Vault and Firsthand have combined platforms! Learn more

cross

Overview

Introduction

 

Laid back, collegial, and collaborative are words used to describe the culture at Crowell & Moring. The firm actively helps associates shape their careers, either within or beyond the firm. If pro bono is important to you, you’ll be supported here. Crowell & Moring works in a wide range of practices, handling litigation, regulatory, arbitration, and transactional matters for clients of all sizes, from major corporations to startups to private individuals.

Firm Stats


More

Total No. Attorneys (2021)


More

No. of Partners Named (2021)


More

Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100...


More

No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)



More

No. of Summer Associates (2021)



More

Base Salary

All offices:...

Vault Verdict

Crowell & Moring focuses on candidates from regional schools in addition to T14’s, and the firm looks for top grades, diversity, and prior work experience. The culture is laid back and pleasant, and while socializing isn’t a main focus for everyone, opportunities are there for those wanting to hang out after work. Partners actively foster positive relationships with associates. Some associates express a desire for more transparency into bonuses, which include a discretionary component. There is a billable-hours requirement of 2,000 hours, and pro bono hours count toward it. Compensation is just under market—some associates would like to see an increase, but others feel that work-life balance and a positive culture make for a reasonable trade-off. Associates get substantive...

About the Firm

 

Founded 43 years ago, Crowell & Moring has 550 lawyers spread down the east and west coasts, as well as two offices in Europe. The majority of the firm’s lawyers are litigators (two-thirds to be exact), but the firm also has attorneys working in its transactional, regulatory, and investigations practices. The firm also has a mascot—a rubber duck—which is a prime example of the firm’s sense of humor.

Making Noise

When Jones Day tried to oust Eldon “Took” Crowell and his team of government contract lawyers in 1979, he left with a bang, taking with him a group of more than 50 attorneys, or two-thirds of the firm’s Washington attorneys—an event The Washington Post referred to as “The Split.” The new firm specialized in negotiating large...

