Jenner & Block

Jeffrey A. Atteberry

Why did you join Jenner & Block?
I joined Jenner & Block because I was looking for a law firm that would combine the challenges and opportunities presented by large-scale litigation with the mentoring and support typically associated with smaller firms.  After researching the firm and interviewing with its attorneys, Jenner & Block appeared to offer this rare combination of qualities.  Turns out, it does.

How does it compare to your previous firm/role?
At Jenner & Block, associate development goes hand-in-hand with viewing associates as potential partners whose input is valued and whose professional advancement is seen as a key part of the firm’s success.  As a result, I have been entrusted with more responsibilities and participated in more case-strategy decisions than I would have at most any other “big-law” firm.

What are the people at Jenner & Block like?
The people at the firm -- from the most senior partners to the staff -- are all collegial.  Everyone understands that the practice of law is very much a team effort; and everyone is, accordingly, treated with the personal respect that is required for good morale. 

What kind of training have you received?
Jenner & Block offers its associates extensive training, including fabulous NITA programs.  More importantly perhaps, the firm consistently looks for opportunities where young associates can apply all of this training in actual practice situations.  The pro bono program, which is an important part of the firm culture, plays an important role.  As a third and fourth year associate, I have taken depositions, retained and worked with experts to produce expert reports, argued motions in court, and cross-examined witnesses at trial.

What sets Jenner & Block apart from other firms?
The firm's culture distinguishes from all other “big-law” firms.   The firm cultivates an expectation that its attorneys will produce the finest quality work, and they consistently do.  Unlike at many other firms, however, there is the understanding within the firm that these demands are best met by allowing its attorneys to develop professionally and personally.   The firm’s commitment to development extends beyond a narrowly conceived set of skills.  Instead, the firm understands that, in the practice of law, personal growth is an integral part of professional development.  This understanding is expressed not only in the firm’s pro bono program, but also in its dedication to a diverse and inclusive work environment, and the active encouragement of its associates to participate meaningfully in their local communities.

What would you tell other laterals considering Jenner & Block?

Any lateral who is looking to join a firm where they can practice law at the highest levels, while receiving significant support, should consider Jenner & Block.  I’m glad I did; it has been the best professional move that I have made.

Matthew D. Cipolla

Why did you join Jenner & Block?

I wanted a place where I would be a respected, integral member of my case teams.  I wanted a place with real opportunities for associate development and advancement.  I wanted a place where people say hello to each other in the hallways.  And I wanted a place where those things are true while working on challenging, high-profile, cutting-edge matters.  

How does it compare to your previous firm/role?

Some things are very similar, e.g. the cases are challenging and the legal issues are interesting.  In my experience, one of the biggest differences is the way the firm approaches its associates.  Associates are trained to become partners, to feel like and act like someone who will find his or her home at the firm.  The firm instills in its associates a sense of ownership over their legal careers by providing them with the support required to gain substantive experiences, develop their legal judgment, and begin to develop their reputations and client bases.  

What are the people at Jenner & Block like?

The people are the best part!  They are whip smart, incredibly talented lawyers, and they are also interesting, friendly, funny colleagues.  The people’s backgrounds are diverse, and the unique experiences and different perspectives brought to the table are valued.  We make a conscious effort to maintain the collegiality at the New York office and across the firm, and it shows.  

What kind of training have you received?

The training and the mentoring are phenomenal.  Like other firms, Jenner & Block offers in-house CLE programs, NITA deposition and trial training programs, and  more formal types of training.  But Jenner & Block stands apart in the incredible amount of on-the-job training it provides for associates, and the mentoring that goes along with it.

Mentoring is part of the culture.  Partners actively look for opportunities to push associates forward, to help them achieve important career milestones, and to provide guidance and support along the way.  I’ve experienced that in my own time here, whether it was my first federal jury trial or my first appellate argument, but also through others’ stories.  In my role as a co-chairman of the Associates Committee, I have had the pleasure for the past three years of reading through the nominations for the firm’s Mentor Awards, and I’ve been deeply impressed by the accounts of mentoring I’ve read from across the firm, in all offices.  

What sets Jenner & Block apart from other firms?

