2023 Vault Rankings
- New York#1
At a Glance
“Lots of responsibility and learning at a fast pace. Culture encourages pushing yourself to be the best, but not competitiveness/measuring yourself in relation to fellow associates. Mutual respect among associates. Genuinely like my colleagues. Unparalleled partner contact.”
“Dedicated people, always on the cutting edge, and a family-feel to the firm.”
“Too leanly staffed.”
About Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
With two centuries under its belt, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is one of the nation’s preeminent law firms. Cravath has settled on a lean-and-mean approach to world dominance with two strategically placed offices in New York and London.
Storied History, Market Leader
Cravath is one of the nation’s oldest law firms, and it certainly has made its mark. Firm founders Richard Blatchford and William Seward both served in Lincoln’s administration—Seward was the Secretary of State. Over the years, the firm has had its hand in representing famed abolitionist Horace Greeley and inventor Samuel Morse, organizing NBC for its original shareholders, and handling the famed 13-year antitrust lawsuit that began in 1969 for IBM.
Cravath is a market leader in salaries, bonuses, and hiring practices. Name partner Paul Cravath pioneered the modern associate hiring approach (the hallmark “Cravath System”), which focuses on finding the best and brightest law school grads, paying them lockstep compensation, providing them with the highest caliber training, and promoting partners from within that group. The firm rarely hires lateral partners and has kept its attorney headcount relatively low. Also unique to the firm is its rotation system through which associates select from among the firm’s five practice areas and then are assigned to different partners or groups of partners through the system, which continues for their entire time as associates.
At the Top
Cravath is known as one of the most elite law firms and has a strong reputation for its work in antitrust, banking and credit, capital markets, corporate governance, executive compensation and benefits, M&A, securities litigation, tax, trusts and estates, and white collar criminal defense. Each of Cravath’s practice areas has an international focus, and more than one-third of its clients are based outside the United States.
The firm is a go-to firm for corporate matters—consistently ranking at the top of Vault’s Best Law Firms for General Corporate Practice. Its corporate lawyers train through a generalist model, gaining experience in such areas as banking and credit, bank regulatory, capital markets, corporate governance, ESG, IP, M&A, and financial restructuring and reorganization (FR&R).
Cravath’s corporate practice is matched by an equally lauded litigation practice that ranks among various of Vault’s Practice Area rankings, including antitrust, general commercial litigation, appellate litigation, securities litigation, and white collar criminal defense. Among the industries its litigators work in are consumer products, energy, financial institutions, fintech, health care and life sciences, media, technology, and telecommunications—to name some.
The firm’s clients have included such names as AmEx; Credit Suisse AG; Disney; Epic Games; Goldman Sachs; Hasbro; IBM; JPMorgan Chase; Meta; Qualcomm; Robinhood; and Viatris.
Each year Cravath supports undergraduate students from Fisk University—one of the nation’s historically Black colleges—through the Cravath Scholars Program, which launched in 2019. Through this program, the firm provides tuition assistance and summer internships to high-achieving undergraduate students. The firm and the university have shared close ties since Fisk’s founding in 1866; Paul Cravath’s father—abolitionist Reverend Erastus Milo Cravath—was one of the institution’s founders and the first president of the university.
Cravath remains committed to recruiting the most promising students from a diverse array of law schools and backgrounds and providing our associates with rigorous and expansive training. Just as we have adapted to working remotely and adjusted logistics of our Summer Associate Program, we are continuing to tailor our recruitment process as the situation around COVID-19 develops. We are working closely with law schools around the logistics for on-campus interviews, and expect these will be conducted remotely. Our top priority remains the health and safety of our people and our communities, and we will communicate additional changes as the situation dictates.
News & Awards
- Cravath won a complete trial victory for Tesla CEO and board member Elon Musk to defeat a $13 billion stockholder derivative suit related to Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity.
- The Firm represented “buy now, pay later” platform Afterpay in its $29 billion acquisition by Square.
- Cravath submitted a successful amicus brief on behalf of the Innocence Network in support of death row inmate Melissa Lucio’s application for habeas corpus and motion to stay execution.
- The Firm represented Robinhood in connection with its IPO, which raised approximately $1.9 billion, and continues to represent the company in ongoing litigation matters.
- “Firm of the Year”; Competition, Compliance, Fintech, M&A and Technology “Practice Group of the Year”, 2021—Law360
- “Class Action Litigation Department of the Year”, 2021—New York Law Journal
- “Most Innovative Deal of the Year (Large Cap)”, “Financial Services Deal of the Year (Large Cap)”; Recognized in “Deal of the Year” Category, 2021—The Deal
- “Pro Bono Publico Award”, 2021—The Legal Aid Society
- Ranked First Among Top Law Firms for Largest Average Value ($4 Billion) Per M&A Deal, 2021—Bloomberg
825 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 474-1000
Presiding Partner: Faiza J. Saeed
Hiring Partners: Ting S. Chen (Corporate); Benjamin Gruenstein (Litigation)
Total No. Attorneys (2022):
250 - 500
No. of Partners Named 2022:
1st year: $215,000
2nd year: $225,000
3rd year: $250,000
4th year: $295,000
5th year: $345,000
6th year: $370,000
7th year: $400,000
8th year: $415,000
Summer Associate: $4,135/week
Lisa A. Kalen
Director of Legal Recruiting
No. of U.S. Offices: 1
No. of International Offices: 1
New York, NY (HQ) | London
Executive Compensation and Benefits
Trusts and Estates
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.