McDermott Will & Emery

1. What key practice areas and industries do McDermott Will & Emery specialize in?
McDermott Will & Emery specializes in various practice areas, including healthcare, life sciences, energy, private equity, tax, and intellectual property. The firm also serves clients in technology, finance, real estate, and more industries.  

Embarking on a legal career can be both exciting and daunting. With numerous law firms to choose from, finding the right fit for your aspirations and professional growth is essential. One such firm that has consistently stood out in the legal industry is McDermott Will & Emery. This SEO-optimized article aims to guide aspiring legal professionals in navigating their careers at McDermott Will & Emery, exploring the firm's culture, practice areas, career progression opportunities, and the necessary steps to secure a position at this esteemed organization.


McDermott Will & Emery: A Brief Overview 

Established in 1934, McDermott Will & Emery has emerged as a global powerhouse in the legal field, with a presence in key business and legal markets worldwide. The firm boasts a rich history of providing exceptional legal services across a broad range of industries, including healthcare, technology, life sciences, energy, and more. McDermott's commitment to excellence, client-centric approach, and collaborative culture have earned them a reputation as a leading law firm.


The Firm's Culture and Values 

McDermott Will & Emery prides itself on cultivating a supportive and inclusive culture that sets it apart in the legal industry. The firm's core values of collaboration, respect, and integrity are deeply ingrained in its operations and shape how attorneys and staff interact with clients, colleagues, and the broader community.

a. Collaboration: McDermott recognizes that teamwork and collaboration are essential for delivering exceptional legal services. The firm encourages attorneys to work together across practice groups and offices, leveraging diverse perspectives and expertise to provide comprehensive solutions to clients' complex legal challenges. The collaborative culture at McDermott fosters an environment where attorneys can learn from one another, share knowledge, and collectively contribute to the firm's success.

b. Respect: McDermott places a high value on respect for individuals, embracing diversity, and fostering an inclusive workplace. The firm's commitment to respect is demonstrated through its various affinity groups, such as the Women's Forum, LGBTQ+ Alliance, and Multicultural Employee Resource Group. These groups provide a platform for attorneys to connect, share experiences, and support each other. McDermott's inclusive culture ensures that all individuals feel valued, empowered, and able to thrive regardless of their background or identity.

c. Integrity: McDermott Will & Emery upholds the highest ethical standards in all aspects of its work. The firm's attorneys are known for their integrity, professionalism, and adherence to the rule of law. McDermott's commitment to ethical conduct is reflected in its relationships with clients, where trust and confidentiality are paramount. The firm's attorneys approach their work with a strong sense of accountability, ensuring that they act in the best interests of their clients while upholding legal and ethical guidelines.

d. Client-Centric Approach: McDermott's culture places clients at the center of everything it does. Attorneys are committed to understanding their client’s business objectives, challenges, and industry landscape to provide tailored legal strategies. McDermott fosters strong relationships with clients, investing time and effort to build trust and deliver exceptional results. The firm's client-centric approach ensures that attorneys provide legal advice and act as strategic partners, guiding clients through complex legal matters and helping them achieve their goals.

e. Professional Development and Mentorship: McDermott recognizes the importance of continuous learning and growth in fostering a thriving culture. The firm offers comprehensive professional development resources, including training programs, workshops, and seminars. Attorneys have access to cutting-edge legal technology and resources that enable them to stay at the forefront of legal trends and developments. Additionally, McDermott's mentorship programs provide valuable guidance and support, pairing junior attorneys with experienced mentors who offer insights and advice on career progression and navigating the legal industry.

f. Community Engagement: McDermott Will & Emery is committed to making a positive impact beyond its legal services. The firm actively engages in pro bono work and community service initiatives, dedicating time and resources to support underrepresented individuals and charitable organizations. Attorneys are encouraged to contribute their legal expertise to help those in need, aligning with the firm's core values of social responsibility and giving back to society.


