Hogan Lovells - The Inside View

Hogan is where the heart is at this international corporate, litigation, and regulatory powerhouse.

Truer words have never been spoken: you won’t be heartbroken when you fall in Love-lls with Hogan. This transatlantic romance is one for the ages, as the firm was born from the union between DC’s Hogan & Hartson and UK national Lovells back in 2010. Now, with almost 2,800 lawyers across offices in the Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, the sheer size and international reach of Hogan Lovells is staggering, as is its abundance of first-class titles in both Chambers USA and Chambers Global. In its home state of DC, the firm scores top marks in healthcare, corporate/M&A, private equity, and environment law but nationwide, Hogan Lovells is best known for its sweeping success in the life sciences, privacy & data security, bankruptcy/restructuring, and energy sectors.

The love doesn’t stop there, though. We were told that Hogan Lovells and its associates are a match made in heaven: “I wanted to go to the best firm I could for my practice, and that was Hogan Lovells.” Aside from “Hogan Lovells’ really great reputation for high-quality work,” it was the allure of a warm culture and an emphasis on maintaining a work-life balance that sealed the deal for our juniors, as people at the firm are “very easy-going and don’t boss you around. It’s not a Draconian firm – there are a lot of human characters. If you have certain needs, you can let them know and they’ll accommodate you.” Another added: “I was impressed because people genuinely seemed to like each other!”

“…Hogan Lovells was the only Chambers-ranked firm in the whole city that I was considering!”

More on culture later, though. For our interviewees, it was all about location, location, location: “I knew I wanted to be in New York, and Hogan Lovells was the only Chambers-ranked firm in the whole city that I was considering!” The breakdown of associates across offices saw most juniors on the East Coast between DC and New York with a couple in Boston, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, and Philadelphia, while the rest were dotted around Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley.

Strategy & Future



Despite the legal market’s difficulties in 2023, Hogan Lovells emerged victorious: “We had record revenue, record collections, record revenue per lawyer,” Richard Lorenzo, regional managing partner for the Americas, shares, and he attributes this to the people at firm. He jokes, “I wish I could tell you that it’s the result of phenomenal management, but it’s because of our lawyers!” The firm’s talent is a point of pride, as he goes onto highlight recent notable hires: “Last year, Karl Racine – former attorney general for the District of Columbia and obviously one of the premier litigators in the US, joined the firm. Of course, every firm wanted Karl to join them given his reputation. We had the good fortune of convincing Karl to join Hogan Lovells.” That’s not all: the firm “had 70 lawyers from Stroock join us.”

That said, Hogan Lovells remains firmly focused on nurturing those already at the firm: “Our Passport Program is an international secondment program that provides associates from across the globe the opportunity to spend three months in another region,” director of attorney talent for the Americas, Melissa Neulander, details. She continues, “DC to London, New York to Paris – we even have somebody going to Shanghai.” Neulander also mentions the Sales Transformation Program that aims to ensure that associates are “comfortable in that selling mode and have that entrepreneurial spirit.”

When asked about developments in AI within the legal industry, Carin Carithers, a corporate & finance partner in DC, tells us, “I do think there’s going to be a seismic shift in the near future. I think the easy work – the things that are the low-hanging fruit of the legal community – will be automated and done by AI.” So, what Hogan Lovells will be looking for “in the next generation of law students is judgment – navigating the gray area and the things that a computer isn’t going to be able to figure out. The people who are going to thrive in this industry are those who have interpersonal skills, the judgment, the EQ, and the ability to suss out the difficult details in the law.” Of this, Lorenzo confidently affirms that “the world is changing, the legal environment is changing. The question is: who’s going to adapt to that change? We will.”

