Working at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear | Glassdoor

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear Overview
Irvine, CA
501 to 1000 employees
Company - Private
Accounting & Legal
$25 to $50 million (USD) per year
Knobbe Martens is an agent of innovation, providing clients worldwide with forward-focused Intellectual Property law service and representation. We are one of the largest and fastest-growing IP law firms, with over 300 attorneys and scientists representing the complete spectrum ... Read more

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear – Why Work For Us?



Do you combine insatiable curiosity with serious smarts? Do you believe there’s no such thing as a minor detail? Do you want to work with people who encourage and inspire you?

Then you belong here.

We’re constantly on the lookout for bright, motivated individuals looking to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others. Who believe the law isn’t what’s written in a book, but an instrument of change.

It’s a big challenge. But nothing great ever came from small ones.

About Us

Knobbe Martens is an agent of innovation, providing clients worldwide with forward-focused Intellectual Property law service and representation. We are one of the largest and fastest-growing IP law firms, with more than 300 attorneys and scientists representing the complete spectrum of technologies and IP practice areas.

We combine unmatched technical and litigation expertise to deliver superior results in both transactional and contested matters, for both cutting edge start-ups and established Fortune 500 companies. Our work spans fields ranging from physics to pharmaceuticals and entertainment to engineering.

But perhaps more impressive than our scope is our skill. We are established experts in our fields—scientists, engineers and thinkers who blend deep educational and technical knowledge with a strategic focus gleaned from our real-world business experience.

We know your issues. Your pressures. And should the need arise, we know how to aggressively protect the assets that give your business its competitive edge—with extensive experience and intimate knowledge of domestic and international judicial systems.

Whatever our role, our goal is simple: to advance and protect those whose innovations propel the world forward.


Ranked Among "Best Law Firms" by 
U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers
   Ranked Top 10 for Overall Diversity
on AmLaw "Diversity Scorecard"




Named to National Law Journal's 
"Intellectual Property Hot List"

  Ranked Among Top 10 Overall Busiest
Firms in Corporate Counsel "
Patent Litigation Survey"



From the day our firm was founded, we have been committed to creating and fostering a dynamic, diverse workplace. It’s a commitment that has yielded real and meaningful results. Today we are one of the top 10 most diverse firms in the nation, in the top 30 for the highest percentage of minority partners, and among the top 15 for the highest percentage of minority attorneys in the U.S. We are also number one for best law firms for Asian-American attorneys in the U.S. - a unique record among law firms our size.

We promote diversity through active outreach and recruitment, as well as through internal programs that ensure the needs and goals of all our diverse employees are recognized and valued. Our Diversity Committee includes members from a broad spectrum of attorneys reflective of our diverse workforce. Our attorneys have diverse cultural and religious backgrounds and combined, speak over 23 foreign languages from Portuguese to Punjabi.

The Diversity Committee is tasked with implementing programs that create a wide range of professional opportunities, while maintaining the work/life balance we find essential to building an energized, well-rounded firm.

A realistic, annual billing quota means our attorneys and staff have time to devote to their families or other personal interests—without impacting their career goals. Indeed, we promote female attorneys to equity partnership at a much higher rate than other large firms. And we ensure the needs of our minority employees are met as well, through comprehensive networking and training.

Our commitment to diversity is at the very core of our firm—making us open to new ideas, eager to take on new challenges, and always ready with new solutions.


We believe a law firm exists to serve both its clients and its community. That’s why we provide extensive pro bono legal services to deserving individuals and institutions, as well as donating our time and financial resources to a wide range of professional, community and nonprofit organizations. 

And we back our commitment in real and meaningful ways, including recognizing and rewarding employees for their contributions during review. It’s part of a firm-wide philosophy of growing by giving back. And working to serve the people we’re proud to call friends, and places we’re proud to call home.