The list is long.  I’ve already mentioned the people, the firm’s investment in its associates’ career development, and the mentoring.  I would add our incredible commitment to pro bono to that list.
Doing pro bono work is not just accepted here, but celebrated.  Everyone does it.  And it’s not that everyone does it to check a box that they worked the requisite number of pro bono hours to renew their state bar license.  Everyone wants to do it.  We take on a wide range of cases.  Sometimes big high profile matters like litigating tenants’ rights to legalizing same sex marriage and sometimes smaller, individual cases where we fight for our clients just as hard.  The attention that the partners give to pro bono work, and the resources the firm invests in it, are truly astounding.  This is without a doubt the place to be for meaningful, quality, and important pro bono work.

What would you tell other laterals considering Jenner & Block?

Consider Jenner & Block if you want a place where you will be a lawyer, and not just someone with a J.D.  Consider Jenner & Block if you want to work with a wonderful group of people who know your name and that you like to travel.  Consider Jenner & Block if you want your firm to be a place where you feel at home.

Matthew D. Cipolla is co-chair of the firm's Associates Committee

LaRue L. Robinson

Why did you join Jenner & Block?

I joined Jenner & Block because I was looking for a place that offered high-profile, challenging work with real opportunities for associate advancement.  At Jenner & Block, it appeared during my interview process that associates were truly valued at the firm and that sentiment has held true during my time here.  I was further drawn to Jenner & Block due to its civic-minded history and tradition of pro bono service.

How does it compare to your previous firm/role?

Prior to joining the firm, I was a lawyer and officer in the US Army JAG Corps, so I came from a somewhat non-traditional background.  What really makes Jenner & Block unique is that there are many people with public service and public interest backgrounds here.  People here really care about their communities and it adds a more human element to the work that we do.

What are the people at Jenner & Block like?

I would describe Jenner & Block lawyers as kind, respectful, and dedicated to excellence.  I have truly been amazed by the quality of people at Jenner & Block —from the managing partner down to the newest associate.  Jenner & Block does a great job of finding brilliant people who are also good people.  It’s a special place.

What kind of training have you received?

Jenner & Block offers a diverse set of in-house training opportunities that are led by partners who are truly experts in their practice areas.  In addition to these opportunities, Jenner & Block really stands out in its dedication to giving associates hands on training experiences through its robust pro bono program.  Through my pro bono work, I have had the opportunity to regularly appear and argue in court, directly counsel clients, and draft dispositive motions. 

What sets Jenner & Block apart from other firms?

In addition to the great people and the important pro bono work, Jenner & Block's quality of work also sets it apart.  Jenner & Block has a very high standard for its work and the partners do a great job of mentoring and coaching you to meet it.  Without a doubt, working at Jenner & Block will make you a better lawyer.  Also, an underrated characteristic of the firm that sets it apart is its relatively small size for a firm of its caliber.  This smaller size allows you to get more intimately involved in significant matters at the firm and creates a real sense of community throughout all of the offices.  Whether you are in Chicago, LA, New York, DC, or London, the culture does not differ at Jenner & Block.

What would you tell other laterals considering Jenner & Block?

If you want to work on sophisticated matters alongside excellent attorneys that are invested in your career development, there is no better place than Jenner & Block.  I’m happy to be here and I think you will be, too.

Skyler J. Silvertrust

Why did you join Jenner & Block?

I came to Jenner & Block because of the firm’s deep expertise in litigation and investigations and its reputation for achieving excellent results in challenging, complex, and cutting-edge cases.  I was equally drawn to the firm’s outstanding tradition of pro bono advocacy and public service.  Every Jenner & Block attorney I have met is passionate about pro bono work and makes it a priority in their practice.  That unique combination of shared values is what makes Jenner & Block a special place.

How does it compare to your previous firm/role?

I joined Jenner & Block after completing a judicial clerkship.  My work here has allowed me to build on that experience in sophisticated matters across a broad range of industries and legal areas.  Having the opportunity to work regularly on important and complex issues in a variety of contexts is one of the things that makes Jenner & Block such an engaging place to work.

What are the people at Jenner & Block like?

Jenner & Block has a collegial and collaborative environment.  The people here are uncommonly talented and passionate advocates.  They value teamwork and inclusivity, share a mentality of mutual respect and decency, and are committed to serving the bar and the community.  Being able to work and exchange ideas with incredibly smart, creative, and unpretentious colleagues is one of the most rewarding aspects of working here.

