Skip to Main Content

At a Glance

Uppers

“You are working with the smartest lawyers on the most sophisticated deals in an incredibly cordial and warm environment.”

“The people are what makes this firm so great to work for. We have a very collaborative, collegial culture (though no one ever forces us to attend social events).”

Downers

“The late hours.”

“Work-life balance.”

About Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP boasts one of the nation’s best and most comprehensive corporate departments, with impressive teams in capital markets, M&A, finance, restructuring, and tax. Its lauded litigation practice includes top-notch antitrust, civil litigation, intellectual property, and white collar criminal defense practices. 

Historical Connections

Davis Polk was founded by Francis Bangs in 1849, making it one of the oldest law firms in the United States. Bangs’ successor, Francis Stetson, was quick to recognize the growing importance of corporate work. In 1887, banker and industrialist John Pierpont Morgan selected Stetson for his chief counsel; the firm helped Morgan restructure the Pennsylvania Railroad and create General Electric. Morgan’s businesses, in their modern-day incarnations—JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley—have remained firm clients. Over the course of many decades, the firm has built relationships with a host of other financial institutions and corporations across the country and around the world.

Transactional Titans & Litigation Lions

One firm reigns as king atop both Vault’s Banking & Financial Services ranking and Securities/Capital Markets ranking: Davis Polk. The firm clinched the No. 1 spot in both areas in 2015 and has held tight since. DPW’s Capital Markets group has significant experience handling IPOs and high-yield and investment grade debt offerings, while its Financial Institutions group advises on a range of matters from M&A to compliance to Dodd-Frank and financial services regulatory reform.

The firm’s strong transactional practices are complemented by its top-notch litigation work. Davis Polk is a regular in the top 10 of Vault’s Securities Litigation ranking and is among the top tier of Chambers’, The Legal 500’s, and Benchmark Litigation’s rankings—and for good reason. The firm regularly handles some of the most complex securities litigation around. Davis Polk recently won multiple victories—including the outright dismissal of one action—in a first-of-its-kind cryptocurrency securities litigation against the Tezos Foundation, and ultimately successfully resolved the litigation. The firm is also widely recognized for its White Collar Criminal Defense group, which handles everything from anti-money laundering and FCPA matters to FCA/qui tam and insider trading, plus much more. 

International Flair

Davis Polk has extensive experience in cross-border work, with ample international reach. The firm has had a presence in Europe for more than 50 years, opening its Paris office in 1962, its London office in 1973, and its Madrid office in 2001. A few decades later, the firm set its sights on Asia, opening its Tokyo office in 1987. A Hong Kong office followed in 1993, and in 2007, the firm opened an office in Beijing. The firm’s seventh international office, in São Paulo, opened in 2011. Davis Polk’s lawyers practice U.S., U.K., Hong Kong, and French law.

News & Awards

NOTABLE CASES
  • Davis Polk lawyers initiated the construction of the first large hydroelectric power plant in America, at Niagara Falls, and established the standard for the American electric system. (1888)
  • Davis Polk advised the underwriters on Apple’s IPO. (1980)
  • Davis Polk advised long-time client J.P. Morgan & Co. on its $38.6 billion merger with Chase Manhattan Bank to form JPMorgan Chase. (2000)
  • The firm advised Aetna in connection with an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice that allowed it to proceed with its proposed $77 billion acquisition by CVS Health. 
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
  • Gold Standard Firm, 2020—Women in Law Empowerment Forum
  • Capital Markets Team of the Year, 2020—IFLR1000United States Awards
  • Restructuring Firm of the Year, 2020—The Deal
  • Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality, 2021—HRC Foundation
  • GIR 30, 2020—Global Investigations Review

Why Work Here

Davis Polk provides the experience and environment that help you develop into an exceptional lawyer, no matter where your career takes you. From your first day, you’ll be involved in complex and meaningful matters, working side by side with some of the best lawyers in the world.

Who We Are

Davis Polk is one of the world’s most admired firms, with top-tier clients and an enviable reputation.

We are proud of our collaborative, close-knit culture. You’ll receive mentoring and training to develop your skills in an atmosphere of respect and support. This is a place of remarkable, accomplished people who work together seamlessly to achieve the best results for our clients.

The Firm’s approximately 1,000 lawyers are spread across our offices in New York, Northern California, Washington DC, São Paulo, London, Paris, Madrid, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo. Our presence in major financial centers around the world allows us to connect with our international client base on matters spanning borders, languages, cultures and jurisdictions

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

450 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212) 450-4000

Firm Stats

Managing Partner: Neil Barr
Hiring Partners: Pritesh P. Shah
Total No. Attorneys (2022):
1K - 1.5K
No. of Partners Named 2021:
9

Base Salary

All offices 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: $4,134.62/week

Employment Contact

Cristóbal V. Modesto
Chief Legal Recruiting Officer
(212) 450-4144
newlawyer@davispolk.com

No. of U.S. Offices: 3

No. of International Offices: 7

Major Office Locations

New York, NY (HQ)
Northern California
Washington, DC | Beijing
Hong Kong
London
Madrid
Paris
São Paulo
Tokyo

Major Departments

Antitrust & Competition
Capital Markets
Corporate Governance
Derivatives and Structured Products
Environmental
Executive Compensation
Finance
Financial Institutions
FinTech
Restructuring
Intellectual Property & Technology
Investment Management
Litigation
Mergers & Acquisitions
Private Equity
Real Estate
Tax
Trusts & Estates
White Collar Criminal Defense
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.