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Kobre & Kim LLP

Our Survey Says



Kobre & Kim is looking for experienced attorneys with a clerkship or some other distinguishing skill under their belt, and top-notch writing skillsthere’s a writing test included in the interview process. Because everyone comes in as a mid-level, the firm does well at integrating new lawyers quickly. The atmosphere is professional but friendly, with the firm providing plenty of opportunities to be social (live or via Zoom as appropriate). Relations between associates and partners are generally respectful, and the firm has well-regarded formal attorney training and mentorship programs, and encourages informal mentorship. Associates receive substantive work, with enough on their plates to keep busy, and feel matters are well staffed as far as distribution of workload. They are happy with market compensation and regular bonuses, especially in light of the manageable 1,800 billable-hour requirement. The firm offers two reviews per year, which is appreciated, but associates would prefer better transparency on promotions. Partnership is considered a realistic goal, and the firm is seen as supportive of associate development toward that goal. Kobre & Kim has rolled out firm-issued laptops, which associates expect will resolve most technology concerns, and has focused its wellness efforts on prioritizing mental health through schedule flexibility, meditation and providing counseling as needed. While some associates would prefer the firm allocate more resources to pro bono efforts, they do appreciate that up to 100 pro bono hours count toward billable-hour totals. The firm is focused on increasing diversity, and to that end has added affinity groups and related events; associates specifically note that the firm is supportive of parents and has strong parental leave policies.


The below associate quotes are derived from Vault's Annual Associate survey, which took place from late January 2020 to early April 2020.


Hiring Process

  • “K&K does not hire first-year associates. It focuses on hiring mid-level associates from the top law firms. Because of the unique and evolving nature of the work on which the firm focuses, ideal candidates are attorneys who have solid fundamental lawyering skills, are creative thinkers, and can develop problem-solving approaches to handling client matters. Because of the firm's focus on matters that involve fraud or misconduct, it's helpful for candidates to have experience with investigations and white collar work.”
  • “The firm's hiring process is very selective. They do not hire junior associates. There is a writing exam. It is a slow process. They take highly credentialed applicants, many of whom are from the government.”
  • “They focus on a person's substantive experience and interests to make sure the person's intentions align with the firm's outlook. At the end of the interview process, there is a writing test, which is somewhat unique among firm hiring.”
  • “They do a good job of running an orientation program that integrates new lawyers relatively quickly. There is also great support among the associates - we try to make ourselves very available to new hires as they come in.”


Firm Culture

  • “Generally, attorneys are very collegial and team-oriented.”
  • “Generally, I enjoy the firm's culture. Attorneys work closely together on sophisticated matters and inspire each other to formulate creative solutions to client's problems. Thinking outside the box and adopting a problem-solving approach is greatly encouraged here, which is quite refreshing. The firm treats its attorneys at all levels as true professionals and trusts them with substantial responsibility. The firm also holds regular social events such as all-attorney lunches, after-work socials, and [an] annual retreat and holiday party.”
  • “With a smaller office, we don't social[ize] together very often, but the attorneys in the office are very friendly and close, so we often have informal chats in the hallway or each other's offices multiple times a week.”
  • “Lawyers often socialize. Firmwide or region-wide gatherings are held.”

Associate/Partner Relations

  • “In my experience, associate/partner relations at the firm are very healthy. Attorneys at all levels respect each other, work collaboratively, and learn from each other. Partners here regularly provide feedback and their doors are usually open for questions and discussions about pending cases or potential new matters/clients. Reviews are conducted annually.”
  • “Associates are encouraged to take a lead on strategy and case management. The firm ensures that everybody working on a case has ownership of their tasks and team meetings are run so as to give every associate an opportunity to comment, give their views on strategy, and actively participate in how a case progresses.”
  • “Many partners are excellent with respect to mentoring, informal training, and sponsoring. If the firm could improve the transparency as to internal promotion and firm management, I think it would go a long way.”


