2024 Vault Rankings
- New York#1
At a Glance
“The people I work with and the quality/variety of the work.”
“Fascinating and complex work; early responsibility; rotation system.”
“Long hours, which can be volatile.”
“Same things that are bad at any job, but magnified due to the hours required and the tendency to mark everything urgent.”
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 three strategically placed offices in New York, London, and Washington, D.C.
Storied History, Market Leader
Cravath is one of the nation’s most storied law firms, and has certainly made its mark. Firm founders Richard Blatchford and William Seward served in Lincoln’s administration, with Seward as the Secretary of State. The firm 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 are then 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 component, 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 banking and credit, capital markets, corporate governance, IP, M&A, FIG, and financial restructuring and reorganization.
Cravath’s corporate practice is matched by an equally lauded litigation practice that ranks among various Vault’s Practice Area rankings, including antitrust, general commercial litigation, appellate litigation, securities litigation, and white collar criminal defense.
Among the industries its lawyers work in are consumer products, energy, financial institutions, fintech, health care and life sciences, media, technology, and telecommunications—to name just some. The firm’s clients have included Bacardi, BDT, Disney, Epic Games, the European Investment Bank, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, Meta, Novartis, Robinhood, and Viatris.
Cravath sponsors the Cravath Scholars Program at Fisk University—one of the nation’s historically Black colleges—in Nashville, Tennessee. 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.
News & Awards
- Cravath represented Johnson & Johnson in its $16.6 billion acquisition of medical device technology company Abiomed.
- Cravath secured a precedent-setting Ninth Circuit decision for Starz Entertainment concerning monetary damages in copyright infringement litigation against MGM Domestic Television.
- Cravath is representing FS Investments in its combination with Portfolio Advisors, creating a combined company that will have over $73 billion in assets under management.
- Cravath, Democracy Forward, and Lambda Legal won a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia decision vacating a discriminatory Department of Health and Human Services regulation.
- “Litigation Department of the Year,” 2022—New York Law Journal
- Competition, M&A, and Media & Entertainment “Practice Groups of the Year,” 2022—Law360
- “Law Firm of the Year – Financial Technology”; Recognized Twice in “Outstanding Deals of the Year” Category, 2022—The Deal
- “Above & Beyond Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Advocacy” (Recognizing the Firm’s Incarcerated Survivors’ Initiative), 2022—Sanctuary for Families
- “Law Firm Corporate Practice of the Year” Finalist, 2022—The American Lawyer
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 (2023):
250 - 500
No. of Partners Named 2023:
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
Summer Associate: $4,135/week
Lisa A. Kalen
Chief Legal Recruiting Officer
No. of U.S. Offices: 2
No. of International Offices: 1
New York, NY (HQ)
Washington, DC |
Executive Compensation and Benefits
Trusts and Estates
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.