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Buckley focuses on financial services, government enforcement, and litigation. The firm’s client roster includes 26 of the largest consumer banks in the U.S., yet associates enjoy work-life balance with a relatively low billable-hour requirement.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2021)


No. of Partners Named (2021)


Featured Rankings

Top 150 Under 150...


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)


No. of Summer Associates (2021)


Base Salary

1st year (2021 class year): $191,350 + estimated $11,150 Profit......

Vault Verdict

For candidates considering Buckley, experience or interest in the financial services industry will go a long way, as well as a genuine interest in working for the firm. But there is no one factor that will put you ahead of others—the firm considers each candidate as a whole and is interested in finding those who will fit with the firm’s culture.  Boasting a manageable 1800-billable-hours requirement, the firm supports flexible working. While compensation is below market, associates are generally pleased with their bonuses—which are sometimes awarded more than once in a year—and the 401(k) contributions. Some note that the bonus requirements are unclear, however. Most partners are respectful and available for mentoring, although some are more difficult than others. Partnership...

About the Firm

Buckley is known for its prowess in the financial services sector and has also gained prominence for its litigation and enforcement practices. The firm represents an impressive roster of “front page companies”— the likes of Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase, to name a few.

Chasing the Dream

Buckley was founded in early 2009 when Skadden partners Andy Sandler and Ben Klubes, along with a group of other financial services litigation and enforcement attorneys, decided to leave the world of BigLaw to join forces with the highly regarded financial services regulatory firm Buckley Kolar, which of itself was formed by former Goodwin Procter lawyers five years earlier. Buckley opened in March 2009 with about 40 lawyers and has grown to more than 125 lawyers today...