  • “The work hours can be long, but in return associates get considerable responsibility and professional autonomy. Distribution of work is appropriate, and there is flexibility (to the extent possible) in terms of where and when work gets done.”
  • “The workload is heavy, but not unmanageable, and each case team is able to reallocate work as necessary. The firm monitors staff workloads to ensure that no individual is overburdened or under-utilized.”
  • “The target is 1,800 [billable] hours, which includes all pro bono. It's not a hard line, particularly if you are spending time doing other firm tasks like business development.”


  • “BigLaw standard market compensation and bonuses—very happy.”
  • “The firm pays Cravath-scale salaries and bonuses, on an essentially flat basis (i.e., no significant compensation over average for additional billables).”
  • “401(k) matching. Good benefits.”

Quality of Work

  • “The bulk of my legal work is substantive. This includes trial work, extensive brief writing, strategic thinking and idea generation, and legal research. The firm also actively strives to give associates opportunities to argue in court.”
  • “My time is spent almost exclusively on substantive legal work or related business development and training efforts. Kobre & Kim is extremely strong in this respect.”
  • “Given that the firm does not hire junior associates, everyone is required to dig into the weeds. That said, as an associate you still get a seat at the strategy table.”

Training & Mentoring

  • “The firm conducts regular trainings which are usually helpful. The firm also has a robust internal database dedicated to best practices concern various legal and non-legal issues that attorneys encounter at the firm. The firm also assigns each associate a partner-mentor and encourages regular contact with mentors over lunch or after work.”
  • “The mentoring program seems relatively new, and most of the partners are very accessible—but, the program isn't formalized and it tends to be on the associate to reach out to the mentor. The trainings are generally pretty good”
  • “There are a lot of trainings, both mandatory and just that are available to you if you want to peruse them at your leisure.”
  • “Kobre & Kim is very interested in training. There are formal trainings multiple times throughout the year, and there are also many informal training videos or materials available on the intranet. It is also very clear that partners care about associates engaging in this training.  I think this is one of the smartest training programs I have seen or heard of—they have thought of everything including how to talk to clients, how to think strategically about client-centered representation, etc.”

Career Outlook

  • “Attorneys do get promoted to partner here. Apart from associates, the firm also hires attorneys for counsel and special counsel roles. In terms of exit opportunities, attorneys that leave K&K typically join other law firms and take jobs in the government sector.”
  • “The firm is extremely flexible with respect to career paths. You can become counsel, then partner, then counsel again. You can stay an associate. There is no ‘set timeline’ for anyone; just do good work and you can kind of decide your future (so long as you are being productive to the firm, well liked, the usual).”
  • “Kobre & Kim has lots of options for associates as they advance—this place is not ‘up or out.’ They have many ways to continue to be a lawyer even if you don't make partner. I think the path to partnership is pretty clear and focused on those who want to do business development. If you don't want to do business development, you can still work at Kobre & Kim.”
Kobre & Kim LLP

800 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 488-1200

Firm Stats

Managing Partners: Michael S. Kim and Steven G. Kobre
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
100 - 150
No. of Partners Named 2021:
Billable-Hour Requirement:

Base Salary

All offices
1st year: $205,000
2nd year: $215,000
3rd year: $240,000
4th year: $275,000
5th year: $305,000
6th year: $330,000
7th year: $350,000
8th year+: $365,000

Employment Contact

Monica A. Girardi
Talent Acquisition Manager
(212) 488-1200

No. of U.S. Offices: 6

No. of International Offices: 10

Major Office Locations

New York, NY (HQ)
Miami, FL
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC
Wilmington, DE | British Virgin Islands
Buenos Aires
Cayman Islands
Hong Kong
São Paulo
Tel Aviv

Major Departments

Claim Monetization & Dilution
Financial Products & Services Litigation
Insolvency & Debtor-Creditor Disputes
International Judgment Enforcement & Offshore Asset Recovery
International Private Client
Government Enforcement Defense
Investigations, Examinations & Monitorships
Intellectual Property and Technology Litigation
Joint Venture & Partnership Disputes
Trusts & Estates Litigation
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.