Massachusetts-made Mintz maintains momentum in the mid-market while “appreciating people’s lives outside the office.” Mmmm!
“STUDYING at a Boston law school, I got a good sense of local firms and their reputation in the city. I knew Mintz was among the elite in town.”Don’t rely solely on the word of this associate: Chambers USA ranks the firm top in Massachusetts for banking and finance, bankruptcy, construction and environment (also recognizing its prowess in corporate M&A, healthcare, and general commercial litigation among other areas). Outside of the Boston mothership Mintz has six more US offices including in New York, DC and California, plus an overseas base in London.
Juniors stressed that they “definitely do work hard here – that’s the industry we’re in,”but suggested their firm takes a Mintzy-fresh view on keeping attorneys happy. "People are really respectful of your home life and know that this job isn’t your entire existence,” according to several associates who explained why Mintz was the firm for them. “It’s the kind of place that respects you as an individual, which is nice especially when you’re a first-year,” one declared.
Two-thirds of Mintz’s junior associates can be found in the Boston HQ. When we came calling, the remaining third split between New York, DC, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. You could also split the junior classes into thirds by practice: one third in corporate, another in litigation, and a final third that was mostly in IP with a handful in healthcare or labor & employment practices. Most groups have a formal work assignment system in place, but some of our associate sources got their tasks through more informal channels. “You can talk to the partner in charge of assignments if you have a specific type of work in mind,” one revealed. “Because I summered here, I already knew people when I started and have been getting assignments from them.” They and others appreciated the formal system as “a nice safety net, but it’s not rigid so if I see someone in the hall who asks me to help with something, I can bypass formalities and get straight on that.”
“I’ve been involved with clients from their formation all the way through to their IPO.”
Corporate sources locked horns with M&A, financing and venture capital, securities and some general corporate advisory work. “Mintz does a lot of middle-market deals,” juniors explained. “I’ve done both buy-side and sell-side M&A, but the majority of Mintz’s practice is sell-side.” In Boston, the firm (like many in the city) is “very big on life sciences – a lot of our public clients are life sciences companies. I’ve been involved with clients from their formation all the way through to their IPO.” Others did more on the fundraising side, seeing Series A to Series D financings "mostly from venture capital funds.” Venture capital also plays an integral role in the New York practice. On bigger deals, juniors “coordinated with different parties and kept on top of the closing checklists. You need to be very organized and know who has what document at what time.” Smaller deals came with more drafting involved: “It could be anything from formation documents to master service agreements. You get to communicate directly with the client and draft the documents then send them to the partner for comments.” Some found taking on higher responsibility roles "a little intimidating, but that’s how you learn.” DC has distinct a niche in renewable energy work; young startups are among the most common clients in San Diego.
Corporate clients: Royal Philips, Cheetah Medical, Evolv Technologies. Represented lighting company Signify in its acquisition of agricultural lighting solutions provider Once.
Junior litigators had dabbled with a varied palette of securities litigation, shareholder disputes, white-collar investigations, fraud claims and smaller breach of contract cases. “In my first year I was lucky to be put on a smaller trial team in state court,” which this interviewee found “was a great learning experience.” Larger disputes “can span different practice groups and jurisdictions across the country,” and cross-staffing is relatively common for larger litigation cases. A Boston source recalled “working on a case in the Southern District of New York with people in that office and my own.” Day-to-day tasks included typical document review and legal research, but some were also able to “write certain motions for court, like asking for a time extension.” Some reckoned responsibility levels can “depend on who you work for,” but interviewees agreed that Mintz is “the kind of firm where people are willing to give you opportunities if you want them.”
Litigation clients: Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, USA Track & Field, Reebok. Acted for Granite State Insurance in a $10 million+ Federal Court in Boston bad faith suit.
Such opportunities to develop are “meaningful and helpful, especially in the early going.” Sources pointed to the recent introduction of an associate development coach as proof that Mintz takes the topic seriously: “the firm does an especially good job of training juniors and making resources available to them.” One litigator described “a two-day training on motions to dismiss. The first day was on how to draft them and the second covered making the argument; partners acted as judges and gave feedback on what we presented, which I found really helpful.” There’s less formal training on offer in corporate, “but the sessions we do have are really good.”
“...seems more achievable than at other bigger firms.”