Practice Areas and Specializations 

McDermott Will & Emery offers a diverse range of practice areas, allowing attorneys to specialize in areas that align with their interests and expertise. The firm's comprehensive range of practice areas ensures it can effectively serve clients across various industries and navigate complex legal landscapes.

a. Corporate: McDermott's corporate practice encompasses a wide range of services, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity, corporate governance, securities, and general corporate counseling. Attorneys in this practice area work closely with clients to structure and negotiate business transactions, navigate regulatory requirements, and advise on corporate strategies to help clients achieve their commercial objectives.

b. Litigation: McDermott's litigation practice is renowned for its strong courtroom advocacy and strategic approach to dispute resolution. Attorneys in this practice area handle complex commercial litigation, intellectual property disputes, white-collar defense, and regulatory investigations. McDermott's litigators are skilled in crafting persuasive legal arguments, conducting thorough investigations, and representing clients in state and federal courts, arbitration, and mediation proceedings.

c. Tax: McDermott's tax practice offers comprehensive tax planning, controversy, and transactional services. Attorneys in this practice area provide advice on domestic and international tax matters, including mergers and acquisitions, tax-efficient structuring, transfer pricing, and tax controversy resolution. McDermott's tax professionals work closely with clients to minimize tax liabilities, ensure compliance with tax laws, and optimize tax planning strategies.

d. Intellectual Property: McDermott's intellectual property practice helps clients protect and maximize the value of their intellectual assets. Attorneys in this practice area handle patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret matters, including prosecution, litigation, licensing, and portfolio management. McDermott's IP attorneys have deep technical expertise across a range of industries, enabling them to provide tailored advice and effective representation in intellectual property disputes.

e. Healthcare: McDermott has a leading healthcare practice that advises healthcare providers, payors, and life sciences companies on a wide range of legal and regulatory matters. Attorneys in this practice area offer guidance on healthcare compliance, fraud, and abuse, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, healthcare transactions, and privacy and data security. McDermott's healthcare attorneys possess a deep understanding of the complex healthcare industry, enabling them to provide strategic and practical solutions to clients.

f. Energy: McDermott's energy practice advises clients on legal matters related to traditional and renewable energy sources. Attorneys in this practice area handle project development, financing, regulatory compliance, and transactions in the energy sector. McDermott's energy team has extensive experience working with clients in the oil and gas, power, and renewable energy industries, helping them navigate the evolving energy landscape and achieve their business objectives.

g. Other Practice Areas: In addition to the aforementioned practice areas, McDermott offers a range of other specialized practices, including employment, antitrust, real estate, international trade, restructuring and insolvency, and more. This diverse array of practice areas ensures that McDermott can serve clients across a wide range of industries and legal needs.


Professional Development and Career Advancement 

McDermott Will & Emery is committed to its attorneys' professional development and career advancement. The firm recognizes that investing in the growth and success of its lawyers is crucial for maintaining its position as a leading law firm and delivering exceptional client service. McDermott offers a range of resources and programs designed to support attorneys in their career journeys and help them reach their full potential.

a. Training and Education: McDermott provides its attorneys comprehensive training and educational opportunities. The firm offers a robust internal training curriculum that covers various legal topics, practice skills, and professional development. Attorneys have access to workshops, seminars, and webinars conducted by experienced practitioners within the firm. Additionally, McDermott encourages its attorneys to participate in external continuing legal education programs to stay updated on the latest legal developments and trends.

b. Mentorship Programs: McDermott recognizes the value of mentorship in fostering professional growth. The firm has established formal mentorship programs that pair junior attorneys with more experienced practitioners who provide guidance, support, and career advice. Mentors offer insights into navigating the legal profession, building client relationships, and developing key skills necessary for success. The mentorship programs at McDermott help attorneys navigate their career paths, set goals, and make informed decisions about their professional development.

c. Leadership Development: McDermott places emphasis on developing leadership skills among its attorneys. The firm offers leadership development programs that help attorneys refine their leadership abilities, enhance their business acumen, and develop the skills necessary to take on leadership roles within the firm and the legal profession. Through these programs, attorneys gain valuable insights into strategic planning, team management, and effective communication, enabling them to drive positive change and contribute to the firm's growth.

