A corporate law giant and securities litigation all-star, Davis Polk is among the most elite law firms. The firm is synonymous with professionalism and is home to lawyers with strong work ethics who are committed to supporting and mentoring each other. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP boasts one of the nation’s best and most comprehensive corporate departments, with impressive teams in capital markets, M&A, finance, restructuring, and tax. Its lauded litigation practice includes top-notch antitrust, civil litigation, inte...

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2021)

1K - 1.5K


No. of Partners Named (2021)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of Summer Associates (2021)

179 total (169 2Ls; 10 1Ls)


Base Salary

All offices


No. of U.S. Offices


Vault Verdict

Stellar grades are a must for a heavy weight like Davis Polk. The firm recruits from a variety of law schools, and interview questions cover everything from past work experience to practice area interest to substantive areas of law. Lawyers at Davis Polk work hard, but they still have time to socialize with each other (even virtually during the pandemic), though there is no pressure to do so. The firm has a culture of respect, which starts with the partners, who are generous with their mentorship and constructive feedback. Associates are pleased with the firm’s progress when it comes to transparency and appreciate the regular town halls—although some wish there was more information on making partner. When it comes to compensation, associates describe the firm as a “market leader” ...

About the Firm

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP boasts one of the nation’s best and most comprehensive corporate departments, with impressive teams in capital markets, M&A, finance, restructuring, and tax. Its lauded litigation practice includes top-notch antitrust, civil litigation, intellectual property, and white collar criminal defense practices.

Historical Connections

Davis Polk was founded by Francis Bangs in 1849, making it one of the oldest law firms in the United States. Bangs’ successor, Francis Stetson, was quick to recognize the growing importance of corporate work. In 1887, banker and industrialist John Pierpont Morgan selected Stetson for his chief counsel—the firm helped Morgan restructure the Pennsylvania Railroad and create General Electric. Morgan’s businesses, in their mod...

Associate Reviews

  • “Collegial and professional—after-hours socialization is available, but certainly attorneys are never pressured to attend, and the firm is respectful of people's social/family demands outside of the office.”
  • “Davis Polk overall has a very ‘nice’ and caring culture. People I work with are understanding and respect personal engagements to the extent that the work is not necessary or urgent. There are plenty of social events, both firmwide and within the Restructuring group that I am in. During the pandemic, there have been various events (chocolate tasting, cocktail making, Lawyering 301 for third-year associates) and Restructuring group events (dinner with women partners, celebrations of various ethnic festivals, monthly restructuring group lunches). People generally work very hard, have high standards, and are very polite and nice.”
  • “Extremely polite. Everyone is generous with their time in explaining concepts to new associates.”
  • “Davis Polk's culture is simple: Treat everyone you interact with—support staff, clients, attorneys—with the highest levels of respect and professionalism. When we're in the office, partners will occasionally invite associates for drinks or dinner. Case milestones are often celebrated with a team dinner, and in the virtual world, these milestones are celebrated with videoconferences. Associates are busy, but when we have free time, we do socialize. I generally have some type of reunion (virtual happy hours these days) with friends I made on old cases every other month.”

Why Work Here

Davis Polk provides the experience and environment that help you develop into an exceptional lawyer, no matter where your career takes you. From your first day, you’ll be involved in complex and meaningful matters, working side by side with some of the best lawyers in the world.

Who We Are

Davis Polk is one of the world’s most admired firms, with top-tier clients and an enviable reputation.

We are proud of our collaborative, close-knit culture. You’ll receive mentoring and training to develop your skills in an atmosphere of respect and support. This is a place of remarkable, accomplished people who work together seamlessly to achieve the best results for our clients.

The Firm’s approximately 1,000 lawyers are spread across our offices in New York, Northern California, Washington DC, São Paulo, London, Paris, Madrid, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo. Our presence in major financial centers around the world allows us to connect with our international client base on matters spanning borders, languages, cultures and jurisdictions

Diversity at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

"Davis Polk is deeply committed to promoting diversity and inclusion at our firm and in the legal profession. Our culture of inclusiveness and respect is integral to our values and inherent in how we relate to our clients and each other. We believe that the diverse perspectives of our lawyers enhance our ability to provide creative solutions tailored to our clients' most challenging business needs. We understand the urgency of improving diversity and inclusion in the legal industry as a whole and within our firm, and are focused..."

Getting Hired Here

  • “In terms of guidance given to associates who participate in the interview process, the firm emphasizes academic achievement, diversity, work ethic and character (i.e., good human beings who will advance the firm's positive culture and work environment), among other important factors. Although the typical first-year class has a high concentration of associates from the top law schools, those who achieve significant academic and personal success at lower-ranked law schools have significant opportunities to be hired during the recruiting process. …”
  • “The firm prioritizes (i) academic excellence and (ii) integrity and demeanor that fits with the firm culture. The firm does not seek to fill its offices with aggressive, self-centered individuals—they look to find smart people that can contribute to a team in a professional and respectful way.”
  • “Like all firms in its class, Davis Polk definitely considers grades, extracurriculars, law school rank, etc., but I also think they stress the importance of fitting into the culture quite a bit.”

Practice Area Q&A’s

Daniel Brass


Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Dana Seshens


Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Vanessa Jackson

Partner—Corporate Department, Finance Group

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Deanna Kirkpatrick


Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
John Amorosi


Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Perks & Benefits