Overview

Introduction

With 69 international offices, Baker McKenzie is known for its cross-border work, and the firm often recruits candidates with global experience—or at least a genuine interest in international matters. The firm’s social environment makes it a good fit for those who value teamwork and camaraderie. While the firm wears many hats, it is most known for its cross-border work and its tax practice. The firm advises on an array of practice areas, including antitrust, capital markets, employment, intellectual property, international commerc...

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2021)

5K - 6K

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No. of Partners Named (2020)

85

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Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


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No. of Summer Associates (2021)

55 total (44 2Ls; 11 1Ls)


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Base Salary

1st year: $202,500


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No. of U.S. Offices

9

Vault Verdict

Given its global reach, it’s no surprise that Baker McKenzie seeks candidates with an international background. Many candidates come from T14 schools, but the firm doesn’t limit its hiring to these institutions. Baker McKenzie has a friendly, engaging environment—lawyers and staff enjoy spending time together and socializing. Partners value associates and aren’t stingy with mentoring. Transparency-wise, the firm has made some efforts, including through town halls, but some wish there had been more insight into decision-making during the pandemic. Associates are pleased with their overall compensation and the firm’s reliable matching off the market. But some feel the billable-hour requirement is too onerous at 2,000 hours and should include non-billable tasks like business developm...

About the Firm

Baker McKenzie takes “global” to another level with dozens of offices spanning every continent. The firm’s geographic and practice-area diversification has enabled it to ride out financial storms while outrunning a legion of BigLaw competitors. The firm counsels more than half of the world’s largest public companies in a range of practices.

Parlez-Vous ‘International’?

It all started in 1948, when Russell Baker and John McKenzie shared a cab and discussed the idea of an international law firm. By 1949, the two had launched Baker & McKenzie, with Baker focused on building the international practice while McKenzie handled the litigation work. The rest is history.

These days, any firm with a few outposts outside its home city or a number of foreign-based cli...

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2022 Vault Rankings


Associate Reviews


  • “The atmosphere of the firm is generally positive, engaging, courteous, and friendly.”
  • “Day to day, Baker offers a very collegial work environment—it is a non-hierarchical place. Socially, things were obviously different during COVID-19, but usually there are lots of opportunities to socialize. These include monthly diversity happy hours (spotlighting a different cultural tradition each time) open to all, foreign language meet-up groups, all-associate lunches and happy hours, etc.”
  • “Baker McKenzie's culture of friendship is real and not just lip service. Even in the virtual environment so much thought and intentionality goes into creating an inclusive, collaborative environment. Unlike, many other firms the staff is not siloed and is included in various firm initiatives and daily activities.”
  • “Prior to the onset of the COVID pandemic, staff, associates and partners engaged regularly, both at work and outside of the office. Since COVID, there has been less interaction (for obvious reasons), but the partnership has made a concerted effort to remain engaged on a social and professional basis with the associate class. …”

Diversity at Baker McKenzie

"Baker McKenzie is comprised of talented and diverse professionals who are connected by a deep intellectual curiosity, collaborative approach and a steadfast focus on client service. Our broad and extensive experiences and global vision help clients to lead, differentiate and adapt in a constantly changing world. We view our people as our greatest asset and strive to foster an inclusive culture that recognizes and gives voice to diverse individuals and perspectives, with the opportunity to grow, be engaged, feel valued, and fully..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “In addition to all the traditional metrics, we tend to value students with some kind of international ‘flavor’—whether in their personal life experience, coursework, or previous work/education history (or, more often, all of the above). We are also committed to diversity in our hiring process.”
  • “I think we actively try to recruit diverse classes; T14 law schools are a priority, but plenty of local students get opportunities.”
  • “The firm tends to hire from top law schools, with the understanding that the list of top law schools varies from one office to the next. For example, the Washington, DC, office may focus more of its resources to recruitment at Georgetown and UVA, while the New York office will spend more time and efforts courting Columbia and NYU students. In addition to academic credentials, personality and diversity are also important factors.  Clerkship and journal experience come into play depending on the practice group in which the candidate has expressed interest.”
  • “Grades matter much less than an interesting (and international) background.”

Perks & Benefits