d. Pro Bono Work: McDermott encourages its attorneys to engage in pro bono work to develop professionally and give back to the community. The firm has a strong commitment to pro bono service and provides opportunities for attorneys to work on meaningful pro bono matters. Engaging in pro bono work allows attorneys to gain valuable experience, develop legal skills, and positively impact society. McDermott recognizes and values the contribution of pro bono work to attorneys' professional growth and provides the necessary support and resources for pro bono initiatives.

e. Career Progression: McDermott is dedicated to fostering a clear and transparent career progression path for its attorneys. The firm provides regular performance evaluations and feedback to help attorneys assess their strengths, identify areas for improvement, and set goals. Attorneys who demonstrate exceptional performance and leadership potential are provided with opportunities for advancement within the firm. McDermott's commitment to career progression is evident in its track record of promoting attorneys from within and recognizing their achievements.

f. Technology and Innovation: McDermott understands the importance of technology and innovation in the legal profession. The firm provides its attorneys access to cutting-edge legal technology tools and resources that enhance their efficiency, productivity, and client service. McDermott encourages attorneys to stay abreast of technological advancements and innovative approaches to legal practice, fostering a culture of adaptability and continuous learning.


Recruitment Process and Tips for Success

Securing a McDermott Will & Emery position requires successfully navigating a competitive and rigorous recruitment process. The firm seeks talented and motivated individuals who align with its culture, values, and commitment to excellence. Understanding the recruitment process and preparing strategically can greatly enhance your chances of success. Here is an overview of the key steps involved and valuable tips to help you stand out:

a. Application: The recruitment process typically begins with submitting an application through the firm's website or other designated channels. Take the time to carefully review the application requirements and ensure that your materials are tailored to highlight relevant experience, skills, and accomplishments. Craft a well-written and compelling cover letter demonstrating your enthusiasm for McDermott and alignment with the firm's values and practice areas.

b. Research: Before applying and throughout the recruitment process, conduct thorough research on McDermott Will & Emery. Familiarize yourself with the firm's practice areas, notable cases, recent news, and its culture and values. Gain an understanding of the clients and industries the firm serves. This knowledge will not only help you craft a tailored application but also enable you to engage in meaningful conversations during interviews and assessments.

c. Interviews: If your application stands out, you will be invited for interviews. McDermott typically conducts multiple rounds of interviews, including phone or video interviews, followed by in-person interviews. Prepare for these interviews by reviewing common interview questions, researching the interviewers, and practicing your responses. Be prepared to discuss your experience, skills, and why you are interested in joining McDermott. Showcase your ability to work collaboratively, your commitment to excellence, and your passion for the legal profession.

d. Assessments: In addition to interviews, McDermott may also utilize assessments to evaluate candidates. These assessments can vary but may include written exercises, case studies, or group discussions. Be prepared to demonstrate your analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, and your capacity to work effectively within a team. Approach these assessments with confidence, actively engage with the exercises, and showcase your unique perspectives and strengths.

e. Networking: Networking plays a significant role in the legal industry, and McDermott places value on building connections. Take advantage of networking opportunities by attending firm-sponsored events, industry conferences, or legal career fairs. Connect with current or former McDermott attorneys through professional networking platforms or mutual connections. Networking allows you to gain insights into the firm's culture, make a positive impression, and potentially secure referrals or recommendations.

f. Demonstrate Alignment: McDermott seeks candidates who align with the firm's culture, values, and practice areas. During recruitment, emphasize your alignment with McDermott's collaborative culture, respect for diversity and inclusion, client-centric approach, and commitment to excellence. Highlight experiences or accomplishments that showcase your ability to work effectively in a team, your dedication to client service, and your passion for the areas of law in which McDermott specializes.

g. Pro Bono and Community Involvement: McDermott values candidates who demonstrate a commitment to pro bono work and community service. Highlight any relevant pro bono or community involvement experiences you have had and articulate your passion for making a positive impact. Showcasing your dedication to giving back to society can differentiate you as a candidate and align with McDermott's values.

h. Professionalism and Attention to Detail: Maintaining professionalism and attention to detail throughout the recruitment process. Pay close attention to deadlines, follow instructions carefully, and proofread your application materials thoroughly. Professionalism, attention to detail, and the ability to handle tasks with accuracy and efficiency are highly valued qualities at McDermott.


