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Our Culture

Our firm has an environment where our top-notch attorneys and dynamic staff come together each day to create and shape the future, while maintaining a welcoming and energetic environment in which there is always something exciting happening and friendliness is the norm.

We believe that community and culture are as integral to our continued success as is the depth of our legal knowledge and technical expertise. This is why we pride ourselves on being a different kind of law firm, one dedicated to the well-being of our entire team. 

The Sterne Kessler Culture 

We are proud to be one of the most highly regarded intellectual property specialty law firms in the world, and we recognize that it is the talent and dynamism of each individual at Sterne Kessler that makes that possible. With that in mind, we have cultivated an environment that is welcoming, inclusive, and intellectually stimulating with just the right touch of fun and exuberance. And we’re honored that our attorneys and staff have voted Sterne Kessler as a Washington Post “Top Workplace” for 10 years running and a Washington Business Journal "Best Place to Work" 11 times!  

“I sound like a dork, but it really feels like a family. Everyone cares about each other.”

- 2021 Chambers Associate survey response

We’ve Got Awesome Space (and Coffee!)

In addition to great people, our work environment is one of the highlights of coming to the office. The firm recently moved into a new building with a contemporary design, an open floor plan, and modern yet comfortable furnishings. Additionally, we have an incredible rooftop deck!

And, of course, there is our very popular barista bar and game room, where you can drop in for a custom-made hot or iced coffee or tea-based beverage. Oh, and we like cookies too! Our hospitality team surprises us with freshly baked cookies from time to time.

We Appreciate Our Staff!

We like to express our appreciation to our outstanding staff all year long with events like our director-hosted Valentine's Day luncheon, but just to make sure everyone is formally thanked for their contributions to the firm’s success, we celebrate “Staff Appreciation Week” annually. There is a theme, such as “world of thanks,” weaved through a series of events culminating with an awards banquet where milestone anniversaries and the “Department of the Year” are recognized. 

What Our Associates Have To Say

Our associates participate in annual, anonymous surveys administered by Vault and Chambers Associate, and they consistently give the firm high marks for work-life balance, culture, quality of work, training and diversity. We believe those aspects of work-life are important, and we strive to maintain an environment where our attorneys can thrive. Learn more about what our associates think about working at Sterne Kessler by viewing our Vault (2017, 20182019 and 2020) and Chambers Associate profiles.

Holidays, Hikes, & More

At Sterne Kessler we like to have a little fun in and outside of the office. There are social gatherings throughout the year, from a biennial crab feast and an annual firm night at a Nationals game in the summer, to an ugly sweater contest and a spirited holiday party in December. For the adventurous, we arrange a hiking day trip in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains every other year to enjoy the fresh air, the challenge, and the camaraderie. Other events range from activities in our award-winning wellness program and Diversity Committee-sponsored “getting to know you” panels to creatively themed gatherings featuring delicious food and entertaining activities.”

2022 Holiday Party
2022 Holiday Party

Community Support

Through the firm’s charitable committee, Sterne Kessler makes financial contributions to multiple organizations in the Washington metropolitan area over the course of the year. Members of the committee seek input from the firm community to identify organizations to sponsor, and members of the firm extend their own financial support to causes via payroll deduction.  

For several years, the firm has participated in the Legal Aid Society's Generous Associates Campaign. The Generous Associates Campaign is a fundraising drive run by associates at Washington, D.C. law firms each summer to support free legal services for the neediest members of the D.C. community in the areas of domestic violence/family, housing, public benefits, immigration and consumer law. In 2019, the firm’s Generous Associates Campaign the group raised over $10,000 during an exciting game-filled evening.

We’ve Got Heart!

For well over a decade, Sterne Kessler has supported the annual Lawyers Have Heart race to benefit the American Heart Association. Each year, the firm participates as a sponsor and fields a team of walkers and runners, including attorneys, staff, and members of their families.

Lawyers Have Heart 2023
Lawyers Have Heart 2019

Pro Bono

Additionally, pro bono legal services are an important aspect of our community engagement efforts. In March 2012, Sterne Kessler formally launched its Intellectual Property and Human Rights Pro Bono Practice under the vision and leadership of Director Jorge A. Goldstein, Ph.D. Unlike traditional pro bono practices, Sterne Kessler's program integrates legal concepts from the areas of IP law with economic, social, and cultural human rights to empower disenfranchised and impoverished communities seeking to promote their economic and social development by leveraging their IP assets. We invite you to learn more about this award-winning pro bono initiative and our other pro bono work.

How About You?

Interested in opportunities to join the firm and enjoy Sterne Kessler’s dynamic culture? Please visit our Careers page.

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Diversity & Inclusion

We're home to 400 professional attorneys and staff who are not only dedicated to their work and our clients, but also to maintaining a welcoming and engaging work environment that is inclusive to all. Click here to learn more about Diversity & Inclusion at our firm.