The Work



Work is assigned predominantly through close relationships with partners, and this was the consensus across practice groups. There is a staffing partner in place as a fallback to manage work allocation, but it’s a guardrail that associates don’t lean on too heavily. A source noted the pros and cons of this system: “You need to be outgoing and able to talk to people, set up coffees or lunches, or follow up with people to manage your own workflow. So long as you’re a little entrepreneurial or able to ask your mentor for help, you’ll be fine because even if the team you want is full, they’ll keep you in mind by giving you something to get your foot in the door. If you don’t ask for help, you might end up getting staffed through the staffing partner, meaning you’ll have less control over your own career trajectory.” But some sources had another perspective on it: “I like the casual system,” one reflected, “but I love the idea that if I wanted something else, there’s a formal process to connect me pretty easily.” Regardless of whether you prefer more formal or informal processes, the good news is that regularly working with the same partners and associates means that “you can fast track to being an efficient unit, and you can really bond closely with your teammates.”

“You step into the role of a seventh year as a first year!”

As a corporate junior at Hogan Lovells, “you’re able to float because you’re considered a general corporate and finance associate for the first 18 months” in the DC office, whereas Denver’s corporate practice is “M&A focused from the jump.” Across offices, corporate work includes matters in energy and projects, real estate, investment funds, capital markets, and banking and finance. Plenty of responsibility is given to associates early on: “You step into the role of a seventh year as a first year!” But whether you’re interested in representing investors in the funds group or contractors in the real estate group, “all first years will do either public or private company M&A.” This is because “M&A for Hogan Lovells is booming, and they always need junior support. Since our staffing model is nationwide, you’ll quickly meet a lot of corporate associates because you’re working on M&A deals based out of different offices.” This cross-office collaboration is further facilitated by Hogan Lovells’ practice-agnostic Launch event, during which the firm flies all the first years out to DC for programming. An associate detailed, “You get to hang out and that makes it easier to reach out to other first years when there’s work they might be interested in.” So, “if a matter is looking for first years to do diligence, you can pull people in, and other people will pull you in. It’s great to work with your friends and see what’s going on from a different angle.”

Corporate clients: Activision, Morgan Stanley, Walmart. Represented Kia Motors America and Hyundai Motors America in connection with Attorney General investigations.

Litigation at the firm boasts a wide array of teams, including (but not limited to) technology, securities, employment, human rights, and appellate heavyweights. Associates in this group can sample numerous areas and can expect to draft motions, prepare discovery, and have significant amounts of client contact. More specifically, the litigation group is also home to the white collar and investigations group, a powerful practice at Hogan Lovells that generally “comes down to two different sections: litigation and investigations.” While the litigation branch’s tasks are similar to the general litigation group, the investigations bucket consists of FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) investigations;“so, anything concerning insider trading, government investigations where they get you to produce or send documents as a third party ahead of them litigating, and lots of internal investigations for clients.” Juniors are often tasked with doc review – “especially in white collar because a lot of investigations are fact-driven” – taking notes during meetings and writing drafts. But “when you’re working with the False Claims Act you do a lot of things a civil litigator would do: deposition prep, RFC responses, all that fun stuff!”

White collar and investigations clients: GPB Capital Holdings, Kerry, Safran. Represented ZTE, the leading China-based global telecoms equipment and systems company in a matter worth $2.92 billion.

Career Development



“You’re not thrown into it and left to fend for yourself.”

Lots of training and mentorship is available from the minute you join Hogan Lovells: “You’re not thrown into it and left to fend for yourself.” New joiners are assigned a partner mentor and an integration advisor, “a more senior associate who can help you figure out how systems work and expand your social circles.” If you’re looking for something more casual, “there’s plenty of informal mentorship going on. No one will tell you that they don’t have time for you.” Trainings and CLE range “from the simple to the complex, whether it’s how to use Excel or business development training.” There are also “lots of other IT-related courses that happen monthly, and we also have lawyer skills bootcamps – every week or two there’s some kind of training going on.” Additionally, the firm’s attorneys have access to not only a career coach but a psychologist, both of whom are “extremely easy to reach!”

Hours & Compensation



Billable hours: 2,000 target

With a 2,000-hour target and a lockstep bonus structure, we were told that “partners are very understanding that people have needs and might want to reduce their capacity. You can reduce your hours and they won’t fault you for that.” Unique to BigLaw, the firm grants 400 integration hours for first years that count towards your billables; this includes anything from “meeting a mentor, learning more about your practice, or just general training.” Because of this, our interviewees – even corporate associates who had a slower year – thought the target was “doable,” although we heard from juniors that even if you don't hit it, there's no anxiety about your place at the firm as there are plenty of support systems in place.

