Thompson Coburn LLP | Company Reviews | Vault.com (2024)

Thompson Coburn LLP | Company Reviews | Vault.com (1)

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Our Survey Says

VAULT'S VERDICT:

In addition to good grades and law school, Thompson Coburn seeks candidates who have a connection to the local area and also prioritizes diversity in its hiring. Candidates can expect to answer questions about their personality and interests, why they are interested specifically in the firm, and their work ethics. The firm’s atmosphere is collaborative and social, with regular Friday lunches and opportunities to get together after hours. Associates are impressed with the firm’s transparency—a rarity in large law firms—and appreciate how respectful partners are. There isn’t a tremendous amount of formal training, but mentoring and informal training are high points. While there can be an ebb and flow to the work, assignments are generally evenly distributed. The firm has a billable requirement, which includes 50 hours of pro bono. Associates differ on their opinions of compensation, with some feeling satisfied, especially with the firm’s new bonus structure, and others feeling compensation should be higher to better match peer firms. Those who are hoping to hop on the partnership track may find a home at Thompson Coburn, where associates feel they are well groomed for the top echelons. When it comes to diversity, associates are encouraged by the firm’s efforts, especially when it comes to women lawyers and hiring practices.

ASSOCIATE REVIEWS:

GETTING HIRED

Hiring Process

  • “Traditional hiring through law school campus interviewing and the summer associate program is the bulk of the recruiting. [The] firm is grade conscious and personality conscious. WUSTL and SLU are the primary feeder schools for the St. Louis office.”
  • “I feel like we have high expectations of associates coming on, and we want them to have gone to a good law school and have done well, but we will not dismiss someone who did not go to a great school out of hand. Diversity is valued highly.”
  • “The firm typically hires from top 20 law schools or the schools in the area of the offices (e.g., Saint Louis University for the St. Louis office).They look for top 10 percent of the class, someone who can hold good conversation, individuals with experience outside the classroom, and those with a connection to the location.”

Interview Questions

  • “Why do you want to work for Thompson Coburn specifically? Where do you see yourself in five years? Questions about St Louis and your connection here. Personality type questions—top movies, things you like to do outside of law school or work, etc.”
  • “We ask questions designed to understand the candidate's work ethic, values, and devotion to bettering the profession.”
  • “The firm will be mostly interested in a candidate's work ethic and ability to learn and take criticism.”

ASSOCIATE LIFE

Firm Culture

  • “Every week, our office holds an all-attorney luncheon where all partners and associates are invited to an informal lunch, where people catch up on life events, work news, developments, and other subjects.”
  • “The firm is very collegial and friendly. Lawyers socialize together for happy hours and client events regularly. The firm also sponsors associate events and baseball games.”
  • “There are many firm-organized social opportunities that exist at Thompson Coburn. I believe that there is a great atmosphere of collaboration between the attorneys and partners that I work with/for.”

Associate/Partner Relations

  • “In my practice area, I get along well with the partners, and we are treated with respect. Partners have an open-door policy with associates. Reviews are conducted twice a year, and the reviewing group consists of two partners from your practice group as well as a third outside partner.”
  • “Partners take the time to invest in their associates' experiences and training in the profession. Partners are very transparent about the firm performance and finances. Twice a year, our firm holds a meeting where the firm chairman explains the firm financial projections, bonus structures, promotions, and reviews. Reviews are conducted twice a year with an individualized meeting and feedback on your performance.”
  • “The firm is very transparent with information about the firm as a whole. …”

Hours

  • “Work is evenly distributed; I do not feel that I am competing with other associates for work.”
  • “Litigation ebbs and flows, so I feel that my hours reflect the posture of a given case. …”
  • “Billable-hour requirement for associates: 1,900 hours, of which 50 hours can be business development, training, pro bono, etc.”

Compensation

  • “Very satisfied, especially with the new bonus system that rewards for several milestones over required billing instead of a single ‘super’ bonus that is otherwise very difficult to hit.”
  • “The salaries and bonuses are lower than market rate for large firms, but the billable-hour requirement is about the same as other large firms. The salaries and bonuses are sufficient, just lower than market rate. …”
  • “Our compensation is competitive in the St. Louis market, and I feel that bonuses are attainable but not a given. It provides an incentive to do good work so you can get more work to meet the billable hours threshold for bonuses.”

