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Our Survey Says

VAULT'S VERDICT:

Cravath is known for setting the standard for associate starting salaries, but it sets a high bar in many ways, including reputation and quality of work. The hiring process is ultra-competitive, focusing on T14 schools, top grades, and journal or work experience. Colleagues are collaborative and friendly, perhaps a byproduct of them working together on leanly staffed teams. Because of Cravath’s small teams, partners work closely with associates and are invested in their development. Exceptional orientation and training programs also contribute to associates’ career progress. The firm can be opaque on matters like finances and promotion. Associates take on significant responsibility for challenging and sophisticated work, though inevitably, they must tend to some more clerical tasks as well. Projects are distributed so that associates enjoy a wide variety of experiences and assignments. While the firm does not impose a billable requirement, associates likely exceed hours worked by friends at other firms with set requirements. Cravath usually sets and leads the market on compensation standards; notably, however, this benefit is attenuated somewhat by the number of hours associates work. Technology and tech stipends are excellent, as is the support provided by the IT staff. There is a strong history of and commitment to pro bono work, which gives younger attorneys opportunities to take the lead on substantive cases. DEI efforts are supported by frequent programming and by recognizing hours spent on diversity-related work. As equity partnership seems difficult to attain, the number of non-equity and counsel roles is increasing. Experience at Cravath also opens doors for in-house and lateral movement to other firms.

FIRM'S PERSPECTIVE

Our most important long-term goal is the professional development of our lawyers, and we take a holistic approach to this objective—one that recognizes the importance of training, relationship-building, mentoring, and balancing career and outside obligations and interests. Our lawyers come from a wide range of backgrounds, but they all share important qualities—intelligence, creativity, a strong work ethic, and a desire to excel.

The hallmark of our training program is our unique rotation system. Associates are assigned work with a partner or small group of partners for a period of time. At the end of that period, each associate switches—or “rotates”—to work with a different partner or group of partners within their department of choice. This allows associates to form close working relationships with several partners and a mix of associates in different stages of their careers. Practice groups are leanly staffed to provide ample opportunities for collaboration and feedback.

In addition to the mentoring they receive as part of the rotation system, associates may obtain additional guidance through our formalized programs. Our associates are assigned an associate advisor when they arrive and later have the opportunity to participate in our formal partner mentor program. They may also join our internal affinity groups, which offer associates the chance to build and strengthen professional relationships, enhance their sense of community, receive advice, and discuss matters of importance to the group.

Our approach promotes the highest level of client service, excellence in lawyering, and a collegial and inclusive workplace.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Two Manhattan West
375 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 474-1000

Firm Stats

Presiding Partner: Faiza J. Saeed
Hiring Partners: Benjamin Gruenstein (Litigation); C. Daniel Haaren (Corporate)
Total No. Attorneys (2024):
500 - 750
No. of Partners Named 2024:
4

Base Salary

1st year: $225,000
2nd year: $235,000
3rd year: $260,000
4th year: $310,000
5th year: $365,000
6th year: $390,000
7th year: $420,000
Summer Associate: $4,327/week

Employment Contact

Lisa A. Kalen
Chief Legal Recruiting Officer
(212) 474-3215
lkalen@cravath.com
csmrecruit@cravath.com

No. of U.S. Offices: 2

No. of International Offices: 1

Major Office Locations

New York, NY (HQ)
Washington, DC |
London

Major Departments

Corporate
Executive Compensation and Benefits
Litigation
Tax
Trusts and Estates
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.