“I can have my me time!”

Hogan Lovells also has a flexible working policy that its juniors love because “nobody is micromanaging you – if you need to leave, you can do that whenever.” To this, another added that “it all goes back to giving you autonomy and treating you like an adult." With an in-office policy of three days a week, associates are working around 49 hours a week according to our survey but are usually logged off at the weekends, so “I can have my me time!”

Culture



“…I’m working with my friends. It's not a work hard party hard culture – it’s a warm, welcoming, and transparent place.”

“We have a spectacular party planning committee,” an interviewee gushed of the events team, continuing to say, “They host on such a regular basis, and we appreciate them so much.” Some of these events include a World Cup event, associate happy hours, a New Years party, and an end of summer event that “always ends in karaoke!” Looking for more chill social opportunities? “We have a box office for different sports events,” a source shared, and “there are always free tickets if you want to go watch sports with your co-workers or family.” If social gatherings aren’t your thing at all, don’t worry: “Due to the number of events, it feels like you can easily pick and choose what you want to go to and not feel like you’re missing out.” Another added, “I get enough of a social experience in a collaborative work environment because I’m working with my friends. It's not a work hard party hard culture – it’s a warm, welcoming, and transparent place.”

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion



We were told that “transparency and openness to a continual dialogue are fundamental to the experience of DEI at Hogan Lovells,” and “the firm’s leadership takes it incredibly seriously in a way that makes me feel like they do care about correcting any surfaced shortcomings as people perceive them.” DEI is a “constant process,” and the firm is “very clear about its diversity goals. We’ll be told that the firm hasn’t hit its targets but is working on it.” That said, the numbers of both women and diverse associates are high – 56% and 41% respectively – and “you’re seeing a lot more people of color in the summers and the new associates.” This source also noted that “since we have so many international offices, both your clients and colleagues are very diverse.”

Hogan Lovells is home to several “widely publicized and well-attended” affinity groups for diverse associates looking for a support network too, including Americas Pride+, Asian Pacific and Black Attorneys, HL Women, and FirstGen. There is also the Allverse Conference, a two-day networking event for underrepresented lawyers, and the Americas Diversity Committee (ADC) sponsorship program through which diverse attorneys are provided sponsors from their practice who are responsible for supporting their career advancement. Of these, one junior praised: “You’re really embraced and celebrated. You feel like you’re welcomed.”

Pro Bono



Pro bono is “in the DNA of every person within our organization,” as Richard Lorenzo, a passionate pro bono advocate, tells us, and Hogan Lovells’ generous pro bono policy is evidence of this. Once associates hit 1,850 billable hours, they can count up to 150 hours of pro bono towards their bonus target. If they hit 2,000, that cap comes off and “unlimited pro bono can be added for the upper tiers of the salary scale.” The firm also offers a pro bono rotation for first years, which is “great if you’re ever feeling burnt out.” A corporate junior shared that “because we have a dedicated pro bono partner, counsel, paralegals, and associates, we’re staffed up! We have a constant flow of opportunities being sent out to us, as well as a coordinator that’ll comb through them and look for corporate matters for us.”

“We had a pretty massive win in the Supreme Court last year with the Voting Rights Act.”

What do these matters look like across the offices? DC associates can work alongside Arcadia, “a non-profit that we’ll help man food delivery trucks for,” the National Veterans Legal Service program, and the Abortion Events Network. In New York, juniors have worked with March for Our Lives which focuses on gun safety, while in Northern Virginia, there are plenty of immigration and unjust imprisonment matters to go around. One source highlighted a major victory in the pro bono space: “We had a pretty massive win in the Supreme Court last year with the Voting Rights Act. There’s definitely a leaning towards trying to help the less fortunate.”

