Fox Rothschild LLP - The Inside View

As clever as a Fox about expanding its practice areas, this Pennsylvanian has beguiled its lawyers with a healthy lifestyle amid the hustle and bustle of BigLaw.

You can do as much research as you like when it comes to finding the right firm - and while we certainly encourage doing exactly that! -  sometimes it’s the gut feeling that persists. As one associate told us, “I had interviews at other firms and it just felt like they were putting on a show – that wasn’t the case at Fox,” with the firm instead feeling more attentive and genuine. Even in the demanding BigLaw environment, other associates sensed this healthy culture: “I was being treated like a human being and not just like another candidate. People were genuinely interested in me as a person and saw that I have a life outside of law and law school.” In fact, the sources we spoke to consistently recognized that lifestyle was front of mind for Fox Rothschild: “We have people with personalities and people who are nice, and we have a passion for law! But then, we also make sure we have some balance with that.”

“…you’re getting not only a sophisticated client base – which is very appealing! – but also an environment where they encourage entrepreneurship and leverage to shape the career you want.”

The firm’s good vibes weren’t the only draw for interviewees, as “Fox has the resources and ability to service clients with multiple cross-issues, so you’re getting not only a sophisticated client base – which is very appealing! – but also an environment where they encourage entrepreneurship and leverage to shape the career you want.” Firmwide managing partner Todd Rodriguez explains this structure in a little more detail to provide a sense of the firm’s market position: “We have roughly 1,000 lawyers, and we have 30 offices coast to coast, which is unusual! In any given year, we have somewhere between 24,000 and 27,000 active clients.” As per our sister guide Chambers USA, Fox Rothschild bags top marks for its nationwide prowess in gaming & licensing, healthcare, transportation, and cannabis law, on top of a respectable showing in IP in Florida and white-collar investigations litigation in Pennsylvania. The associates on our list were fairly evenly spread out between offices like Atlantic City, New York, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.

Strategy & Future



Something that differentiates Fox Rothschild from its peers in the market according to Rodriguez is the fact that “our rate structure is lower” than some of the elite firms, which Rodriguez attributes to the firm’s placement in the market and its target clientele. As a result, Fox is able to “support practice groups that are unusual for firms of our caliber – we have family law, tax & wealth planning, and estate planning, which are a few areas not so typical for large firms.” Rodriguez adds that as “the vast majority of our clients are middle market,” Fox is “able to absorb smaller firms” because “they fit nicely into our structure as opposed to many other firms that charge much higher rates.” Case in point, Fox merged with the Dempsey Law Group last year, a North Carolina-based boutique focused on adoption, surrogacy, and ART. Even though Fox recently opened a new office in Sarasota, proving that expansion is always on the cards when the time is right, Rodriguez explains that the firm doesn’t typically “target specific geographic areas,” rather, “we look for opportunities to strengthen existing practice areas and geographic reach.”

The Work



In terms of work allocation, associates are expected to navigate the firm’s free market system, where work is found through forming relationships with partners and other colleagues. Though there is generally no central staffer, “some departments are more coordinated,” especially since there are practice managing partners on hand to monitor workflow and connect with those in need. “My work comes from a few different partners,” noted one source, and while “you have to speak up for yourself if you don’t have enough work,” the free-market system remained popular “because you get to explore different areas of law if you’re really interested.”

In taxation & wealth planning,  one associate explained “we represent everyone from banks and fiduciaries at a large-scale level and national firms with a trusts & estates department, helping them with fiduciary oversight.” Though, more traditional trusts litigation is part of this group too, such as settling family disputes and undue influence and capacity issues. Tasks here include researching preliminary issues; drafting motions; interviewing and deposing witnesses; doc review; and reviewing transcripts, “so you do anything you’d expect an associate to do!” Even though “you’re doing a lot of the leg work in terms of research,” one source was happy to tell us that they’re gradually given increasing levels of responsibility. “It’s organic,” they detailed: “You’re not getting asked to do all the hardest tasks on your own. You’ll slowly be added as a cog in the wheel as you go along.”