Associate Reviews

  • “The firm's culture is sociable yet professional. For example, I don't know many, if any, associates who would feel dissuaded from walking into a partner's office if they have a question or need guidance. The firm organizes weekly social opportunities to foster a collegial atmosphere, which appears successful by all accounts. The firm is very ‘it is what you make of it,’ a quality I greatly appreciate.”
  • “There are sporadic firm-organized social opportunities as well as informal get-togethers organized by attorneys. People are friendly and respectful of your time and personal life.”
  • “I thoroughly enjoy everyone I work with. Everyone seems comfortable with each other, and there is an effort among younger associates to get together socially outside of work. The firm makes an effort to introduce new employees to everyone. I feel like I have been mentored by all levels of individuals at the firm (senior associates, counsel, partners). There is also a clear effort to respect work/life balance.”
  • “The firm is cliquish. If you don't fit the mold, you get overlooked for opportunities regardless of whether you exhibit competence.”
  • “Partners and the partnership as a whole treat the associates incredibly well. They will take the time to explain assignments and areas of law, will provide assistance with any assignment if you ask, and seem to be invested in helping associates grow as attorneys. The firm is up front about many aspects, including new business, old business, how the firm is performing overall, and the firm's financial strength. If anything, the firm could increase [its] transparency with regard to internal promotion structures on an individual basis. Performance reviews are done annually.”
  • “The firm has a memo describing the promotion process from associate to counsel and counsel to partner and non-equity to equity partner. This past year there was a professional development event for senior associates and counsel where the partnership walked through the memo and invited questions.”
  • “The majority of partners, in my experience, have a genuine open-door policy. The partners provide a general report on firm performance and finances twice annually. Performance reviews occur once a year. Reviews include the gathering of data from all persons who have supervised an attorney on a matter involving 25+ hours of work, as well as any other persons the attorney identifies as qualified reviewers. The review itself is then conducted by a single partner who has reviewed the collective feedback and who provides it in a selective and anonymous form.”
  • “There are a handful of partners who are abusive/disrespectful. If you avoid them, the rest of the partners are generally respectful.”
  • “Our annual requirements are manageable and fair. There seems to be plenty of work to go around, and the firm does a great job of allowing associates to work remotely and take time off when needed.”
  • “Work is cyclical, so sometimes I bill more hours than I would like and other times I have a very light workload.  The firm is very flexible on where you work, and I often work from home.”
  • “Unfortunately, there was a dearth of work at times over the last year. Generally, people are flexible with where and when you do your work and understand the difference between when things are truly critical versus when they can be more relaxed.”
  • “There is an 1800-hours billable hours target that is taken into account for year-end bonus compensation. All pro bono hours count toward the target.”
  • “The firm pays slightly below market, but it also has a much lower billable-hour requirement than other firms and the trade-off is well worth it. The firm is also very generous with bonuses, often giving both a mid-year and year-end bonus, so most associates wind up making much closer to what the rest of the market is once bonuses are factored in, with several making more than the rest of the market.”
  • “At most firms, compensation is base pay plus bonus. Buckley Sandler adds a third component that is a profit sharing contribution to 401(k) accounts. Buckley Sandler base compensation may be slightly below market levels but typically if you get a good review, you meet your hours, and the firm is profitable, associates will meet or exceed the market in total compensation.”
  • “Bonuses generally appear to correspond to billable hours over and above the 1,800-[hour] target. However, there is not a clear incentive structure. Additionally, there is not a clear structure, with respect to lower-level attorneys, for negotiating salary.”
  • “Bonus at ~1,900 billable hours was above Cravath scale, even in a ‘down’ year for the firm.”
  • “I spend most of my time on substantive legal work that is appropriate for my level. If there are assignments I wish to take a first crack at, I am usually given that opportunity. Other work is meant to push me into growing as an attorney, not just first-year busy work.”
  • “Assignments are generally substantive and appropriate to my level. Certain partners within the firm are especially responsive to expressions of interest in various areas or practice groups, which contributes to a fulfilling work experience, and the provision of work of increasing difficulty as attorneys develop.”
  • “The most engaging work comes from the projects I pitch myself or take up on my own initiative. Otherwise, there is a decent amount of busy work.”
  • “I think I am given the appropriate level of work for my level.”
  • “I think I received the normal amount of formal training, but I think the firm really stands out in its mentoring and informal training. The senior associates, counsel, and partners that I work with go out of their way to help me improve and expose me to new professional experiences. I feel very comfortable going to the people I work with when I have questions—no one ever puts me down or makes me feel foolish, even when I have questions about seemingly basic issues.”
  •  “Firm management encourages both mentorship and formal training, as do the individual attorneys.”
  • “At least within the [Los Angeles] office, it's my experience that the partners have been very willing to take on a mentorship and sponsorship role for attorneys who express a willingness and desire to gain experience and opportunities. Mentorship seems to be a more self-directed, rather than a formal process, at the firm.”
  • “I wish we had a more formal mentorship program. But our informal training opportunities are great.”
  • “Promotion to partnership appears realistic. The firm also has a number of counsel and senior counsel, as well as senior associates who remain at the firm. As a financial services firm, associates tend to have reasonably good opportunities in government as well as in business as a result of work at the firm.”
  • “The firm is very top heavy.”
  • “Pro bono work is seen as equal to billable work. It is HIGHLY encouraged and looked very well upon. If there is a pro bono project you wish to undertake that the firm currently doesn't, they provide avenues for you to pursue it.  If there is a certain type of work you would like to do and you make it known, they will actively help you achieve that goal.”
  • “All pro bono hours count toward billable hours.”
  • “The firm is very committed.”
  • “The firm promotes and rewards pro bono work. Each year a focus-topic is chosen (immigration, last year). And attorneys, paralegals, and staff are all encouraged to become involved in pro bono work. I worked on several projects last year.”
  • “The firm makes an active effort to increase and foster diversity in relation to all groups.”
  • “The firm has an excellent paid child leave policy (almost 6 months for biological mothers) and provides both maternal and paternal paid leave. The firm also has excellent retention of women, and having children does not appear to impede a woman's ability to remain on partner-track and eligible for promotions. Both male and female partners appear willing to act as mentors to both male and female associates. The firm is active in discussing women’s, LGBT, and minority issues and appears to work to promote such individuals and foster diversity.”
  • “The firm does a good job trying to foster diversity and inclusion.”


  • “My work has been consistent, engaging, [and] challenging and all but ensures that I have the opportunity to grow as an attorney in the fields I wish to practice.”
  • “I regularly get engaging and interesting work with and for colleagues who are smart and respectful.”
  • “I made a lateral move to Buckley Sandler a few years ago. My compensation has exceeded the market, and I work 200-500 less hours per year than I did at my prior firm. I work on interesting cases with great attorneys.”
  • “Our rate structure makes it difficult to maintain client relationships.”

Diversity at Buckley LLP

"Buckley is strongly committed to diversity. The firm's commitment is rooted in the belief that each individual's unique background contributes a distinct and valuable perspective in our working environment, enriching the day-to-day experience of our professionals, and enabling us to better serve our clients. Buckley strives to ensure broad-based diversity within the firm by focusing on recruiting, retaining, and promoting professionals with diverse backgrounds including, but not limited to, diversity of race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender..."

Getting Hired Here

  • “The firm is looking for the ‘whole package,’ with no one specific factor being dispositive. There is emphasis on cultural fit and interest in the firm.”
  • “Prior work experience, intelligence, interest in financial services law, and grades appear to play substantial roles in hiring. The firm seems to value interest and ability above all.”
  • “Prior work/internship experience at financial regulators or financial services companies seems to be the most important factor.”

Perks & Benefits