Skip to Main Content

Our Survey Says



The firm is a true New York elite, and they’re looking for the best and brightest young lawyers. Davis Polk hires heavily from the T14 law schools, but high achievers from other law schools are also well represented. Getting in the door might be competitive, but once in, associates rave about the culture. Davis Polk attorneys are almost universally “polite” and “respectful,” and while hours can be high and workloads heavy, colleagues go out of their way to be appreciative and accommodating. The absence of a billable hour requirement allows associates to focus more on quality of work than quantity. Salary and bonuses are lockstep, and Davis Polk is a market mover when it comes to compensation. Firm leadership could be more transparent on “macro” decisions, but regular town hall meetings provide some insight. Associates enjoy working on sophisticated legal matters, and a small-team structure means that associates receive early responsibility—and while some “grunt work” comes with the territory, associates are quick to note that this is typical at the junior level. Technology could be better but is more than sufficient to meet attorney needs. The firm offers extensive wellness programs, including on-site health care and fitness subsidies, and although the demands of the job can make it hard to take full advantage, associates recognize that this is an industry-wide challenge. Similarly, while diversity has been a pain point in the legal world, Davis Polk has made strides in recruiting and retaining diverse attorneys. Associates are thrilled about their career prospects; partnership is highly competitive, but counsel positions at the firm are desirable, and exit opportunities are extensive.

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.