overall workload each week. Before the summer is over, summer associates rank their practice area preferences for when they return to the firm (the majority do return), although practice area assignment is largely determined by business need.   

Top tips for this stage:  

“Recently we’re offering fellowships to 1Ls. They have a rigorous application process and six of them will be offered a job during their 1L summer. If they return for their 2L summer, they receive an additional stipend. If they join the firm as a full-time associate, they receive a second stipend. It’s an exciting new diversity initiative.” – a second-year junior associate  

Fox Rothschild LLP

2000 Market Street,
20th Floor,
Philadelphia,
PA 19103-3222
Website www.foxrothschild.com

  • Head office: Philadelphia, PA
  • Number of domestic offices: 27
  • Partners (US): 629
  • Associates (US): 223
  • Counsel (US): 84
  • Contacts  
  • Main recruitment contact: Natalie Quinn, Director of Associate Recruitment
  • Diversity officers: Kimberly Bullock Gatling, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer; Daniel Wu and Prince Thomas, Diversity Committee Co-Chairs
  • Recruitment details  
  • Entry-level associates starting in 2021: Charlotte, NC: 1, Dallas, TX: 1, Exton, PA: 1; Las Vegas, NV: 1, Los Angeles, CA: 2; Miami, FL: 1; Minneapolis, MN: 2, New York, NY: 2, Philadelphia, PA: 2, Pittsburgh, PA: 1, Princeton, NJ: 1, Raleigh, NC: 1, San Francisco, CA: 1; Seattle, WA: 1, Warrington, PA: 1
  • Clerking policy: Yes
  • Summers joining/anticipated 2021: 1Ls: 7, 2Ls: 32
  • Summers joining/anticipated 2021 split by office: Atlanta, GA: 2, Atlantic City, NJ: 2, Blue Bell, PA: 2, Chicago, IL: 1, Dallas, TX: 1, Denver, CO: 1, Exton, PA: 1, Greensboro, NC: 1, Los Angeles, CA: 2, Miami, FL: 1 Minneapolis, MN: 4, Morristown, NJ: 1, New York, NY: 4, Philadelphia, PA: 3, Pittsburgh, PA: 1, Princeton, NJ: 2, San Francisco, CA: 2, Seattle, WA: 2, Washington, D.C.: 2, Warrington, PA: 1, West Palm Beach, FL: 2, Wilmington, DE: 1
  • Summer salary 2021: 1Ls: $2,403--$3,365/week 2Ls: $2,403--$3,365/week
  • Split summers offered? No

Main areas of work
Fox Rothschild has nine primary departments and over 70 practice areas firm-wide. Our departments are: corporate, employee benefits and executive compensation, entertainment and sports law, financial restructuring and bankruptcy, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, real estate, and taxation and wealth planning.

Firm profile
Fox Rothschild LLP is a national law firm with approximately 950 lawyers practicing in 27 offices from coast to coast. Our lawyers provide a full range of legal services to public and private companies – from family-run businesses to multinational corporations. We also represent charitable, medical and educational institutions both in the United States and worldwide. Our attorneys have been recognized for their commitment to clients, success in their fields, and diversity.

Recruitment
Law Schools attending for OCIs in 2021:
Berkeley, Boston College, Boston University, Cardozo, Chicago – Kent, Colorado, Columbia, Cornell, Dickinson, Duke, Emory, Florida, Florida State, Fordham, George Washington, Georgetown, Georgia, Iowa, Loyola – Chicago, Miami, Michigan, Minnesota, Mitchell Hamline, New York University, Northwestern, Penn, Penn State, Rutgers – Camden, Rutgers – Newark, Seattle, Seton Hall, Temple, UC – Hastings, UNC, UVA, Vanderbilt, Villanova, Wake Forest, Washington

Job Fairs/Consortia Attending in 2021
Philadelphia Area Diversity Job Fair, Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair, Loyola Patent Law Interview Program

Recruitment outside OCIs: Our firm participates in a number of recruiting events including law school and diversity event sponsorships. We continued the Fox Rothschild 1L Diversity Fellowship Program as part of the Firm’s ongoing commitment to cultivating a diverse workplace that continually promotes opportunities for all. The Program is open to 1L law students from historically underrepresented groups in the legal profession, and positions are awarded on, among other things, academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion efforts in the legal community.

Summer associate profile: Our summer program is the foundation of our recruiting efforts. Each summer we invite a diverse group of bright, highly motivated law students to experience the practice of law at Fox Rothschild. Since the majority of our new lawyers come from the pool of second year summer associates who complete our program, we consider the summer program the most important component of the recruiting process.

Summer program components: Our summer program is designed to expose summer associates to a realistic view of what it is like to practice law at Fox Rothschild. The program provides ongoing interaction with the attorneys on substantive assignments, through trainings, and during varied social events. Summer associates receive work assignments from all departments. We strive to ensure that the assignments given to summer associates are interesting and meaningful, with the results of that work used by our attorneys. Feedback is provided on an assignment- by-assignment basis, as well as through more formal mid-and end-of summer evaluations. In addition, we encourage all summer associates to provide us with a detailed critique of all aspects of the summer program.

Social media:
Recruitment website: www.foxrothschild.com/careers-for-attorneys/
LinkedIn: Fox Rothschild LLP
Twitter: @FoxRothschild
Facebook: Fox Rothschild LLP

This Firm's Rankings in
USA Guide, 2021

Ranked Departments

    • Corporate/M&A: Highly Regarded (Band 1)
    • Construction (Band 3)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 2)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 2)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 3)
    • Real Estate (Band 3)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 3)
    • Environment (Band 2)
    • Healthcare (Band 2)
    • Immigration (Band 2)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 2)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 4)
    • Real Estate (Band 1)
    • Construction (Band 4)
    • Healthcare (Band 5)
    • Antitrust (Band 2)
    • Energy & Natural Resources (Band 2)
    • Healthcare (Band 1)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 2)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 3)
    • Real Estate (Band 3)
    • Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (Band 1)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 3)
    • Environment (Band 3)
    • Healthcare (Band 2)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 3)
    • Real Estate (Band 4)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 3)
    • Corporate/M&A & Private Equity (Band 3)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 2)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 3)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 3)
    • Real Estate (Band 3)
    • Cannabis Law (Band 1)
    • Environment (Band 5)
    • Gaming & Licensing (Band 1)
    • Healthcare: Highly Regarded (Band 1)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 2)
    • Environment (Band 4)

More from Fox Rothschild:

Learn more about Fox Rothschild's summer program.

Visit the firm's careers page for students.

The firm has more careers information on its website for attorneys, paralegals and staff.

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