Overview

Introduction

Baker Donelson has a strong footprint in the southeastern U.S., with 22 offices spanning 11 states and Washington, DC. Over 650 attorneys provide representation to clients in over 30 practice areas, including public policy advising through the firm’s affiliate, The Howard Baker Forum. Baker Donelson is business focused, with an emphasis on creating and implementing innovative solutions that reduce client cost, build on its Centers of Excellence practice areas, and promote business development opportunities for the firm and its attorney...

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2021)

500 - 750

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No. of Partners Named (2021)

11

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Featured Rankings

Best Law Firms for Women


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No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)

11


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No. of Summer Associates (2021)

38 total (27 2Ls; 11 1Ls)


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Base Salary

1st year: $115,000-$175,000

Vault Verdict

In addition to good grades and a winning personality, Baker Donelson is looking for associates who want to make a home in the city in which they are interviewing. Associates often socialize together and major milestones are celebrated in many offices. Most associates feel they can build good relationships with the partners they work for and that the firm management promotes mentorship generally, especially for women and diverse attorneys; formal training programs are mostly on-demand. Many associates say the firm provides them a good work-life balance; others note the distribution of substantive work among associates is not always even, which can make it difficult to meet the billable-hour requirement. Associate salaries vary across offices, and some associates note that bonuses a...

About the Firm

Baker Donelson is among the largest law firms in the country, with more than 650 attorneys and public policy advisors representing more than 30 practice areas to serve a wide range of legal needs. Clients receive guidance from experienced, multi-disciplined industry and client teams, connected across 22 offices in Alabama; Florida; Georgia; Louisiana; Maryland; Mississippi; North Carolina; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Virginia; and Washington, DC.

Three Generations of Bakers

The firm that would become Baker Donelson was founded in Huntsville, Tennessee, in 1888 by James F. Baker. Baker’s son, U.S. Representative Howard Baker Sr., and grandson, U.S. Senate Majority Leader and White House Chief of Staff Howard Baker Jr., were also attorneys at the firm. From those humble beginnings,...

Associate Reviews


  • “This has been pretty impacted by the pandemic, but historically we have a very friendly and collegial atmosphere.”
  • “Everyone is very helpful and takes time to provide meaningful feedback and mentoring. We have welcome happy hours when we get new associates where everyone is invited and to celebrate milestones like someone passing the bar exam. We have a very ‘open door’ environment where you can come in someone's office to chat at any time and be welcomed.”
  • “The firm's culture is solid in all regards. I wouldn't say the firm is incredibly social, but I also am not one to seek out socialization. There is not much to say politically, which is how it should be. I think the firm is professional without being too uptight. Overall, the firm is a comfortable (only in a good sense and not like a complacent sense) place to be.”
  • “Associates socialize together outside of work, but associate-partner socializing is minimal. Day-to-day atmosphere is quiet in the office. Most attorneys are only truly ‘logged in’ from 8:30 to 5:30 on the weekdays.”

Diversity at Baker Donelson

"Diversity and inclusion is a key component of the pillars of Baker Donelson's Vision and Values. Not only is Baker Donelson an equal opportunity employer; we strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our employees. Our goal is to create an atmosphere at our Firm that honors the diverse quality in each of our employees. Our management philosophy promotes the treatment of every person with dignity and respect, values the contribution that each person makes as an individual, strives to enable our colleagues to..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “I regularly help conduct interviews with potential candidates. We seek hard working, responsive individuals who fit into our firm culture.”
  • “Candidates really cannot get in the door without good grades and good extracurricular involvement, etc., so at least in my office, we are very focused on personality and poise, demonstrating an interest in a long-term commitment to practicing law, and because we are a smaller office in a small legal market, demonstrating commitment to [our city].”
  • “Baker Donelson is looking to recruit motivated and hardworking associates with excellent academic credentials. The top factors that Baker Donelson looks at are academic performance and prior work experience.”

Perks & Benefits