Pro bono hours 

  • For all (US) attorneys: 89,754
  • Average per (US) attorney: 76

Get Hired



The first stage: recruitment on and off campus 

OCI applicants interviewed: 743

Interviewees outside OCI: undisclosed

Hogan Lovells interviews students who attend law schools across the US. Summer program hires come from a mix of on-campus meetings, relationship building through proactive outreach programs and networking, write-in applications, lawyer referrals and law school resume collections. The firm’s assessment of a candidate’s application focuses on initiative, interpersonal skills, judgment and analysis, communication skills, and an interest in community involvement. Demonstrating a sincere interest in the firm, the office of interest, and the practice of law is also important. Not all offices interview during formal on-campus programs and students are encouraged to apply directly starting early in the summer.

Top tips for this stage: 

“If you’re interested in a specific practice, be able to articulate it well. Since corporate is more general, that’s fine, but with practices such as privacy or regulatory, make sure you’re able to give a good reason as to why you’re interested.” – a third-year associate 

Callbacks 

Applicants invited to second stage interview: 285

At the callback stage, students meet a combination of partners and associates. Prospective candidates should expect to meet a diverse group of lawyers representing a variety of practices. The questions at this stage build on the theme in the screening stage, with an added focus on understanding better how students believe they might contribute to the firm’s client-focused teams. All applicants at this stage are asked to take an assessment which measures traits and professional competencies. The assessment is an additional data point used in the consideration of applicants. Candidates who complete the assessment are provided a report highlighting their strengths and development priorities, which include coaching topics on how to approach these areas with a growth mindset and an exercise for setting actionable steps for their professional development.  From an associate perspective, sources agreed that “Hogan really values team players. We don’t want people who are going to throw others under the bus or be pretentious. All firms say they pride themselves on collegiality, but Hogan really does walk the walk.” 

Summer program 

Offers (2024): 144

Acceptances (2023): 78

Summer associates are encouraged “to undertake projects that allow them to explore their professional interests, including at least one pro bono project, and provide them with opportunities to make oral presentations and prepare substantive written product.” In addition to practice specific, legal, and professional skills training programs, there’s a summer associate conference that lasts for three days and involves “meetings with firm leaders and interactive programming that gives a good understanding of the firm’s culture, vision, values and strategies for future success.” Summers are encouraged to be open to a range of assignments, explaining: “You never know when an assignment will spark a new interest or put you on a path that’s unexpected.” Associate sources also encouraged summers to “use your peer network. Most of my work has come from contacts I’ve met informally. People look out for each other here and there are a lot of support networks available.” 

And finally…  

The vast majority of the firm's summer associates return as associates following graduation from law school or a judicial clerkship. 

 

Hogan Lovells

Columbia Square,,
555 Thirteenth Street, NW,,
Washington, DC,
20004
Website www.hoganlovells.com

Main areas of work





Working at the intersection of law, business and government, across a wide range of industries, Hogan Lovells US LLP’s global practices include corporate; finance; global regulatory; intellectual property, media and technology; litigation, arbitration and employment; and pro bono.

Firm profile




By joining Hogan Lovells, you will become part of a legal practice with a long tradition of excellence that is keenly focused on the future. Working as an integrated team, our lawyers help clients address complex legal issues across a broad spectrum of industries. Our unique global platform, collaborative culture and commitment to your professional development provide an exceptional foundation on which to build a legal career. Hogan Lovells’ pioneering US Pro Bono practice began more than 40 years ago when we were the first law firm to establish a separate practice exclusively providing pro bono legal services. Our culture of inclusion, which respects and values the diversity of all of our people, enhances the quality of Hogan Lovells’ workplace and our ability to provide excellent legal services for clients. We prize our friendly, team oriented environment, which encourages professional development, good associate-partner relations and early client contact.

Recruitment




Law Schools attending for OCIs in 2024:

  • American University
  •  Washington College of Law
  •  Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
  •  Brooklyn Law School
  •  Catholic University of America
  •  Columbus School of Law
  •  Columbia Law School
  •  Cornell Law School
  •  Duke University School of Law
  •  Florida International University College of Law
  •  Florida State University College of Law
  •  Fordham University School of Law
  •  George Washington University Law School
  •  Georgetown University Law Center
  •  Harvard Law School
  •  Howard University School of Law
  •  New York University School of Law
  •  Northeastern University School of Law
  •  Stanford Law School
  •  UCLA School of Law

Summer associate profile:




Hogan Lovells selects our participants each year from among many highly qualified candidates. We seek candidates whose records demonstrate excellent written and oral communication skills and strong academic performance. We value students from diverse backgrounds who have demonstrated a drive for excellence, a passion for community involvement and compassion for others. We seek candidates who can raise the game of the whole team and look beyond themselves in seeking the best outcome for our clients.

