Associate Life

Taylor Gooch

Why WilmerHale and Why Palo Alto?

June 11, 2012 2:27 PM | Permalink | Print

So here it goes. Over the next several weeks, I will be blogging about my experiences out here on the West Coast in WilmerHale’s Palo Alto office. Though to be honest with all you readers, this is my first blog post…ever. That being said, I will try to keep things not only interesting, but far more importantly, open and honest.


For my first topic I thought I would talk about why WilmerHale, and, possibly more importantly, why Palo Alto?


I will start with the easy part, why Palo Alto? And yes, I realize I am responding to my own prompt in reverse order, but this isn’t a law school exam. Anyway, I think this is the most common question I get from my friends back at Penn Law. To which I always respond, "Have you been to Palo Alto?” Location was the most important factor when I was looking at law firms. Coming from Oregon I love the outdoors; however, that being said, coming from Oregon I am tired of the rain. Palo Alto is this little mecca in which one can be in the sun every day (it has been in the upper 70s everyday for the last two weeks with just enough humidity that your skin doesn’t dry up), be close to one of the most exciting cities in the nation (San Francisco) and at the same time be exposed to a vast number of outdoor activities (I spent the last two weekends hiking). As I said, the answer for me was simple: perfect weather, outdoor activities, and just short drive away from San Francisco.


Now the more complicated part of the question: Why WilmerHale? To answer this question I think it is important for you to know what I was looking for. And as I learned in a recent writing training here at the firm, the best way to communicate this type of information is with a bulleted list. So here we go. I was looking for a firm that:

  • Was not a typical New York style law firm;
  • Was a place where associates and partners had or could have families and leave work in the evenings to be with them;
  • Was a friendly office where associates and partners genuinely enjoyed coming to work and working together;
  • Would allow me to utilize my science background;
  • Had strong litigation and corporate practice groups; and
  • Where being gay was a non-issue.

After visiting several firms, WilmerHale not only ticked off each of these categories, but fully embraced them. WilmerHale would allow me to do the work that I wanted to do (patent litigation), have the life that I wanted to have, live where I wanted to live, and be myself.


P.S. If you read all of my blog posts, I will let you know if this all actually turned out to be true.