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At a Glance


“Our culture of cooperativeness [and] responsiveness.”

“The structure for junior associates (centralized assignments, no billable requirement).”

“The important legal issues we are asked to address.”


“Mediocre technology.”

“Heavy workload and pressure.”

“Not transparent.”

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, executive compensation, finance, financial institutions, restructuring, tax, and tech transactions. 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 as 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 financial services regulatory reform, and has been at the center of the 2023 banking crisis.

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. 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. A team of Davis Polk white collar and antitrust litigators recently obtained a rare dismissal of criminal antitrust charges brought by the DOJ Antitrust Division in a case alleging a wide-ranging, price-fixing, and big-rigging conspiracy in the broiler chicken industry. 

International Flair

Davis Polk has extensive experience in cross-border work with ample international reach. The firm has had a presence in Europe for 50 years, opening its London office in 1973 and its Madrid office in 2001. 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 first Latin America office, in São Paulo, opened in 2011. Davis Polk has U.S.-, Hong Kong-, English-, and European-qualified lawyers. In early 2023, the firm announced the launch of its European antitrust practice in Brussels.

News & Awards

  • Our lawyers continue to be involved in industry-impacting matters and advise on significant corporate transactions.
  • Recent transactions include advising IHS Markit on its $44 billion merger with S&P Global and Lucid Motors on its $24 billion combination with Churchill Capital Corp IV with the largest SPAC-related PIPE to date.
  • Recent litigation matters include winning a landmark dismissal of a securities class action against cryptocurrency trading platform Binance and various of its officers, and securing dismissal of all claims against E*TRADE in multi-district litigation related to the headline-making short squeeze of “meme stocks,” including gamestop and AMC Entertainment.
  • Americas Firm of the Year, 2022—IFLR Americas Awards
  • Law Firm of the Year, 2021—American Lawyer
  • “Practice Group of the Year” in Banking, Bankruptcy and Capital Markets, 2022—Law360
  • “Law Firm of the Year” in Bankruptcy and Capital Markets—Chambers USA
  • “Law Firm of the Year: Financial Services Regulation,” 2022—U.S. News Best Lawyers

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: Lara Samet Buchwald & Pritesh P. Shah
Total No. Attorneys (2023):
1K - 1.5K
No. of Partners Named 2022:

Base Salary

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 per week

Employment Contact

Cristóbal V. Modesto
Chief Legal Recruiting Officer
(212) 450-4144

No. of U.S. Offices: 3

No. of International Offices: 7

Major Office Locations

New York, NY (HQ)
Northern California
Washington, DC |
Hong Kong
São Paulo

Major Departments

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