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Overview

Introduction

Tops in the Sunshine State, Carlton Fields has 11 offices down the East Coast—five of which are in Florida. The firm has a strong national trial practice, as well as experience in myriad areas, including antitrust, business transactions, class actions, construction, employment, health care, insurance, litigation, M&A, real estate—to name some. The firm is also a standout in the diversity space, ranking among all of Vault's diversity categories.

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

Best Law Firms in Florida...


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No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)



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No. of Summer Associates (2020)



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Base Salary

Los Angeles; New York; Washington, DC...

Vault Verdict

Carlton Fields generally looks for candidates with some work experience on their resumes, though they also consider candidates straight out of law school. The firm has a collaborative atmosphere, and attorneys are not in competition with each other. Firm-sponsored events are well attended, but impromptu after-hours socializing is less common. Partners are genuinely interested in mentoring associates—with whom they often work on-on-one—and the firm offers a fair amount of transparency, particularly regarding financials. Hours can ebb and flow, but associates are generally satisfied with their compensation for those hours. Associates rave about their work and the level of responsibility they are given. While attorneys don’t report a wide variety of wellness initiatives, they are pro...

About the Firm

Carlton Fields, PA is home to more than 300 lawyers practicing across 11 offices. The firm has a strong national trial practice, as well as experience in myriad areas, including antitrust, business transactions, class actions, construction, employment, health care, insurance, litigation, M&A, real estate—to name some.

Spreading Through the Sunshine State and Beyond

Giddings Mabry founded Carlton Fields over a century ago with the help of his father Milton Mabry—a former Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice—and Doyle Carlton—who would go on to become Florida’s 25th governor. The firm has maintained its strong reputation in Florida and over the years, has branched out beyond the sunshine state, adding offices in California; Connecticut; Georgia; New Jersey; New York; and Wash...