What kind of training have you received?

Jenner & Block provides excellent formal training through a wide variety of in-house CLEs, workshops, and similar programs.  The firm also embraces a culture of informal mentorship and provides junior attorneys with leadership roles and opportunities to develop their skills in a practice setting.  Lawyers here are generous with their time and are always willing to provide guidance and advice.

What sets Jenner & Block apart from other firms?

Jenner & Block’s commitment to pro bono work and public service is unparalleled.  Pro bono is in the fabric of the firm.  Each year, Jenner & Block commits tremendous resources to pro bono work because serving the community is at the heart of the firm’s ethos.  Almost every one of the hundreds of attorneys at Jenner & Block, from senior partners to junior associates, devotes significant time to representing clients in need of legal services who would not otherwise have access to justice.  Countless attorneys also serve in a variety of capacities on non-profit and charity boards and in civic organizations.  

What would you tell other laterals considering Jenner & Block?

Don’t just take my word for it—talk to a lawyer (or two) here.  You will quickly learn that Jenner & Block attorneys share core values that make possible the unique balance of providing exceptional service to private clients while contributing equally to the public interest.  For lawyers who share those values, Jenner & Block is a natural fit.  Jenner & Block is a place that supports and invests in its people. 

Gabriel K. Gillett

Why did you join Jenner & Block?

After moving to Chicago with my family, I was looking for a top litigation-focused firm that had deep experience in a broad range of issue areas, as well as a strong appellate and Supreme Court practice group.  I also wanted to work at a firm where pro bono and service to the community were core values.  After considering a number of options—including small- and medium-sized firms, and going in house—Jenner & Block was the obvious best choice.

How would you describe your experience at Jenner & Block thus far?

I joined Jenner & Block as a senior associate, after two federal clerkships and working at a large firm in New York.  I have been consistently impressed by the high quality of the work that Jenner & Block lawyers do and the genuinely collegial culture at the firm.  Jenner & Block is routinely involved in major high-stakes and high-profile matters, including at the U.S. Supreme Court, and the firm has a stellar reputation for its commitment to excellence.

What are the people at Jenner & Block like?

The people at Jenner & Block are wonderful, well-rounded, altogether outstanding humans, who also are fantastic lawyers.  They are passionate, driven, creative, and zealous advocates who seem to genuinely enjoy the work they are doing.  And they are friendly, respectful, calm, and a treat to be around (while working or otherwise).  

What kind of training have you received?

Jenner & Block lawyers believe that associates learn best by doing, and I have been the beneficiary of that.  In just my first few months at the firm, I have been the lead lawyer on a federal appeal, written and edited federal and state trial-level briefs on a variety of subjects, taken multiple depositions, and developed case strategy alongside partners, co-counsel, and clients.  In addition, I have received informal training from partners and senior associates who have served as mentors, and formal training through some of the many programs and CLE opportunities that the firm offers.

What sets Jenner & Block apart from other firms?

Jenner & Block's commitment to pro bono work really stands out.  From the most senior partners to the most junior associates and staff, pro bono cases are frequently mentioned as among the most interesting and rewarding cases.  Jenner & Block’s size also distinguishes the firm from many of its peers and fosters the culture and community that makes Jenner & Block so special.

What would you tell other laterals considering Jenner & Block?

Think about what is best for you.  If you’re looking for a place to do cutting-edge legal work, with a diverse group of people you like and respect, at a firm that values service and professional development, then come meet the people that make Jenner & Block so great.  You won’t be disappointed!



      

JEFFREY A. ATTEBERRY
Office(s):
Los Angeles
Law Schools(s):
University of California, Berkeley - School of Law
Started with firm:
2012
MATTHEW D. CIPOLLA
Office(s):
New York
Law Schools(s):
Harvard Law School
LARUE L. ROBINSON
Office(s):
Chicago
Law Schools(s):
Columbia University School of Law
Started with firm:
2015
SKYLER J. SILVERTRUST
Office(s):
Chicago
Law Schools(s):
John Marshall Law School
GABRIEL K. GILLETT
Office(s):
Chicago
Law Schools(s):
Fordham University School of Law
Started with firm:
2017