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Overview

Introduction

Boies Schiller Flexner is the type of firm where associates toss aside the life vest and dive right in—and lawyers at this litigation powerhouse wouldn’t have it any other way. Litigators looking to roll up their sleeves and learn on the job will feel right at home here. While it also handles transactional matters, Boies Schiller Flexner is known for its litigation prowess—and most of its work revolves around high-stakes, complex litigation. Boies Schiller’s litigation practice is broad, including antitrust, appellate, constitutio...

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2021)


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No. of Partners Named (2021)


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Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100...


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No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)



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No. of Summer Associates (2021)



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Base Salary

1st year: $202,500...

Vault Verdict

Self-starters need only apply to Boies Schiller Flexner, which gives junior lawyers significant responsibility from the start. Instead of hours of formal training, associates jump right in to matters and learn by doing, with significant on-the-job mentoring and advising from more senior associates and partners. The firm boasts a laid-back vibe where associates look out for each other. There are get-togethers (including virtually during the pandemic) for those who are interested, although the firm isn’t overly social. Cases are staffed leanly, so associates have opportunities to develop deep relationships with partners, who are invested in associate growth. Transparency at the firm has generally been weak, though lately, there have been efforts to improve it. As one would expect fo...

Firm's Response

Boies Schiller Flexner is a firm of internationally recognized trial lawyers, crisis managers, and strategic advisers known for our creative, aggressive, and efficient pursuit of successful outcomes for clients. Our attorneys have an established track record of taking on and winning complex, groundbreaking, and cross-...

About the Firm

Started in 1997, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP is a relative newcomer to the elite firm ranks but already boasts nearly 200 lawyers and has its principal offices in New York; Washington, DC; California; Florida; and the United Kingdom. As one of the nation’s premier litigation shops, BSF is no stranger to heavy-hitter clients—over the years, the firm’s clients have included American Express, Barclays, Carnival Corporation, CBS, Cherokee Nation, Delta Air Lines, DuPont, Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, John Hancock, Merck, NASCAR, New York Yankees, NextEra Energy, Philip Morris, SBC Communications (now AT&T), Sony, SpaceX, and Zurich Insurance Group.

Game Changer

A star litigator at Cravath for 30 years, David Boies knocked heads with the firm when he decided to represen...