Interviewees felt that “Mintz has a very strong prestige factor” in the Northeast and New England in particular. While some were already aiming to join the partnership ranks one day (“it seems more achievable than at some bigger firms”), others were confident that Mintz had their backs regardless of where they wanted to go in future. “The firm encourages people who are interested in going in-house,” one told us. “They want to provide flexibility and the firm understands that not everyone wants to make partner.”
Culture, Hours & Compensation
“People do look out for other people and are willing to lend a hand.” That’s something we hear from associates at many firms – what makes Mintz special? Some suggested that an ‘all in this together’ mentality among juniors was key: “There have been so many instances where I’m freaking out at 10 or 11pm, and other associates have taken the time to help me even though it wasn’t their matter. That makes a big difference.”For juniors at Mintz, in-work camaraderie was more important than hanging out into the evenings. “It’s not the kind of place where we all go out to happy hours together all the time,”one explained. “Mintz Levin understands that you value your personal life.”
“11 hours with a nice person is better than one hour with a jerk.”
Though the firm is “very family-oriented,”there may well be times when you see your coworkers more than your family. “11 hours with a nice person is better than one hour with a jerk,”an interviewee pointed out. At the same time, “nobody looks down at you if you leave early for dinner with your family, as long as you’re available when we need you.” Days at Mintz tend to wrap up between 6pm and 7pm, though many interviewees ended up working until 10pm or later from home. Most found they only logged some additional hours on weekends to “make Monday a bit less hectic,”and explained that attorneys “can sign off early on a Friday evening and people respect that.”
Billable hours: 1,850 target
Associates can count up to 150 hours of nonbillable but ‘creditable’ work toward their target, including pro bono and training. “I don’t think anyone in litigation would have trouble meeting it,”one junior litigator noted, while a corporate colleague reported that “the vast majority of us hit 1,850.”Bostonsources suggested “the corporate department has been very light recently and that’s been a bit of a problem for us.”We also heard some complaints that bonuses didn’t match some other firms, but the highest performers have the potential to earn additional bonuses.
All our interviewees took on pro bono to top up their hours. “I came to the firm not really knowing much about Mintz’s pro bono practice and wasn’t expecting to do much unless I was asked,”one admitted. “Somebody asked me right away and the pro bono has been the most rewarding work I’ve done so far; I’m thankful that the firm pushes it.”Contrasting their firm’s program with others, interviewees noted that “Mintz sponsors very defined initiatives”across its offices. In Bostonthere’s a “defined pipeline for asylum work – we have partnerships with local agencies with whom we collaborate on their projects.” The firm also works with organizations like PAIR, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. San Diego has more immigration work due to its proximity to the US’ southern border. Some felt there could be a wider range of pro bono opportunities available, but most agreed that “if you find a program you’re passionate about, I could see the firm getting behind it.”
Pro bono hours
- For all (US) attorneys: undisclosed
- Average per (US) attorney: undisclosed
Diversity & Inclusion
We also heard that the firm’s diversity efforts were “picking up speed, Mintz is taking an aggressive approach to promoting inclusivity.” At the forefront of this ‘aggression’ is “really good implicit bias training”to help “address things you don’t even know you’re doing, then show you how to adjust and change.” Interviewees also praised the firm’s “really strong” affinity group for minorities (MIATTY), which holds monthly meetings, “each of which is geared toward a particular area of diversity – for example, hiring female minority candidates.”MIATTY also holds a yearly retreat to bring diverse attorneys from different offices together. An active Women’s Initiative and LGBTQ group (Mintz Pride) run their own programs; stats-wise, sources reckoned “Mintz really seems to be trying, compared to many other firms. They are aware of the issue of diversity and are working on it.”
“...taking an aggressive approach to promoting inclusivity.”
The first stage: recruitment on and off campus
OCI applicants interviewed: 153
Interviewees outside OCI: 20
Mintz attends OCIs at seven universities, including a mix of top national law schools such as Harvard and Georgetown, and regionals such as Boston College Law School and Suffolk Law School. The firm also job fairs run by Boston Lawyers Group, Northeast BLSA, and Lavender Law. Outside of this the firm participates in resume drops, and hopefuls can also send in applications directly to the firm.
