Baker Donelson has a strong footprint in the southeastern U.S., with 22 offices spanning 11 states and Washington, DC. Over 600 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


Total No. Attorneys (2022)

500 - 750


No. of Partners Named (2022)



Featured Rankings

Best Law Firms for Health Care


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2022)



No. of Summer Associates (2022)

41 total (26 2Ls; 15 1Ls)


Base Salary

1st year: $135,000-$185,000

Vault Verdict

Though it may not have a global footprint—offices are concentrated in the Southeastern U.S. and Washington, DC—Baker Donelson is known for providing exceptional services to both national and international clients. New associates typically come from local/state law schools, and the firm also looks at academic achievement, journal and clerkship experience, and diversity. Associates can expect a good-natured, professional work environment in which people care for each other and their personal welfare. Partners are invested in associates’ development and want to see them succeed, while treating them with respect and as colleagues. Lateral hires feel like part of the firm very quickly. The firm’s official training program gets mixed reviews and may be dated, but the real learning comes...

About the Firm

Baker Donelson is among the largest law firms in the country, with more than 600 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

  • “I think there is a very friendly yet professional atmosphere. COVID has greatly impacted our ability to have social events, but the attorneys and staff all feel very friendly and the work environment is not overly toxic or stressful as it is in some other comparable law firms.”
  • “Baker Donelson is relatively laid back, with mostly good-natured and caring individuals who value the collegial relationships here. There is an expectation that attorneys, staff, and clients will treat the others with at least respect and professionalism, if not friendly and supportive.”
  • “The firm's culture is unbelievable for its size. There's plenty of work but the firm also prioritizes attorneys’ welfare. I feel like the partners I work with are genuinely interested in my development as a young attorney and as an individual. The firm is also very transparent about finances, which, for a first associate, can be overwhelming but helps to put things in perspective for later years.”

Diversity at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

"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


  • “All of the above are considered—performance in law school, journal experience, clerkships, personality, and diversity. We do not have a feeder school.”
  • “The firm is looking for a well-mannered, hard-working associate. We hire mainly from the two law schools in state but welcome potential hires from other schools as well.”
  • “A big driver in recruiting for us is the candidate’s intention to stay with us long term. We look at career aspirations and likelihood that the person moved away.”

Perks & Benefits