Washington, D.C. (June 6, 2024) – Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox has once again been highly praised by its associates in reviews that were featured in the 2024 Chambers Associate guide.

Several areas of the firm, including quality of work, career development and culture, were referenced in the guide, with the editors setting the stage for the overall firm profile by noting, “If you’ve got a passion for patents, or years of technological experience under your belt, this one-office wonder will welcome you to IP’s big leagues.”

In addition to associate feedback, the Chambers Associate editors highlight Sterne Kessler’s status as the only firm in Washington, D.C., to garner a top-tier Band 1 ranking in patent prosecution in the latest Chambers USA rankings – a position it has now held on its own for six years in a row.

Following are highlights from Sterne Kessler’s profile, including direct quotes from anonymous surveys and interviews conducted by the Chambers Associate research team:

The Work

  • A member of the firm’s Trial & Appellate Practice Group, lauded the opportunity to work with “obscure kinds of technology that were completely new,” while another, speaking of the type of work assigned, stated, “If you’re capable of performing a fifth-year task as, say, a third-year, there’s no reason why they won’t assign that to you.”
  • From an associate in the Mechanical & Design Practice Group, where technology can include large-scale industrial and engineering projects: “Our clients are so impressive, and I get really excited about their new inventions.”

Career Development

  • Chambers Associate observed that survey respondents praised their professional development advisors for their support, with one commenting, “Mine is very involved in trying to find opportunities for me to advance, and has encouraged me to pursue my dreams even if those are outside of the firm,” while another recalled conversations about “how things are going now, as well as more long-range thinking, such as introducing me to new types of work and people as I move towards directorship.”
  • An associate in the Trial & Appellate Practice Group spoke of directors at the firm as “really thinking about how to make things accessible.” The associate added that directors “will play clips from Federal Circuit arguments and invite us to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the oral advocacy, which is something you don’t necessarily need the context for.”


  • Addressing firm culture, one associate complimented the firm for “really working on ways to maintain [it] without mandating in-office attendance.”
  • Others who were interviewed by Chambers were pleased with the “kind, understanding team-centric” culture that’s found at Sterne Kessler, appreciating the value of being at a smaller firm and getting to know colleagues at all levels. “You can sit down with the most senior directors at the firm,” one person added, “and they’ll talk to you like a human being. There’s no sense that you’re ever too junior to speak to someone.”

General Comments

  • With so many at the firm possessing at least an undergraduate degree or a Masters or Ph.D. in the sciences or engineering, one associate quipped, “We’re a bunch of nerds.”
  • Another remarked, “Sterne Kessler often hires people with industry or patent examination experience, and I liked the idea of being around people who didn’t all come straight here from law school.”

In addition to associate reviews, Sterne Kessler’s Chambers Associate profile includes insights from Managing Director Michael B. Ray, who discussed the firm’s embrace of change and technologies, as well as how the firm constantly looks to the future, to shape the firm’s position and identity in the legal market. Ray also spoke of the firm’s strategy; vision for the future; and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Chambers Associate
The annual Chambers Associate guide provides an in-depth, firsthand view into the working lives of associates based on thousands of anonymous interviews. Read more about Chambers Associate here and view Sterne Kessler’s complete profile here.

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