Work-Life Balance and Employee Well-being

McDermott Will & Emery recognizes the importance of work-life balance and employee well-being in fostering a healthy and sustainable work environment. The firm is committed to promoting the overall well-being of its attorneys and staff, understanding that a balanced and fulfilling personal life enhances professional performance and job satisfaction. McDermott offers various initiatives and programs to support work-life balance and prioritize the well-being of its employees.

a. Flexible Work Arrangements: McDermott acknowledges its workforce's diverse needs and responsibilities. The firm provides flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options, flextime, and compressed workweeks, to accommodate individual needs and promote work-life balance. These arrangements allow attorneys to manage personal commitments, such as family responsibilities or pursuing personal interests, while maintaining professional responsibilities.

b. Wellness Programs: McDermott strongly emphasizes employee wellness and offers comprehensive wellness programs. These programs may include initiatives such as health screenings, fitness challenges, mindfulness and stress reduction workshops, and access to wellness resources and counseling. McDermott recognizes that physical and mental well-being is crucial for overall job satisfaction and productivity.

c. Time-Off and Leave Policies: McDermott provides generous time-off and leaves policies to ensure that employees have opportunities to recharge, spend time with family, and address personal needs. The firm offers vacation days, paid holidays, and personal leave, allowing attorneys to take the time they need to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Additionally, McDermott adheres to applicable laws regarding family and medical leave, providing support to employees during significant life events or health-related circumstances.

d. Employee Assistance Programs: McDermott understands that employees may sometimes face personal challenges or need support. The firm offers employee assistance programs that provide confidential counseling services, resources for managing personal and work-related issues, and referrals to external resources when needed. These programs aim to support employees in navigating challenges and maintaining their overall well-being.

e. Culture of Respect and Collaboration: McDermott's culture of respect and collaboration contributes to a positive work environment that promotes well-being. The firm values open communication, teamwork, and mutual respect among colleagues. Attorneys are encouraged to support each other, foster positive relationships, and maintain a healthy work environment. A culture that values collaboration and respect reduces stress and fosters a sense of belonging and support among employees.

f. Clear Expectations and Workload Management: McDermott strives to maintain clear expectations and effective workload management practices. The firm understands that managing work demands is crucial for maintaining a work-life balance. Supervisors work closely with their teams to set realistic deadlines, prioritize tasks, and allocate resources effectively. By ensuring manageable workloads, McDermott promotes a healthier work environment and reduces the risk of burnout.

g. Celebrating Success and Recognition: McDermott values and celebrates the achievements and contributions of its employees. The firm recognizes outstanding performance, milestones, and significant accomplishments through various recognition programs. By acknowledging and celebrating successes, McDermott fosters a positive work environment that boosts morale and encourages employee well-being.

h. Continuous Feedback and Career Development: McDermott promotes continuous feedback and career development conversations between employees and supervisors. Regular check-ins and performance evaluations provide opportunities for dialogue, goal setting, and professional growth. These conversations allow employees to voice their needs and concerns, discuss work-life balance, and collaborate on strategies to maintain well-being while excelling in their careers.



Navigating your legal career at McDermott Will & Emery offers immense growth, learning, and professional fulfillment opportunities. With a rich history, diverse practice areas, a supportive culture, and a commitment to excellence, the firm stands as an ideal choice for aspiring legal professionals. By understanding the firm's culture, seizing career development opportunities, and excelling in the recruitment process, you can embark on a rewarding journey within one of the leading law firms in the industry.