Quality of Work & Technology

  • “I have spent most of my time on complex legal work, such as drafting motions, managing experts, and assisting with hearings. I'm constantly being challenged with interesting and difficult work, but I have good support from partners and paralegals if I need it. The partners are happy to answer basic questions, as well as to strategize about larger questions for briefs and hearings.”
  • “Substantive work assignments with client interactions are given [from] early on. Partners have a genuine interest in the associates' business and client relationship development.”
  • “The work is complex and interesting.”
  • “Big upgrades in 2017 and 2018 to the tech. All attorneys now have high-quality laptops/tablets to use, and the system works well remotely. The firm is moderately innovative but not a first adopter of most given things on the cutting edge, primarily due to the firm's focus on security and cost.”
  • “The firm's information technology staff quickly works to resolve any issues with the firm's technology or systems. The firm has given each lawyer a laptop, which can be used to easily work remotely as long as an internet connection is available. A docking station at the office with large monitors increases efficiency. In addition, there is now an Innovation Committee at the firm that is actively seeking ways to improve the firm's technology.”

Training & Mentoring

  • “Relatively strong mentoring program and open-door policy regarding questions and assistance. …”
  • “There is an extensive, formal onboarding process for all new (first year or lateral) attorneys. The firm provides mandatory security, sexual harassment, and implicit bias training. The firm also offers in-house CLE programs throughout the year. All first-year litigation associates do a monthly ‘boot camp’ training on litigation basics, such as depositions, research and writing tips, etc. Junior associates are required to attend a writing workshop every other year. Mid to senior associates attend deposition and trial academies. …”
  • “Formal training for substantive topics is not offered as much as expected. However, the firm actively runs three mentoring programs: associate mentor (all first-year associates receive an associate mentor in their group), partner mentor (for any associates seeking a partner mentor), and diversity mentor (for associates who consider themselves underrepresented minorities in the legal profession). Through these programs, there is a significant amount of mentoring and informal training.”

Career Outlook

  • “Partnership is very achievable here compared to peer firms and very large firms. Associates that do leave often go to work for clients. In house counsel is the most common exit point.”
  • “Promotion to partnership is realistic to all associates. All associates are hired with the view that you will be a partner at the firm one day. Associate reviews are structured so that the firm is making sure you are staying on track for partnership and helping you get on track if you are not keeping up. If associates do not make partner, they have the opportunity to stay on at the firm as counsel. …
  • “… Our firm is greatly respected in the St. Louis area, and I am confident that if I were to not make partner, I would have little trouble finding a well-paid job elsewhere. This is partially due to my being in the financial industry and the St. Louis area having a disproportionately large financial sector.”

PRO BONO & DIVERSITY

Pro Bono Commitment

  • “We service Legal Services of Eastern Missouri's landlord-tenant clients pro bono. Each associate has a calendar day of the month where they are on call to handle those cases.”
  • “[The] firm sponsors [an] attorney at Eastern District of Missouri to focus exclusively on access to education issues.”
  • “Associates pro bono hours can count to 50 hours of billable time.”

Diversity Efforts

  • “The firm has a new Diversity and Inclusion director who is really pushing forward initiatives to make the firm a more diverse workplace. New Hispanic, Asian, LGBTQ affinity groups [have been] implemented”
  • “The firm is very serious about diversity. Just last month, we were required to undergo an implicit bias training. The firm puts on numerous programs to promote diversity and diversity-related issues, hosts events, and has committees with the goal of diversity in mind.”
  • “The women's professional/leadership groups at the firm have a lot of authority and input to the firm. Diversity efforts on other categories are significant but have not made as much progress as gender diversity.”

Thompson Coburn LLP

One US Bank Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101
Phone: (314) 552-6000

Firm Stats

Chair: Roman Wuller
Hiring Partner: David Dick
Total No. Attorneys (2020):
250 - 500

Base Salary

Chicago; Los Angeles; Washington, DC
1st year: $170,000
Summer Associate: $3,269/weekSt. Louis
1st year: $140,000
Summer Associate: $2,692/week

Employment Contact

Lesley Wynes
Chief Legal Talent Officer
(312) 282-3440
lwynes@thompsoncoburn.com

No. of U.S. Offices: 7

No. of International Offices: 0

Major Office Locations

Belleville, IL
Chicago, IL
Dallas, TX
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
St. Louis, MO (HQ)
Washington, DC

Major Departments

Business/Transactional
Environmental
Financial Services
Human Resources
Intellectual Property
Litigation
Private Client Services
Real Estate
Regulatory

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Thompson Coburn LLP | Company Reviews | Vault.com (2024)

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