We heard that the work in Fox’s corporate group entails “M&A, contract work, operating agreements, and dissolution of businesses,” and associates are given as much as they feel like they can handle: “Recently I was on a small deal,” one junior shared, “and they let me lead it. They want to give you opportunities to see how these things work.” Insiders told us that the client base ranges depending on which partners you work with, and day-to-day, corporate juniors find themselves reviewing due diligence, drafting operating agreements and assignments, and closing checklists – “your typical M&A work!”

Corporate clients: Bridgepointe Technologies, Adelphi Capital Partners, Cleartelligence Inc. Represented Cornerstone Treatment Facilities Network licensed by the state of New York in a chemical facility transaction.

“I’m tasked with a lot of substantive work that I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to do otherwise…”

Over in litigation, one source explained that “the types of clients we typically work for are small to mid-sized businesses or wealthy individuals.” Here, juniors had plenty of opportunities to take on more responsibilities: “I’m tasked with a lot of substantive work that I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to do otherwise – things like jumping into motions, drafting and settling negotiations. It’s helpful to learn and develop these skills.” Seconded by a fellow litigator, “I get involved in client meetings, and I also draft complaints or petitions on top of responses, pleadings, summary judgements, motions for dismissal, and discovery requests.” So, as one junior put it: “it’s more than just doc review. I don’t get tasked with that as much as my friends at other firms do. I’ll only pick it up if I’m running low on hours!”

Litigation clients: University of Washington, Valve Corporation, Noziska/Belize Asset Recovery. Represented Kona Coffee Growers Class Action against suppliers after products marketed as ‘100% Kona coffee’ were scientifically found to contain little to no Kona coffee.

Culture



“They prioritize mentorship and recognize you as a human being!”

Our interviewees gave resoundingly positive responses when asked for their thoughts on Fox’s culture. “I think the culture is great for a law firm of this size,” noted one, and “there have been plenty of times where I’ve cold called a partner with a question, and they’ve always dropped what they’re doing and spoken to me – even if they’re not in your office!” Wait – a pleasant culture? In BigLaw? That’s exactly what initially took this associate by surprise: “I was astonished at the open-door policy and that everyone treats you as an equal. There’s no talking down to anyone, and nobody ever gets mad.” What a relief! “The culture is really great,” confirmed another, before explaining that “they prioritize mentorship and recognize you as a human being!” The bonds formed with colleagues were a highlight for many of our sources – “I love the attorneys I get to work with” – and we heard that the culture is pretty well-aligned across offices too. Though it varies by office, we heard that the social life at Fox was active, with events like associate lunches, a Lunar New Year celebration, and Super Bowl parties on offer at various points throughout the year.

Hours & Compensation



Billable hours: 1,900 target for litigation, family, and environmental law; 1,850 target for all other departments

The billable target of 1,850 hours was described to us as “really attainable” thanks to associate workload, with other initiatives like DEI, mentorship, and pro bono counting towards the annual total. While most were happy with the achievability of the goal, a few did warn that it can be market and partner dependent, meaning that there are times where “it’s a little out of your hands.” Though, for those associates who manage to reach that magic number, there is an added incentive to exceed this - an increased bonus staggered at various stages beyond 1,900.

“This is an apprentice profession – there’s only so much you can learn from a book!”

There’s flexibility with working days too: “we don’t have an official mandate in terms of being back in the office, our policy is three days a week on average,” Rodriguez tells us. An associate added that “as long as you know what you have to do and get it done.” Though, sources did explain that the in-office requirement is entirely dependent on partner and practice group, with some hoping to see associates in-person most days and others working predominantly online. Speaking about this flexibility, one insider candidly noted that “it's a big reason I’m staying at the firm.”  While some juniors gave the other side of the coin: “I come in every day because I’m a younger lawyer and I’m trying to get as much out of the in-person experience as I can.” And it’s fair to say that Rodriguez certainly approves: “This is an apprentice profession – there’s only so much you can learn from a book! There’s so much about the practice of law and about client service, communication, understanding, body language, and frankly, I think not spending much time in the office can really harm younger lawyers. Working remotely, they don’t get the benefit of seeing lawyers in action, hearing how they communicate with clients, and being able to stop by in someone’s office to talk through a situation.”