Associate Reviews


  • “Remote work has been difficult socially, but there are opportunities to interact in firm happy hours, regular firm-wide or office-wide events, and Associate's Committee office hours.  For the most part, the firm is relatively flat, and good ideas and candid input are valued and welcomed by leaders at every level of the firm. As one senior partner put it to me, ‘we care about things that matter and don't care about things that don't’ As a result, there is a lot of informality in both professional and personal interactions, and people are really judged on the quality of their ultimate work product or the insights they can bring to a case.”
  • “Pleasant enough, though not overly social.”
  • “Associates seem to look out for one another. The culture is probably more laid-back than other firms, but there is still a high expectation for quality work and quick turnarounds.”
  • “The atmosphere is very collegial. Our NYC office has a large cafeteria and catered lunch every day, and lawyers, paralegals, and non-legal staff gather daily to socialize. Lawyers also regularly meet for coffee, happy hours, and other events, and are friendly both personally and professionally.”
  • “As far as individual case teams, I feel like the partners really value associates work and contributions to the team. They often give feedback and make sure associates are learning as well. And the work is always very substantive. But separate from that, I feel that firm leadership as a whole could do a better job at being more transparent in its decision-making.”
  • “Transparency has improved somewhat in the last year with changes in leadership.”
  • “Generally, associates and partners work well together given how leanly staffed the Firm's cases. Associates get plenty of partner visibility and accessibility.”
  • “Cases are staffed leanly and partners work closely with and rely on even junior associates. Every partner I have worked with has treated me with respect and valued my input.  The firm has been doing better on transparency about internal issues in terms of communications with attorneys and provides forums for even junior attorneys to ask difficult questions of management, but many associates feel the firm still has a little bit of a way to go in terms of transparency.”
  • “Work has been a bit more unpredictable this year, but I think the firm is a great place to work because they give you so much flexibility on when and how to get your work done. A little unpredictability is inherent in litigation.”
  • “There is a lot of work and a lot of flexibility about when and where to do that work.”
  • “The firm is always cautious of attorneys’ workloads and the management does a good job of checking in often. When I needed more work, people stepped in to help me find it.”
  • “We offered the option of switching from formula to market compensation. For those on market, the firm has followed the rest of the market on compensation.”
  • “Pleased with the new market-based compensation/bonus system recently adopted for associates. So far it seems like it will be much more equitable.”
  • “Those on formula compensation (which is no longer an option for new associates) are paid far above market. For junior associates, this means year-end bonuses that are many times larger than what we would make on market compensation at any of our peer firms.”
  • “BSF has traditionally been a compensation leader, and I think one of the biggest attractions to the firm is the ability to be compensated for hard work.”
  • “As a junior associate, I've worked doing substantive briefing of both dispositive and procedural motions on numerous cases. Because staffing is extremely lean, associates at the firm are expected to have multiple skillsets—doing everything from document review and filing of cases to substantive research and drafting to engaging with opposing counsel—and the firm will give you as much responsibility as they think you can handle.”
  • “Associates take very substantive assignments even as a junior. As a third year associate, I was able to argue substantive motions in court and second-chaired a dozen depositions.”
  • “As a mid-level associate at BSF who also worked at another big law firm previously, I am confident that I do the same amount of substantive work that a junior partner would be doing at big law firms in New York.”
  • “I feel like I have the best job in Big Law. From day [one], I was assigned substantive work and have even interacted with clients. This seems to be a common experience across the firm, as many associates said they had also been assigned to an exciting case almost immediately upon joining.”
  • “The firm has been upgrading its technology systems this year, and I have found that technology is almost never a hindrance to workflows. Many attorneys at the firm worked remotely before the pandemic, and the transition to remote work has been smooth. “
  • “The firm could provide more by way of technology stipends.”
  • “The firm's technology has improved substantially during my time at the firm.”
  • “The firm has tried to support wellness, but to the extent programming exists it is not yet well publicized. This may be more of a goal for the future.”
  • “The firm has been more vocal about mental health and offered numerous webinars and outreach regarding mental health initiatives.”
  • “Management checks in with associates via bi-monthly Zoom meetings, and associates check in with each other at weekly Zoom meetings, but I don’t think there are any formal wellness programs in place—unless I’ve just missed that information. …”
  • “The firm does not have a lot of formal training at the moment, but the amount of substantive responsibility that associates get makes up for that. We learn by doing.”
  • “There is very little formal training, but BSF values learning by doing. Junior associates are given the opportunity to give in the deep end—but have the life jacket of mentorship from a deep bench of talented partners who are at the top of their game.”
  • “When I started as an associate, there was no formal training or on-boarding. I know the firm is in the process of changing this, and in addition, the firm has taken a very active role in facilitating firm-wide training in many areas, including in the area of diversity. I am very pleased with all of the programming offered by the Women's affinity group, including skills training that is very helpful. I have also been fortunate to work with partners in the Albany office, as well as a few partners in NYC, who have actively served as mentors to me, albeit informally.”
  • “There is little to no formal training of associates. Associates are expected to learn by doing and learn from the feedback they get on their work-product. This is not always the most efficient, but it provides fabulous opportunities for associates to learn quickly by doing.  There is are formal associate and partner mentors for associates, and there is extensive  informal mentorship. Partners and associates are frequently willing to go out of their way to provide advice or answer questions if you ask.”
  • “Promotion to partner is realistic. Not everyone makes it, but the firm does promote from within every year. The partnership promotion process is getting more transparent with the institution of standardized forms and committees who recommend candidates. The role of counsel is an option, but appears to be diminishing. Recent exits have been to a variety of government, firm, and in-house roles.”
  • “Promotion to partnership is very realistic for those who would like to make partner and who have worked hard as associates.  We also have many associates that have transitioned to government jobs, including the U.S. Attorney's Office.”
  • “I think the firm offers some of the best career outlooks among law firms, in large part because of the large responsibility placed on associates that provides enormous substantive experience.”
  • “Pro bono is supported, but approvals for hours are often delayed, resulting in frustration.”
  • “You can get up to 200 hours approved for pro bono at a time, and then you get permission for more than that if you need to (haven’t heard that being a problem for anyone). …”
  • “The firm is fairly committed to pro bono hours and the hours do count towards our billable hours. However we could improve in certain ways such as a designated pro bono coordinator who brings in the pro bono work and would be our go-to for those seeking pro bono. Also, the firm only counts up to [200] hours of pro bono to count towards your billable hours. I think a firm committed to pro bono work could not have a cap/limit on such work.”
  • “BSF lawyers are uniformly dedicated to social justice issues. For example, a large faction of associates, paralegals, and non-legal staff meet on a bi-weekly basis to discuss internal and external diversity and inclusion efforts and have successfully generated a variety of D&I initiatives.”
  • “The firm subscribes to the Mansfield rule, which is good. Leadership has become more diverse, especially for women. There are affinity groups and a diversity council that is looking at how to improve the firm's diversity efforts. Some affinity groups do mentoring.  Billable credit is available for associates on the market system up to 75 hours of diversity and other firm citizenship work.”
  • “The firm offers billable credit for diversity-related work and activities. The firm has a number of women in senior leadership and has made active attempts to improve diversity, but the ranks of both partners and associates needs more women. The firm does not have a lot of racial or ethnic diversity, but I think it is more progressive than the average BigLaw firm on these issues.”

Diversity at Boies Schiller Flexner LLP

"Boies Schiller Flexner's commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity is reflected in the strategy it has established for its talent management and professional skills development programs. Recruiting, retaining, and promoting outstanding lawyers from diverse backgrounds, with different experiences and perspectives, enables the Firm to provide its clients with the highest level of representation and best serves the Firm itself. We continue to develop our mentoring program for all attorneys, and in particular are always on the..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “The firm is looking for self-starters who are okay with learning by doing. There is little hand holding, and junior associates are entrusted with a lot of responsibility early on. Folks will help you, but there is no formal training.”
  • “BSF is selective in who it hires because associates are given early substantive experience and are integral members of their various teams.”

“’Why BSF?’ ‘Tell me about a time when....’”

  • “Formal integration was minimal, but many people stopped by to welcome me.  Definitely thrown in on a case from day one, but it ended up being a great experience.”
  • “I came to the firm from two clerkships and immediately felt satisfied with my teams and work assignments, and felt valued from the start.”
  • “The firm did not provide much of a formal training when I started, but I think my clerkship prepared me really well.”

Perks & Benefits