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Overview

Introduction

Self-starters will thrive at Arent Fox, with challenging work and strong mentorship there for the taking. Associates are proud of the firm’s diversity and pro bono initiatives, such as the recently established Center for Racial Equality.  In addition to real estate, patent, trademark, and finance work, the firm also takes justifiable pride in its litigation, health care, and regulatory practices. With more than 450 lawyers and strengths across core practice areas, the firm’s client roster ranges from ...

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2021)


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No. of Partners Named (2020)


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Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100...


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No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)



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Base Salary

All offices...


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No. of U.S. Offices

Vault Verdict

Arent Fox values academic credentials, work experience, and an entrepreneurial spirit. The culture strikes the balance of professional and collegial—as one associate describes it, “elite but not elitist”—and the firm makes efforts to keep people social and connected. Relationships between associates and partners are strong, but some associates feel that firmwide decisions aren’t always clear or reflective of associate perspectives. Most associates think the billable-hours requirement of 1,950 hours is fair, especially since non-billable work can count for 150 of them, but there are some gripes about uneven workloads. There are mixed levels of satisfaction with compensation—the biggest sticking point is bonuses, which are based on billable-hours and lag behind market for many. Asso...

About the Firm

Arent Fox has developed a symbiotic relationship with the nation’s capital over the past 75 years. In addition to real estate, patent, trademark, and finance work, the firm also takes justifiable pride in its litigation, health care, and regulatory practices. With more than 450 lawyers and strengths across core practice areas, the firm’s client roster ranges from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations.

Fab Five

A quintet of Beltway insiders pooled their legal and political resources to shape Arent Fox into a Capitol institution over its first 30 years. Henry Fox, the main man behind the firm’s foundation in 1942, laid the first stones in labor, government contract, and administrative specialties—in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Fox secured overtime pay for public employ...