Pro Bono



With 50 hours of billable credit available to associates for pro bono matters, our sources felt this was a major focus for the firm, and multiple interviewees told us that “it’s definitely encouraged.” Associates can go beyond the 50, though approval is required to exceed this. If attorneys can exceed their general billable target, even more pro bono work can be counted as billable. For instance, if associates hit 2,000 hours, then the amount of billable pro bono credit available is increased to 100 hours. Despite a few associates noting a degree of difficulty in doing so, juniors are theoretically free to open any cases they please, as we heard that the firm seeks to develop relationships to make a genuine difference.

Pro bono hours 

•       For all (US) attorneys: 68,366

•       Average per (US) attorney: 31

Career Development



Our interviewees felt that the firm invests in them as associates, particularly when it comes to training and mentorship. “We have a lot of training to progress our skills,” explained one source – things like “deposition workshops, a mock trial academy, group-specific training, internal panels, networking events, and monthly business generation and development meetings.” If that's not enough for you, the firm also hosts training to practice motions, a negotiations workshop and a transactional bootcamp. Juniors also spoke of the firm’s “big push to develop mentoring.” This source continued, “For the first two years, there’s a mentorship program” where associates are assigned a mentor from the get go, but “it’s up to your discretion how you want to use that. You can take your mentor relationship whichever way you want.”

“Our goal is for everybody here to become an equity partner…”

Rodriguez confirms that personal and professional development remains at the forefront of the firm’s thinking when it comes to maximizing the associate experience. He explains, “One of the initiatives we’re working on and will be rolling out in the coming year is a comprehensive associate development program. Our goal is for everybody here to become an equity partner. So, we are trying to find ways to help associates develop professionally that are not limited to business development, but rather focus on professional development, leadership, and client service.” The path to partnership was clear for associates at Fox as well: “There’s lots of transparency and they hold events specifically focused on advancement,” with another source stating that the process is far from a “battle royale.” Rodriguez further mentions that “we also have counsel level so any associate who comes to Fox Rothschild has a pretty good chance if they stick around and meet our metrics of eventually making equity partner at the firm!”

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion



Rodriguez emphasizes that “our goal is to support, develop, and enhance DEI within our firm, identifying and implementing ways to help diverse attorneys be successful in the practice of law.” As one associate explained, “The firm is really invested in DEI efforts, especially when it comes to recruiting diverse attorneys at the junior associate level. But retaining them could be an area of improvement,” and 48% of survey respondents believed that the firm makes an effort to do so. With a Women’s Initiative, an LGBTQ+ committee, a Mosaic network (for racial and ethnic diversity) and external speakers for Women’s and Black History Month, improving DEI is certainly “on everyone’s radar.” Evidently, as the firm received its Mansfield Certification 6.0 last year and is working towards earning the award’s next iteration.

Get Hired   



The first stage: recruitment on and off campus    

Fox has a firm-wide 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, judgment 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 in 2023: 171

All interviews are virtual and 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 juniorassociate.    

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

Summer program    

Fox's summer program lasts for ten weeks and starts with a firm-wide orientation. Throughout the program, summer associates will meet regularly as a class for training, 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 training that is delivered by video conference across the offices. In addition, summers can expect a one-on-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 seven 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

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, 2023

Ranked Departments

    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 5)
    • Corporate/M&A: Highly Regarded (Band 1)
    • Immigration (Band 2)
    • Construction (Band 2)
    • 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 3)
    • Insurance (Band 3)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 3)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 2)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 4)
    • Real Estate (Band 1)
    • Tax (Band 3)
    • Construction (Band 3)
    • Healthcare (Band 5)
    • Media & Entertainment: Advisory (Band 3)
    • Antitrust (Band 2)
    • Energy & Natural Resources (Band 2)
    • Healthcare (Band 2)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 3)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 3)
    • Real Estate (Band 4)
    • 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 2)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 3)
    • Corporate/M&A & Private Equity (Band 4)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 2)
    • Real Estate (Band 4)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 3)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 3)
    • Real Estate (Band 3)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Highly Regarded (Band 2)
    • Cannabis Law (Band 1)
    • Construction (Band 5)
    • Environment (Band 5)
    • Franchising (Band 4)
    • Gaming & Licensing (Band 1)
    • Government Contracts: Highly Regarded (Band 2)
    • Healthcare: Highly Regarded (Band 1)
    • Transportation: NTSB Specialists (Band 1)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 3)
    • Environment (Band 4)

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