Overview

Introduction

One of the oldest New York-based firms, boasting premier offices in Paris, London, Madrid, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, and São Paulo, Davis Polk is renowned for its Securities/Capital Markets, Banking & Financial Services, and Securities and IP litigation practices. The firm prides itself on a collegial environment where associates are given the resources and support to learn and excel. Central staffing and lockstep compensation encourage associates to focus on client service and career development above numerical targets.&...

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2022)

1K - 1.5K

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No. of Partners Named (2021)

9

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Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


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No. of Summer Associates (2022)

155 total (134 2Ls; 21 1Ls)


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Base Salary

All offices1st year: $215,000


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No. of U.S. Offices

3

Vault Verdict

Davis Polk prides itself on its cordial culture and world-class client base. Kindness is encouraged and dedication to client demands is required. The firm hires top graduates from the best schools who have shown drive or have unique work experience that may benefit a particular practice area. Partners model respect and are happy to provide professional guidance and career advice. Most associates appreciate the firm’s market-leading, lock-step compensation system and lack of a billable hour requirement, and while the firm does not offer financial incentive for top-billing associates, most associates feel the lowered pressure during any slow periods is a fair trade off. Despite the lack of a billable hour, workloads are generally as high as at peer firms, but associates enjoy workin...

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 th...

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

JOB OPENINGS AT THIS COMPANY



  • “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


Vanessa Jackson

Partner

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Daniel Brass

Partner

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Uzo Asonye

Partner

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Daniel Brass

Partner

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Dana Seshens

Partner

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Perks & Benefits