Associate Reviews


  • “People are very down to earth and always willing to work together to provide the best service we can. We have several officewide events and annual firmwide events where attorneys can socialize together.”
  • “I find the firm's culture to be inviting and accepting.”
  • “The associates have good relationships and are willing to help each other out. The culture is not one of competition, but rather being part of a team.”
  • “Collegial, but not overly social. There are not many impromptu social events or happy hours, but firm-sponsored functions, even if voluntary, are well attended. [The] atmosphere in the office is friendly between attorneys of all levels and between attorneys and staff.”
  • “Associates are valued as part of the team and are encouraged to express their opinions and exercise their judgment. Firm leadership is quite transparent for the most part and discusses issues affecting associates at regularly scheduled meetings.”
  • “Because we are a shareholder-heavy firm, the associates typically work one-on-one with a shareholder. Everyone at the firm really tries to make sure they teach practical lessons while working with the associate on a case.”
  • “Partners treat the associates very well at the firm. The firm focuses on mentoring and helping associates build their practice. [The] firm is very transparent with firm performance, internal promotion, and performance reviews. There are quarterly and annual reviews for associates.”
  • “Very professional. Shareholders respect and value the input of associates. [It’s a] smaller office, and everyone gets along well.”
  • “We work hard but not unreasonably so. I have ample work but am able to maintain flexibility with respect to where and when I work. I believe work is evenly distributed.”
  • “Hours are generally reasonable but can vary month-to-month depending on workflow.”
  • “I am sometimes given too little work and must then overcompensate by taking on too much work in order to achieve billable-hour requirements. …”
  • “1,950 billable [hours] (50 hours of pro bono counts) and a 200-hour nonbillable requirement (business development, recruiting, etc.)”
  • “I think compensation is fair for the market, and I was satisfied with my bonus for going 100 hours over my billable requirement.”
  • “I am satisfied with the compensation, though it is slightly below market.”
  • “Very transparent bonus structure with subjective and objective goals.”
  • “My compensation is at or above the market rate based on my office location. Associates are eligible for bonuses upon hitting their billable target, with incremental bonus increases at certain hourly targets. Bonuses are not a significant part of compensation for most associates (often five percent or less of gross pay).”
  • “The work I get is high profile and very substantive. I work on writing motions, other filings in court, I've been to federal court many times, and I've appeared in state court a few times. I am given substantial responsibility, and I feel valued as an important member of the team.”
  • “The work is challenging and meaningful.  It includes handling cases independently with minimal oversight as well as taking and defending depositions and working on substantial and dispositive motions”
  • “I mostly spend my time on substantive legal work that is appropriate for my level. I correspond with opposing counsel, draft substantive motions, and correspond with clients.”
  • “The firm has a small number of associates relative to total number of attorneys, so all associates generally get very substantive work. My work is all substantive and appropriate for my level, although I do wish I had more deposition opportunities.”
  • “The firm has no official program regarding efforts for associate wellness but will sponsor certain events, like running races, etc.”
  • “I feel like from the attorneys in my office, wellness is acknowledged and appreciated. However, as a law firm as a whole, I don't think we do anything in particular to facilitate that—i.e., we don't get discounts at gyms.”
  • “There are some exercise groups, and the firm will pay for a certain amount of counseling, but it is not publicized.”
  • “Amazing mentor program. Each associate is assigned an associate mentor (senior associate) and a shareholder mentor. Both take active roles in the associate's development.”
  • “The firm has an associate kickstart program that helps associates with marketing and business development.  The firm is also committed to matching associates with informal mentors to allow associates to network and grow.”
  • “Not much formal training. Individual partners are very willing to train and mentor associates.”
  • “Training opportunities are available regularly. There are formal mentoring programs, but informal mentoring is exceptional. I feel that I can ask any of the partners questions whenever I need to.”
  • “Partnership is realistic, but there are also other non-partner roles available. A fair number of associates have gone in-house as well.”
  • “I believe promotion to partnership is a realistic goal for those who would like to be partner. Individuals who do not want to be a partner can transition into counsel roles. Associates who decide to leave this firm generally do so because of exceptional opportunities; the last associate who left accepted a coveted position at the United States Attorney's Office.”
  • “Promotion to partnership is absolutely realistic for those who would like to make partner.”
  • “Promotion to equity partnership is a very realistic possibility at my firm. Partners are invested in seeing associates rise through the ranks. The firm is also very committed to succession planning for clients and partners. There is not a formal non-partnership track, although of counsel positions are negotiated on an ad hoc basis.”
  • “Pro bono work is encouraged for all attorneys and paralegals and is respected by the firm. The firm lauds high-profile pro bono activity and acknowledges all pro bono work during an annual, week-long event.”
  • “The firm staffs the legal clinic for a local homeless shelter every Tuesday in the months of February and September, and I attend that. We also get emails about pro bono opportunities.”
  • “The firm is very committed to pro bono work. Practice group leaders discuss it at meetings. Partners encourage it.”
  • “Our firm has a strong pro bono commitment, which is introduced on day one by hearing from the Pro Bono Committee team.”
  • “We have a great deal of diversity at our firm, and our firm's diversity program is very active. Mothers get 16 weeks maternity leave; fathers get 4 weeks paternity leave. There is also leave for adoptive parents, but I do not know the specifics.”
  • “Diversity is taken seriously by the firm. Women, people of color, and LGBT partners are highly visible and representative. Parental leave is customary for the size of the firm and the firm hosts multiple affinity groups.”
  • “I believe the firm is very committed to diversity amongst all groups and makes an active effort to have diversity reflected in leadership.”
  • “Other firms talk diversity. This firm walks the walk.”

Diversity at Carlton Fields, P.A.

"At Carlton Fields, diversity is an important part of who we are. Long before our clients expected it, and before diversity gained currency in the legal marketplace, we actively recruited, hired, and promoted men and women with different ethnic, religious, and racial backgrounds, orientations, and perspectives. We are a stronger firm due to our inclusiveness. We make better decisions and provide better client service because of our diversity. Our climate of diversity promotes more thoughtful communication, more purposeful collaboration,..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “The firm looks for laterals and former law clerks.”
  • “I believe our hiring process is competitive. Our litigation department focuses on clerks and laterals but considers individuals directly out of law school. I believe there are some local feeder schools.”
  • “For associate laterals, the firm is looking for experienced laterals with strong writing and oral advocacy skills.”
  • “My firm was particularly interested in federal clerkships, and people who could really ‘vibe’ with the office. We are truly a collaborative bunch, and I think it's very important for the firm to selectively choose associates that fit within the firm's culture. They are also highly selective because they don't hire many associates.”
  • “Interview questions depend on the interviewer and interviewee, but I ask questions that are designed to get to know candidates and to see what motivates them. If we are interviewing someone, I presume they can do the work.  I'm more interested in getting to know them to try to get an idea of what it will be like to work with them.”
  • “The firm asks candidates about their relevant work experience.”
  • “Questions geared toward the applicant’s objectives.”
  • “I was an incoming associate from a federal clerkship, and I felt I was welcomed and could hit the ground running.”
  • “Associate ambassador, multiple lunches, events at partners' houses, etc.”
  • “There is not a formal integration process, but the firm and my colleagues were very supportive.”