Our History

Since the earliest days of our two predecessor firms, WilmerHale has played a leading role in historic events and landmark cases that have shaped the nation and left their mark across the globe. As a member of the WilmerHale team, you too can play a part in making history.

Listed below are some of WilmerHale's selected milestones that chart the evolution of our firm.

1918 - Hale and Dorr was established by Richard Hale and Dudley Dorr

1920 - Hale and Dorr moves to 60 State Street in Boston where WilmerHale's Boston office is located today.

1954 - Hale and Dorr makes national headlines representing the US Army on a pro bono basis in the historic Army-McCarthy hearings- the first publicly televised congressional hearings.

1962 - Wilmer, Cutler, & Pickering was founded by Richard Wilmer, Lloyd Cutler, and John Pickering. They pledge to devote 10% of the total firm effort to pro bono work.

1979 - Lloyd Cutler serves as White House Counsel to President Jimmy Carter in the wake of the Iran hostage crisis.

1981 - Hale and Dorr opens a Washington DC office with six attorneys.

1986 - Hale and Dorr represents the Boston Celtics in the first public offering by a professional sports team.

1997 - Hale and Dorr launches its groundbreaking Youth and Education Initiative designed to create educational opportunities for inner-city youth through philanthropic partnerships. Today, this initiative has contributed nearly $5 million in cash donations and millions more in pro bono legal services.

2004 - Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering and Hale and Door merge to become Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in a merger of equals that combined over 1,000 lawyers and 1,500 staff.

2005 - WilmerHale makes national headlines after a major victory in the case of Roper v. Simmons in which the US Supreme Court declared that the death penalty "is a disproportionate punishment for juveniles."

2010 - WilmerHale opens its Business Services Center in Dayton, Ohio and centralizes the firm's administrative functions.

2011 - The National Law Journal reports that WilmerHale had more US Supreme Court wins in 2010 than any other firm.

2012 - Bob Novick and Susan Murley begin their term as co-managing partners of the firm.

2013 -WilmerHale celebrates the 15th anniversary of its Youth and Education Initiative, which has contributed $5 million in cash donations and millions more in pro bono legal services, and directly serves 1,200 youth.

2014 - WilmerHale pro bono client Henry Lee McCollum, an inmate sentenced to death for a 1983 murder he did not commit, is released from prison after post-conviction DNA testing exonerated him.

2015 - WilmerHale unveils WilmerHaleLaunch.com, a resource to help entrepeneurs build their business.

2016 - The firm's International Arbitration Practice obtains a significant judgment from the African Court of Human and People's Rights in Konate v. Burkina Faso—the first freedom of expression case in the court's history.

History in the Making - Over the past century, WilmerHale has had the privilege to make contributions that have profoundly affected our society and our profession. In the future, WilmerHale will continue to be nationally recognized as one of the most preeminent law firms and play a leading role in groundbreaking, landmark cases.


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