Associate Reviews


  • “It is a great culture, socially and professionally. Everyone is collegial, enjoys hanging out for happy hours, having weekly lunches, and the firm offers great mentorship.”
  • “Elite but not elitist. Lawyers are normal people, often with interests and passions outside of law. Even during the pandemic, the firm has done an amazing job of keeping everyone happy and connected—sending us sweatpants and cookies, organizing trivia nights, and holding baking contests. The culture is not classic BigLaw.”
  • “Great culture—people are friendly [and] socialize in and out of work. I've met some great long-time friends, and it makes coming to work much improved.”
  • “I lateralled here during the pandemic; however, I have really enjoyed the firm's culture thus far. The attorneys take their work seriously, but themselves less so.”
  • “The firm promotes entrepreneurship in that associates are encouraged to seek out partners with whom to work, which helps to foster a friendly environment in which associates largely can choose with whom to work (though not always). During the pandemic, the firm's executive committee gave relatively regular updates on the firm's strategy, but no feedback was solicited and little evidence was given of the decision-making process.”
  • “Informal reviews are based on the associates' entrepreneurial spirit. Twice a year formally.”
  • “More transparency than expected. Great relationship with partners.”
  • “Since I started working, I have only had good interactions with partners. The partners I've worked with thus far are reasonable and recognize their associates' hard work.”
  • “A lot of flexibility on where I work due to COVID, and I expect that to continue afterwards. Hours can be a little rough and inconsistent, and there could be better distribution of workloads. Billable-hour requirement seems doable.”
  • “Sometimes I'm busy, other times it's not. Sometimes you have to be a bit proactive, but you learn pretty quickly who you should reach out to if you're afraid you don't have enough work.”
  • “I am satisfied with the amount of work I receive and appreciate the efforts of partners to spread work evenly amongst associates …”
  • “The hours vacillate quite a bit. While the firm tries to keep track of who's busy on a weekly basis, their system isn't perfect. The firm does have an awesome policy that 150 of the 1,950 required annual hours are ‘non-billable,’ and they're extremely flexible. You can basically get credit for almost anything—writing an article, attending a conference, or doing pro bono work, for example.”
  • “I am satisfied for now because the firm recently raised its first-year salary to market. Salaries after first year are not market, however, and I do believe they should match market. I am not satisfied with the firm’s hours requirement for bonuses.”
  • “Of course, compensation is based on billable hours and meeting and exceeding them. [The] firm has been very generous with raises and recognizing good work.”
  • “Bonuses lag behind, no special COVID bonuses related to firm's overall profitability, [and] comp is slightly below market with minimal difference in hours compared to peer firm. Overall still competitive.”
  • “As a junior, if you are a high biller, the bonus scale is great and can get you an above-market bonus—however, it is highly dependent on how much you bill.”
  • “Work is commensurate with experience, as well as if you want to learn more, the door is open to explore.”
  • “Almost all of my time is spent on substantive legal work. The amount of experience I have gotten as a first-year is extremely good and seemingly above that of peers at other firms. The level of work you receive is up to you—I have regularly spent time on substantive legal work that is above my class level.”
  • “The firm gives extremely substantive work to attorneys regardless of class year. In my first year, I was put in charge of major aspects of matters (with appropriate supervision). Most matters are handled by small teams of one partner and one or two associates.”
  • “My work assignments are substantive given my level; however, I feel as though I have lots of support from partners if I need it.”
  • “I onboarded remotely and have spent my entire time as a full-time associate remotely. There have been essentially zero technology hiccups or problems. [The] firm’s technology platforms are extremely good, and the firm is making strides to continue innovation in the future.”
  • “The firm in all offices has complete capability for remote working with full support staff.”
  • “I have not stepped into the office since I have started full time as a first year and have not been affected by the work-from-home policies at all. I have all the tools I need to get the job done.”
  • “[The] firm offers a few free counseling lessons for attorneys. There is a dedicated career coach any attorney can work with. There are many wellness efforts and classes being promoted on a very consistent basis.”
  • “Wellness webinars lately, especially during COVID. I have not had the time to participate fully, but the firm is trying.”
  • “The firm puts on many activities and puts a lot of thought into wellness initiatives. However, the hours requirement is still significant, as elsewhere in this sector of the industry.”
  • “The firm genuinely invests in wellness efforts, including yoga classes, gym credits, and fitness classes. Lots of mental health programming as well.”
  • “We could do better with mentoring. CLEs really ramped up during COVID and very much appreciate them being taped for viewing later when we have time.”
  • “Semi-weekly trainings for associates and ‘coffee breaks’ for certain partners and associates to present their particular practice group/industry group to the firm.”
  • “There are plenty of training opportunities available. Mentoring depends on the mentor (and the mentee); personally, I haven't found it valuable.”
  • “Arent Fox tends to hire mostly laterals from other firms, federal law clerks, or former prosecutors. Consequently, there's not as much 'formal training’ as firms that hire huge classes of folks straight from law school. Still, the firm tries to host monthly discussions on different practice area topics, as well as professional development issues (i.e., how to generate clients, use LinkedIn, etc.).”
  • “From what I can tell, promotion to partner is realistic if you put the work in and can show the ability. There are other non-partner roles offered, such as Attorney and Counsel positions.”
  • “Promotion to partnership is realistic. The firm has a good reputation for placement of senior associates with clients and in other in-house opportunities. The partnership process is less transparent for junior- [and] mid-level associates but increases in transparency for senior associates.”
  • “Partnership is very realistic, and associates do not get pushed out. There are many associates past their tenth year.”
  • “Partnership is definitely realistic if you can bring in clients. The firm seems pretty loyal.”
  • “We devote tremendous hours to pro bono work and have tremendous pro bono causes, from our Support Immigrant Families Initiative to the Center for Racial Equality.”
  • “I worked so many pro bono hours that I needed to ask for a waiver to do more within my first few months of work. The firm already granted it.”
  • “The firm allows attorneys to count 150 of their 1,950 annual hour requirement for pro bono work. That's a pretty substantial investment that really permits attorneys to become involved in those matters without worrying about their requirements.”
  • “It's strong. I worked on a recent pro bono matter where it was treated as importantly as other billable client work by the partner.”
  • “The firm sponsors a group called ‘Parent Fox’ that meets to discuss caregiver/parent pressures when working in the legal field. The firm also started multiple diversity initiatives in light of the protests and other sociocultural activity during summer 2020. …”
  • “The firm makes every effort to build diversity among associates. We have diversity scholarships for hiring, have the Center for Racial Equality, OutFox, ParentFox, and really try to be more diverse in a lot of what we do. We do not give billable time for diversity-related activities, although that might change.”
  • “The firm definitely cares about diversity and actively thinks about how to improve. They have done a great job in terms of partner promotion in recent year. The firm's also likely ahead of its peers in terms of diversity. That being said, there's still a lot of work to do in terms of retention, and it takes more than a few years to course correct. …”
  • “… In 2020, Arent Fox launched the Center for Racial Equality, which meaningfully invests into diversity efforts inside the firm and outside. These efforts range from affirmative litigation to fundraising for outside nonprofits.”

Diversity at Arent Fox

"For more than a decade, Arent Fox has had a Diversity and Inclusion Committee comprised of many members of the senior management team. This Committee's goals are to recruit, retain, and promote lawyers of color, women, and LGBTQ+ lawyers, while ensuring that firm resources are dedicated for training, mentoring and business development. Arent Fox has made great strides in diversity and inclusion initiatives. This success can be attributed to increased formal involvement and collaboration by firm leadership, including the Executive..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “[The firm seeks] top law schools, high grades, and diversity.”
  • “The firm welcomes variety in its candidates, especially in lateral associate candidates, but largely looks to local universities when hiring straight from law school.”
  • “Firm highly values relevant past work experience and hires specifically for needs.”
  • “Mostly questions about background—work done; school/classes/extracurriculars. Also, what are things you are looking for in firm, why Arent Fox?”
  • “Arent Fox doesn't have any set interview questions. The interviews are more about cultural fit. The firm wants to know that attorneys are ambitious, hard-working, and passionate. Arent Fox cares less about whether you were the editor-in-chief of law review and more about whether you've had substantial practical experience.”
  • “What area of law are you interested in: transactional or litigation? What are your hobbies outside of law?”
  • “The firm provides support for lateral integration initially, and then in keeping with the entrepreneurial spirit, expects lateral associates to engage with members of the firm in seeking out their own work.”
  • “Firm does a great job integrating you, especially through assigning mentors.”
  • “There's no sense of the ‘summer hires’ being the ‘real’ members of the community.”

Perks & Benefits