Freshfields is ideal for associates seeking exciting international work. The firm is in an expansion phase, which means lots of opportunity for early hand-on experience—plus strong mentorship and a friendly culture are additional perks. Freshfields’ roots may date back to the 1700s, but the firm’s recent momentum in the U.S. awards an exciting career outlook for its associates. The attorneys at Freshfields have a global perspective which allows the firm to excel at handling complex, cross-border work.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2022)

2.5K - 3K


No. of Partners Named (2021)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2021)



No. of Summer Associates (2021)

48 total (46 2Ls; 2 1Ls)


Base Salary

Base Salary (2022)1st year:  $ 215,000 2nd year:$225,0003rd...

Vault Verdict

Freshfields seeks out candidates who will gel with the culture of a global firm that supports some of the largest companies in the world, so international experience and good academic credentials are a high priority. Noting the friendly and diverse work environment, the associates at Freshfields are a social bunch and interactions are incentivized by the firm. Associates have no hesitation asking questions or clarifying feedback and partners implement an open-door policy. There is no shortage of work, but the absence of a billable-hour requirement allows the attorneys to maintain a healthy work-life balance and spread out the hours evenly. Associates are thrilled with the firm’s top of the market salary and bonuses. Associates are entrusted with challenging and intriguing work fro...

About the Firm

For more than 250 years, Freshfields has remained a constant at the top of the U.K. and European legal market. With 27 international offices, the firm has expanded its reach around the globe and recently has become a player in the United States with growing offices in New York; Silicon Valley; and Washington, DC. Its U.S.-qualified team is now over 300 strong, with roughly a third of the U.S. partnership and associate team having joined since the start of 2019.

Established Name, Modern Growth

Founded in 1743, Freshfields just might be the oldest international law firm in the world. Its first client was the Bank of England, which remains a firm client to this day. In 1801, the first Freshfield, James William Freshfield, joined the firm as a partner. Successive generations of l...

Associate Reviews

  • “Collegial and diverse. The firm benefits from a global culture that permeates its ranks, allowing for a friendly and diverse work environment.”
  • “Day-to-day atmosphere is amazing. The people are very friendly, especially the partners. Despite the pandemic, the firm has always tried to sponsor happy hours or similar events.”
  • “The firm has a great internal culture. Everyone is friendly and most have an ‘open-door’ policy. Colleagues often grab lunch or coffee together. Overall, the environment is amicable and collaborative.”
  • “Very collegial. I hang out with my colleagues outside of work. People stop and chat in the hallways.”

Why Work Here

Who We Are

More than 2,800 lawyers who work in 150+ countries and speak over 70 languages. Freshfields combines the entrepreneurial and collaborative environment of a boutique firm with the top clients, scale, mandates, resources, benefits and training of one of the oldest and largest international firms in the world. 

With top-tier lawyers in the U.S. in M&A, corporate governance, securities and shareholder litigation, antitrust, white-collar defense and investigations, restructuring, technology and CFIUS, we offer clients the ability to work with the world’s first “jurisdictionally agnostic” firm, capable of delivering elite legal advice in every major practice area and in every corner of the worldWe help clients navigate their most complex business issues and capitalize on their most significant opportunities. This work involves executing complex cross-border transactions, dealing with the most challenging multijurisdictional litigations and global investigations, and handling arbitrations and regulatory issues involving multiple countries.

Diversity at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

"At all levels of Freshfields, we are absolutely committed to driving diversity and inclusion forward — from grassroots efforts run by employees, to our partners whose leadership in this area is essential The delivery of market leading advice depends on our ability to build and harness the creativity of diverse teams. To do this we must attract and retain the most talented lawyers from across the world by fostering an environment in which our people can flourish, inclusive of their gender, race or ethnicity, background,..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “The hiring process tends to be quite focused on grades and where candidates go to law school. Work experience before law school appears to be generally preferred, but not necessary. It’s great if candidates have an international background, but more important is an understanding of the firm's success and expansion in the U.S.”
  • “Looking for smart, driven self-starters, with global interests and perspectives.”
  • “Freshfields is pretty open minded about law schools, but I think the firm values cultural fit, which I value.”
  • “The firm appears to be hiring from a wider variety of schools now. At the time I was hired, there were very few associates from schools other than East Coast T14s. Hiring is still very competitive, and the firm seems to hire mostly from elite schools, but there is more regional diversity even within the last few years.”

Practice Area Q&A’s

Andrea M. Basham


Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Andrea M. Basham


Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Perks & Benefits