Associate Reviews


  • “Firm culture is very positive. The atmosphere is friendly and collaborative. Lawyers and staff treat each other with respect and kindness.”
  • “The firm is very social, but not overly so. I also appreciate the firm's commitment to pro bono work and the fact that nearly all of the attorneys at the firm are nice people.”
  • “I believe I work at a great firm. Socially, we are very laid back. We take our work seriously, but we don't take ourselves too seriously. Hilarious, firmwide emails are sent out regularly and even between offices. Everyone is extremely friendly. Additionally, I believe we are a progressive firm with progressive values. …”
  • “The firm prides itself on being collegial, and you do get the feeling that others are looking out for you and care about your growth and well-being. People value their personal and family time, and so many people do not look for social opportunities after hours. That said, happy hours and firm-sponsored events are available for those who desire it.”
  • “The specific partners I've worked with have been, almost without exception, respectful, professional, and generally accessible, even to junior lawyers. Reviews are typically conducted annually. The only lack of transparency I've observed is with regard to statements made about the value of nonbillable work compared to how that work is actually treated during annual reviews.”
  • “Partners treat associates with respect, genuinely care about associates' career development and well-being, [and] partners want to help place associates in clerkships and government service in the hopes that they come back (many do).”
  • “As a first-year associate, all my interactions with partners have been positive. They have shown interest in my success and growth. Frankly, my interactions with partners [are] not much different from my interactions with my fellow associates. The firm is transparent regarding firm performance, finances, and internal promotions. …”
  • “I definitely feel respected and valued as an associate, and I appreciated the opportunity to receive a mid-year evaluation my first year so I would not go a whole year without one. However, I still sometimes feel a bit lost about what is expected and the reasoning behind bonus determinations.”
  • “The billable-hours requirement at Crowell is consistent with that of other BigLaw firms. We have flexibility in where we work and when we work, as long as we finish our assignments in time for the client's deadline.”
  • “I work a reasonable total number of hours overall but often find that many of those hours do come all at once, or on nights and weekends, rather than being evenly spread out across the week.”
  • “The workload is heavy, but it makes accomplishing the standard annual billable targets that much easier. Work feels evenly distributed, and I have flexibility in where and when I work to the degree possible.”
  • “Generally, my hours are consistent. The 2,000-billable-hour requirement is higher than some firms, but there is no unspoken expectation of a higher number. Further, it is significant that all pro bono time counts towards that requirement.”
  • “I think we should be paid market rates—I do market-quality work. I have always received maximum bonus, so no complaints there.”
  • “I thought that bonuses this last billable year could have been more generous given the growth the firm experienced (in spite of the pandemic).”
  • “Crowell is not at market rate, but we're close, with the first-year salary being $180,000. Admittedly, I'm still not aware of what our bonus is. Our firm has a 70/30 bonus structure in which you get 70% of your bonus by fulfilling your billable hours requirements. You get 30% of your bonus by completing quality work and giving value to the firm through client development and social contributions to the firm.”
  • “Compensation is slightly below the market rate, but it is still incredibly fair and frankly it is not a significant deviation. The overall culture and level of wellness and happiness present at the firm is an incredible bargain for the slightly lower compensation.”
  • “The work I am given is substantive, and I have the impression that junior associates get substantive opportunities early on more so than at other BigLaw firms, particularly given the lean staffing of cases. I am given a lot of direct client contact, and partners think about what type of work would help me develop as an attorney.”
  • “As a first-year associate, I've been given the opportunity to help draft appellate briefs. I spend much of my time on substantive legal work. However, I'm also given a good amount of client development research and writing.”
  • “Nature of work varies depending on the practice area, type of matter, and the client. On some matters, I am drafting the first draft of most client work product and am included on nearly all client e-mails and calls.”
  • “[My work is] a well-rounded mix: drafting summary judgment briefs, regulatory correspondence, pleadings, and written discovery responses; assisting with preparing witnesses for depositions; and, yes, some doc review.”
  • “Technology seems to be about what you would expect for a firm our size—it's not superlative, but it's not particularly bad, either. [I] would definitely appreciate greater access to software as well as a more responsive server environment. On the remote work front, there definitely have been some growing pains as we've transitioned away from the office, but overall, the IT team has kept us up and running since March 2020, and I'm sure that hasn't been easy.”
  • “As with other law firms, some of the technology can feel slow. A lot may have to do with security requirements. The firm has adapted to remote working during the pandemic as well as can be expected.”
  • “The firm has always been fairly flexible about remote work, so it seems like the COVID transition went as smoothly as it could under the circumstances.”
  • “[I] genuinely think that partners care about mental health of associates—the conversation has been easier to have in light of COVID-19. I have had many people check in on me informally, which I think is better than formal programming.”
  • “The west coast offices sponsor a yoga/Pilates class every other week, and the firm provides access to the Calm app. There are plenty of events on wellness as well.”