Pro Bono Representations

  • Prepared a visa application for a victim of domestic violence
  • Immigration asylum applications
  • Represented an indigent and disabled renter in a lawsuit against his condominium association
  • Represented Disabled American Veterans (DAV) in drafting an amicus brief in a veterans appeal to the Federal Circuit
  • Represented a UC Hastings Startup Legal garage program
  • Drafted a patent application for a school related to a device benefitting those with visual impairments
  • Submitted amicus briefs on behalf of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)

Community Involvement

  • American Diabetes Association (Bay Area)
  • American Heart Association (Orange County Division)
  • Constitutional Rights Foundation
  • Human Options
  • Lawyers Club of San Diego
  • Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
  • Legal Aid Society of Orange County
  • Orange County Bar Foundation

Choosing To Care

Our Choose to Care program provides employees with the time and resources to participate in various charitable causes and non-profit organizations each month. These are just a few of the groups we’re honored to have helped.

  • Habitat For Humanity
  • Red Cross International
  • Leukemia Society
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • Race For The Cure
  • Toys for Tots
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • California Animal Rescue
  • OC Early Literacy Program
  • OCBA Food Drive
  • Working Wardrobes
  • Project Cuddle


We don’t hire associates, we hire future partners

We hire attorneys who don’t simply see the future, but shape it. Who expect great things of themselves, and foster greatness in others.

We’ve assembled what we consider to be the finest team of IP attorneys in the world. And we’re passionate about keeping and growing that team. Organically. Internally. Through paths as diverse as the people who pursue them.

That’s why we seek attorneys who welcome challenges and the opportunities those challenges create. People whose talent, motivation, energy and creativity are on display every day (along with a smile).

So why should you want to be part of our team?

We don’t churn and burn. We don’t hire more summer associates than the number of full-time associate offers we expect to extend. Likewise, we don’t hire more associates than we expect to eventually make partner. And there’s no limit to how many associates are admitted to the partnership each year. Bottom line: we don’t want you looking over your shoulder. We want you looking ahead to your future.

You grow, we grow. There’s a reason we’re one of the largest IP law firms in America. People stay here. They flourish and succeed thanks to our unmatched training, mentorship and continuing education programs. It’s really a pretty simple formula. The better you get, the better we all get. The better we all get, the better our clients get. Which gets right back to you.

The freedom to be your best. We have only one thing to say to attorneys who want to broaden their practices: Go for it. New associates are encouraged to work on a variety of projects, and are provided with the flexibility to try their hand at litigation and/or prosecution and client practice. As our attorneys progress, we bring out their best by giving them more challenging tasks and responsibilities. That means you’ll be able to work on many cases in many areas with people whose doors—and minds—are always open.

Your life is not a timesheet. Around here you get rewarded for working smarter, not longer. We don’t keep track of who was last to leave the office. We applaud our attorneys for producing quality work, for pitching in when help is needed, and for keeping their clients happy. If the court or a client demands we work into the night, we’ll gladly do it – in the spirit of excellent client service.

Learn how our attorneys feel about our firm...

Jared Bunker, Partner, 10 years
"Coming out of law school, I knew I wanted work in intellectual property, but didn't know which specific field. Knobbe Martens turned out to be the perfect place for me. From day one, I was able to work on stimulating and meaningful client practice and litigation projects. And over time, I was readily able to tailor my practice to fit my preferences."

Salima Merani, Partner, 16 years
"Knobbe Martens is what I like to call a "client-centric" firm. Everything we do - from our collaborative corporate culture to our unique partnership structure - puts clients first. We have a passion for IP law.

I have never had a dull day at Knobbe Martens. Each day is exciting and new - in the morning, I can file a patent application on a designer handbag, and in the afternoon, I'll develop IP strategy with a world-renowned cardiologist who regenerates heart tissue...never a dull day.

I really appreciate the ability to use my doctorate in Neuroscience every day. Whether I am working on IP strategy to develop spinal implants to help back pain or devices that remove deadly clots from the brain, each day allows me to combine law and technology in a way that makes me think "Wow, I love my job".