Summer associate components:



The Hogan Lovells US Summer Associate program provides students an opportunity to experience and learn about all aspects of the firm. With guidance from lawyers, summer associates complete meaningful client and pro bono assignments. All US Summer Associates participate in an array of training programs designed to introduce them to our practices, our alumni, our clients, and develop and enhance legal and other professional skills. Firm leaders meet with summer associates to share insights about Hogan Lovells’ pre-eminent practices and strategic plans for the future, our vision and values, and commitment to diversity and inclusion. Through group learning pods, integration events, and interactive learning opportunities, summer associates engage in a peer learning environment that encourages the sharing of knowledge, experiences, and insights, while getting to know their colleagues from other offices and making lifelong connections.

Social media:




Recruitment website: https://www.hoganlovells.com/en/global-careers/united-states/careers-in-the-united-states
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/hoganlovells
Twitter: @HoganLovells
Instagram:@hoganlovellscareers.us

This Firm's Rankings in
USA Guide, 2023

Ranked Departments

    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 2)
    • Corporate/M&A: Deals in Asia (Band 1)
    • Technology: Transactions (Band 4)
    • Corporate/M&A: The Elite (Band 2)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 1)
    • Energy & Natural Resources (Band 2)
    • Environment (Band 2)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 3)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 3)
    • Real Estate (Band 4)
    • Antitrust (Band 4)
    • Corporate/M&A & Private Equity (Band 2)
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Band 4)
    • Environment (Band 2)
    • Healthcare (Band 1)
    • Healthcare: Pharmaceutical/Medical Products Regulatory (Band 1)
    • Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets (Band 3)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: The Elite (Band 3)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 3)
    • Tax (Band 4)
    • Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite (Band 2)
    • Healthcare (Band 3)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: The Elite (Band 1)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 1)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 1)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 3)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring: The Elite (Band 6)
    • Corporate/M&A: Highly Regarded (Band 5)
    • Healthcare (Band 4)
    • Labor & Employment: Highly Regarded (Band 1)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: Highly Regarded (Band 3)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 3)
    • Corporate/M&A & Private Equity (Band 4)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 4)
    • Appellate Law (Band 1)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Highly Regarded (Band 2)
    • Corporate Crime & Investigations: The Elite (Band 4)
    • Corporate/M&A: The Elite (Band 5)
    • Energy: Nuclear (Regulatory & Litigation) (Band 2)
    • Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory & Litigation) (Band 3)
    • Environment (Band 3)
    • False Claims Act (Band 3)
    • FCPA (Band 5)
    • Food & Beverages: Regulatory & Litigation (Band 1)
    • Government Contracts: The Elite (Band 3)
    • Government Relations: Congressional Investigations (Band 1)
    • Government Relations: Federal (Band 2)
    • Healthcare: The Elite (Band 2)
    • International Arbitration: The Elite (Band 4)
    • International Trade: CFIUS Experts (Band 3)
    • International Trade: Export Controls & Economic Sanctions: The Elite (Band 2)
    • International Trade: Trade Remedies & Trade Policy (Band 1)
    • Investment Funds: Investor Representation (Band 2)
    • Life Sciences (Band 3)
    • Life Sciences: Regulatory/Compliance (Band 1)
    • Privacy & Data Security: Healthcare (Band 1)
    • Privacy & Data Security: The Elite (Band 1)
    • Private Equity: Fund Formation (Band 4)
    • Projects: Agency Financing (Band 2)
    • REITs (Band 1)
    • Retail (Band 3)
    • Securities: Regulation: Advisory (Band 1)
    • Transportation: Aviation: Regulatory (Band 1)
    • Transportation: Rail (for Railroads) (Band 3)
    • Transportation: Road (Automotive) (Band 1)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 2)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 1)

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