  • “… We do have a confidential career counselor, and I think that's brilliant because you can talk about concerns you have or things you need in detail without a lot of risk, and she'll help you formulate a plan to get what you need out of the firm experience.”
  • “One of the primary trainings we had at first-year orientation was a mindfulness seminar, and everyone responded very well to it.”
  • “The firm encourages organic development of mentorship and sponsorship relationships but also provides a more formal structure. Associates are assigned a partner within their practice group(s) as a professional development mentor, as well as a senior associate or counsel within their practice group(s) as a peer-to-peer mentor.”
  • “Certain practice groups offer weekly informal trainings. Each associate is given a senior associate and partner mentor. Much of the mentorship at Crowell is organic and informal.”
  • “My favorite training during first-year associate training was a training on how to manage workplace relationships, including your work with partners at the firm. [It has] been valuable to have that insight early on in my career.”
  • “The firm sponsors a number of trainings, generally for litigation attorneys. For non-litigation attorneys, there are attempts to develop formalized training, but specialties (particularly in the regulatory space) can be too varied for there to be as many opportunities. There are formal mentoring and sponsorship programs in the firm, and beyond that, many partners take on that role informally.”
  • “Promotion to partnership seems realistic for those who would like to make partner, who provide high quality work product, and who are committed to the firm. ‘Senior Counsel’ is the non-partner role to which senior associates can transition. Given the regulatory focus of our firm, there are a lot of exit opportunities in government and other firms that offer the same specialized practice areas, as well as other BigLaw firms.”
  • “Partner is realistic, but you have to work for it. There is a senior counsel route too. Many associates go in-house or to government. Many often then come back to the firm.”
  • “Promotion to partnership is realistic; partners also actively help place associates in public service, in-house, etc. I feel comfortable asking and talking about transition opportunities with partners.”
  • “There seems to be plenty of opportunity to make partner. You can also utilize the non-partner track. This is not an up-or-out firm. …”
  • “All attorneys are expected to perform 50 hours minimum a year; attorneys are praised for going over this, and there is no limit to pro bono hours that can be counted against a billable target.”
  • “I participated in our secondment program at Legal Aid DC—everyone was super supportive and excited for me; the firm knows that high-quality pro bono work significantly improves associates' advocacy skills.”
  • “The firm provides unlimited credit to pro bono hours, and they encourage a wide range of pro bono projects. I have worked on asylum removal proceedings, a section 1983 appeal at the Ninth Circuit relating to police excessive force, an amicus brief supporting state environmental regulation, and voting protections matters.”
  • “I'm still very new, but the firm has been very good about educating first years about the whole gamut of pro bono opportunities available, from family law-related issues to housing to indigent criminal defense to impact litigation seeking to promote racial justice. I'm excited to help out on a criminal trial once the courts open back up.”
  • “Crowell & Moring places an emphasis on diversity and inclusion and offers attorneys and staff that identify with a diverse group the opportunity to participate in affinity-group retreats, meetings, discussions, and other activities. We have held roundtable talks to discuss issues related to diversity and implicit biases in a large firm environment, and I have been repeatedly impressed by the reception and implementation of these lessons by senior partnership.”
  • “Our firm does not offer billable credit for diversity-related work/activities. It is being discussed. Our firm has affinity groups, but each group is responsible for its own programming. Some groups are more active than others. We have diversity-focused staff who create programming and communicate with the rest of the firm.”
  • “The firm takes steps to ensure that it is hiring, promoting, mentoring, and retaining diverse individuals. However, the number of diverse attorneys is far more significant at junior levels.”
  • “The firm has been making a real push to let people know that they are free to be their genuine selves at work, and they have been making real efforts at recruiting and retaining diverse attorneys.”

Why Work Here


Diversity at Crowell & Moring

"Crowell & Moring has continued its efforts to make strides in diversity and inclusion, in service of our diverse talent and, in turn, of our clients. In 2019, the firm selected its first Chief Talent and Inclusion Officer, merging recruiting, talent development, and diversity and inclusion and weaving a talent development approach into the firm's strategy for advancing our ongoing diversity and inclusion initiative. We also introduced and continued several programs in 2019, including: Mansfield Rule To supplement our..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “The firm generally looks for associates who are good fits for the firm/office culture and who are interested in practice areas that the office can support. In order to get an initial interview or a callback, academic credentials are important. However, at the callback stage, a lot of it comes down to fit.”
  • “The firm definitely weighs diversity, personality, and prior work experience heavily. The LA office frequently hires applicants from UCLA and USC, but there aren't really ‘feeder schools.’"
  • “Clerkship and government prior work experience are valued, as are top law schools and diversity. A cheerful, nice personality is also desirable.”
  • “The interview process was very informal and more conversational. The only question I can recall is why I wanted to become a lawyer.”
  • “[We ask questions like] how they analyze problems; why private sector; why DC; why our firm; legal writing experience.”

Perks & Benefits