Hiring sources tell us that interviewers “look for curious, collaborative, collegial students.” Questions vary by interviewer, but overall “we aim to find prospective associates who share the same passion for the law as our lawyers do.”
Top tips for this stage:
“Someone who gave the sense that they were out for themselves would have a hard time getting a good rating!”– A junior associate
“Think about what you want to convey to an interviewer without scripting the answers. Take the time to learn about the firm – including our people and practice areas.”
Applicants invited to second stage interview: 69
Candidates invited to callbacks will interview with four or five lawyers – again, questions vary person to person. But hiring sources said that interviewers will be interested in a candidate’s interest in the law, their other interests, accomplishments and “how would you like to be challenged!”
A junior associated went into more detail: “At the end of each interview, there is an evaluation process with about five or six questions like, ‘Is the candidate a team leader? Would you feel comfortable having them meet with clients?’ Naturally, the questions we ask in interview help candidates provide answers to those questions.”
Top tips for this stage:
“Focus on being able to make a personal connection. Go beyond just answering questions on what’s on or not on your resume.” – A second-year junior associate
“Similarly, to OCI, students should be prepared. We aim to have an interactive discussion on your future at our firm.”
In Mintz’s nine-week program, summers choose a practice area of interest (Corporate, Litigation, or Intellectual Property) and are immersed in that practice area for the duration of the program. Training sessions on offer include a writing program and a mock trial. Social events are dotted throughout the program “so our lawyers and students have an opportunity to get to know each other outside of the office.” The firm tells us summers typically return as first-year associates in the practice area in which they worked during the summer.
Top tips for this stage:
“Be enthusiastic; do great work; get to know people; always carry a pen and notepad!”
Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC
One Financial Center,
- Head Office: Boston, MA
- Number of domestic offices: 7
- Number of international offices: 2
- Worldwiderevenue: $400m
- Partners (US): 239
- Associates (US): 219
- Main recruitment contact: Cathy Maiorana, (email@example.com)
- Diversity officer: Tyrone Thomas
- Recruitment details
- Entry-level associates starting in 2020: 14
- Clerking policy: Yes (depending on the situation)
- Summers joining/anticipated 2020: 1Ls: 1, 2Ls: 9
- Summers joining/anticipated 2020 split by office: Boston: 9, San Diego: 1.
- Summer salary 2020: 1Ls and 2Ls: $3,653/week
- Split summers offered? No
- Can summers spend time in overseas office? No
Main areas of work
Mintz is proud of its formal mentoring programs that complement the collegiality of our firm. The firm has an extensive associate mentoring program run by a firm-wide mentoring coordinator and on-site mentoring coordinators in each office.
Boston College Law School, Boston University School of Law, Georgetown Law School, Harvard Law School, Howard University School of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Suffolk University Law School.
Recruitment outside OCIs:
Northeastern University School of Law – resume drop, Northeast BLSA Job Fair, Lavender Law Job Fair, and Boston Lawyers Group Job Fair.
Summer associate profile:
Mintz’s summer associate program is an eagerly anticipated and vital program. Summer associates are encouraged to work on assignments from a variety of practice areas. They attend trials, depositions and negotiations. They participate in legal writing workshops, a transactional case study, and a mock trial. Each summer associate is assigned an associate mentor, a member mentor and a writing mentor. Mentors are available for questions, and they facilitate informal feedback on work projects. Through work assignments and social events, our attorneys strive to provide each summer associate with an opportunity to get to know what a career at Mintz has to offer.
Summer program components:
Mintz offers a summer associate program in their Boston and San Diego office. Summer associates are exposed to a variety of practice areas. This provides them with the opportunity to explore new and current interest areas.
This Firm's Rankings in
USA Guide, 2020
District of Columbia
- Healthcare (Band 2)
- Banking & Finance: Public Finance (Band 1)
- Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 1)
- Construction (Band 1)
- Corporate/M&A (Band 3)
- Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Band 3)
- Environment (Band 1)
- Healthcare (Band 2)
- Insurance (Band 2)
- Litigation: General Commercial (Band 2)
- Real Estate (Band 3)
- Technology (Band 3)
- Healthcare (Band 3)
- Litigation: General Commercial: Highly Regarded (Band 4)
USA - Nationwide
- Healthcare (Band 4)
- Retail (Band 4)