With over 260 attorneys with scientific or engineering degrees, Knobbe Martens is uniquely suited to offer expertise in all technological areas. That is not only a profound benefit for our clients, but also makes for a great working environment....where else can you chat around the water cooler with a nuclear physicist, an orthopedic surgeon, and an aerospace engineer?

While I was a law student at Berkeley, I did a summer internship at Knobbe Martens. I have been here ever since, and the thought of working anywhere else has never crossed my mind. The collaborative firm culture, the astounding intelligence of my peers, and the cutting-edge technology developed by our incredible clients make Knobbe Martens the best law firm in the country. 

Why do I love working at Knobbe Martens? Well, here's my typical Monday:

8:30 am - Call with counsel in Europe to discuss strategy for potential patent litigation
10:30 am - Meet with world-renowned cardiologist who regenerates heart tissue
12:00 pm - Attend one of many educational lunches offered by the firm
2:00 pm - Work on pro bono project for nonprofit company focused on cancer research
4:00 pm - File patent application on devices that remove deadly clots from the brain
5:00 pm - Work on design patent application for designer handbags
6:30 pm - Dinner with fellow lawyers from firm - a nuclear physicist, an orthopedic surgeon, and an aerospace engineer

....Need I say more?"


Lateral Associates and Partners

Move Laterally. Think Upwardly.

Talent is where you find it. And some of our most talented attorneys have come to us from other firms.

We’ll make your lateral transition simple and straightforward by pairing you with a partner who’ll take a personal interest in your success. As you serve our clients well and take on increasingly larger roles, you will be surrounded by professionals who understand that our collective advancement is the sum of our individual achievement.

Become part of something bigger—and take your career some place better. 

Click on the "Current Openings" link under "Lateral Attorneys" heading to the left to see opportunities we are actively looking to fill, or apply by clicking the link above. 

If you have any questions about our lateral recruiting process or wish to contact us directly by email regarding your candidacy, please email us.

Patent Counsel

Our Patent Counsel position combines legal acumen with technical expertise to assist in U.S. and foreign patent prosecution. We’re seeking talented, motivated attorneys who strive for excellence and welcome challenges. This non-partnership track position provides first-rate training, mentorship and benefits.

Our Patent Counsel have technical backgrounds in electrical engineering, computer science and/or related technical fields, along with relevant industry experience in communications, electronics, and/or power technologies. 

Patent Counsel participate in:

  • Mentorship Program
  • Weekly in-house educational lunches
  • Support for continuing education and training
  • Outstanding benefits, including generous paid time off
  • A healthy work/life balance

This position will professionally challenge you, personally reward you, and make you part of a diverse team that’s changing the face of IP law.

Click on the "Current Openings" link under the "Lateral Attorneys" heading on the left to see opportunities we are actively looking to fill. 

If you have any questions about our lateral recruiting process or wish to contact us directly by email regarding your candidacy.



Providing deep knowledge of the science behind our service, our patent scientists are a driving force behind the preparation and prosecution of patent applications.

Our team represents a wide range of technical areas including electrical engineering, optics, telecommunications, computer software, medical, biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, chemistry, and mechanical engineering.

But areas are not boundaries. We encourage cross-disciplinary participation, creating an environment that is collaborative, challenging and exciting.

As a member of our team, you’ll be actively supported though a number of industry-leading policies and programs:

  • Structured Career Path that outlines goals and formally recognizes professional achievement
  • Mentorship Program
  • Weekly in-house educational lunches
  • Support for continuing education and training
  • Outstanding benefits, including generous paid time off

We promote a diverse, open atmosphere. There’s no artificial pressure to bill extra hours. And we provide for a healthy work/life balance. Because you can’t move the world forward if you’re not an active part of it.

Learn how our patent scientists feel about our firm...

Neil Bartfeld, Ph.D., Patent Scientist, 14 years
“I've been with Knobbe Martens for 13 years, and greatly enjoy the collegial environment, the positive attitude of the attorneys and staff and the overall firm culture. I'm awarded a great deal of autonomy and responsibility, and feel that my contributions are valued by the firm. I enjoy the challenging and varied projects with which I am involved, and the daily interaction with both U.S. and foreign clients.”

