NALP Directory of Legal Employers

Directory Year: 2021

Cooley LLP - Santa Monica, California

Partnership & Advancement

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Two or more tiers of partner

Does the firm have two or more tiers of partner? No

Additional partnership progression information

We hire associates who we believe have the potential to become partners at Cooley. Our experience shows that it takes approximately nine years for new law school graduates to develop and demonstrate the full range of skills necessary for Cooley to consider them for partnership. Absent special circumstances, associates who join the firm laterally must remain with Cooley for at least three years before they will be considered for partnership. There is no preset limit on the number of associates we elect to partnership in any given year.

As part of the associate review process, Cooley’s Partnership Nominating Committee (“PNC”) carefully assesses all associates and special counsel who are eligible for partnership consideration. Eligible attorneys prepare memos detailing their accomplishments, contributions to the firm and plans for contributing to the on-going success of the firm, and then meet one-on-one with the PNC to discuss their candidacy. The PNC conducts additional diligence as deemed necessary to gain a full understanding of each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, and then provides its recommendations to the Board of Directors, which approves the final list of candidates to be presented to the partnership for a vote.

The PNC uses a broad range of criteria when evaluating candidates. They are:

• Delivery of consistently superior client service through the effective application of professional talents, knowledge, judgment, diligence and interpersonal skills.

• Consistent adherence to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.

• Improving the productivity and satisfaction of other firm personnel through successful recruiting, training, mentoring and team- and morale-building efforts.

• Enhancement of Cooley’s reputation and standing in the community by helping the firm fulfill its social and professional responsibilities through pro bono, professional, civic, educational and other activities.

New partners are elected by an affirmative vote of a supermajority of the entire partnership. Admissions to the partnership are generally announced in late fall and become effective at the beginning of the following year.