Lavanya Rau, Ph.D., Patent Scientist, 5 years
“Every day I get to learn something new—either from a technology or legal perspective. That allows me to keep my practice fresh. I also get to work with some of the smartest people I’ve ever met, which makes me better at what I do.”

Raymond Smith, Ph.D., Patent Scientist, 8 years
“I’m involved with all aspects of patent application preparation and prosecution. By developing creative strategies and solutions, I’m able to shape and add value at every step. I’ve found the work environment here to be outstanding and exceptional. My team is friendly and highly-skilled. And management has developed practices that are forward-thinking, efficient, and allow for maximum productivity.”



Our staff members are deeply involved with helping us deliver unmatched service and solutions. They’re essential members of our team, and as such, are given responsibilities and recognition simply not offered by other firms our size.

In addition to generous compensation and benefits, we provide interested staff members with countless opportunities to develop their professional skills, including educational assistance programs and extensive in-house training.

And because we believe that all work and no play make for a dull law firm, we promote a healthy work/life balance. We have a generous paid time-off policy, as well as flexible alternative work arrangements, comprehensive leave programs and numerous activities both in the office and in the community.

It’s little wonder that 40 percent of our staff has been with us 10 years or longer. When you find a good thing, you keep it.

Learn how our staff feels about our firm...

Daima Phipps, Process Analysis Coordinator, 16 years
“In my time here I’ve transitioned from IP Assistant, to New Employee Trainer, to Practice Coordinator, to my current position as Process Analysis Coordinator. The faith my attorneys had in me was a driving force in my quest to learn and do more.”

Sherry Spitzer, IP Assistant, 14 years
"I’ve been in the legal field for 39 years and the working atmosphere here is one of the best. Knobbe Martens genuinely cares about their employees and goes above and beyond what an employer should. Many people who have left the firm for greener pastures have returned. That says it all.”

Cher Lancaster, Docketing Specialist/Annuities, 9 years
"I enjoy working here simply because this firm strives for excellence each day and staff members from several departments work together to get the job done. Teamwork is the key. We never leave the responsibility to just one person, we work together. We’re a family!”

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear Reviews

Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Steven Nataupsky
45 Ratings
  • "Intellectual Property Clerk"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear full-time


    Everyone at the firm is collegial whether it be an IP Assistant or Partner.


    None that I could think of other than the fact that I left for better pay.

See All 63 Reviews

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear Photos

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear photo of: Knobbe Martens
Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear photo of: SD Summer Associates with Knobbe attorneys on brewery tour!
Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear photo of: Irvine Office
Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear photo of: Irvine office
See All PhotosSee All

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear Interviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

Interview Difficulty


Interview Difficulty




    Billing Clerk Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview


    The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear.


    First I completed a series of VERY BASIC pre-employment exams on a computer. Then the recruiter interviewed me and was, in my opinion, unprepared for the interview as she/he was unable to answer the most basic questions about the makeup of the department and position. Then I interviewed with the department head and again, in my opinion, she/he was also unprepared. She/he asked me a series of questions in which I was supposed to rank myself but nothing asked was specific to the job. Also, she/he did not maintain eye contact throughout the interview which lead to some awkward moments. Overall, I felt that I was too qualified for this position AND that they may have already chosen someone before interviewing me thus wasting everyone's time.

    Interview Questions

See All 9 Interviews

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear Awards & Accolades

  • Best Law Firms, U.S. News – Best Lawyers®, 2016
  • Best Intellectual Property Boutique Law Firms (#1), Vault, 2016
  • Top 10 for Overall Diversity in the “Diversity Scorecard”, The American Lawyer, 2016
  • Top 10 Overall Busiest Firms, Corporate Counsel's Patent Litigation Survey, 2015
  • Top “Practice Groups of the Year” for Intellectual Property, Law360, 2014
See More

Work at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear? Share Your Experiences

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
Click to Rate