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Overview

Introduction

Hughes Hubbard fosters a collegial environment where associates feel welcomed and respected. A recently revamped mentoring program and substantial responsibility on pro bono and billable matters provide great opportunities for quality legal training. Founded more than 130 years ago, Hughes Hubbard has a strong New York presence and a wide geographic reach from coast to coast and also internationally. The firm is home to 40 wide-ranging practice areas across the firm’s four core services: 1. corporate, tax, and private client; 2. financ...

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2021)


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No. of Partners Named (2020)


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Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100...


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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

1st year: $205,000...

Vault Verdict

At Hughes Hubbard, associates describe the culture as “tight-knit,” “welcoming,” and “social”—to name a few of the overwhelmingly positive adjectives. Associates also feel they are genuinely respected by the partners they work for. The firm gives an annual presentation regarding firm finances, but associates would like to be better looped in when it comes to firmwide decisions regarding compensation and promotions. Associates are reviewed annually but feel the organic feedback they receive throughout the year is just as beneficial, if not more so. When it comes to workload, associates have more complaints about the unpredictable nature of their schedules rather than the total number of hours they work. Compensation is under market, but some high billers do have the chance to earn ...

About the Firm

Founded more than 130 years ago, Hughes Hubbard has a strong New York presence and a wide geographic reach from coast to coast and also internationally. The firm is home to 40 wide-ranging practice across the firm’s four core services: 1. corporate, tax, and private client; 2. finance, restructuring, and bankruptcy; 3. intellectual property; and 4. litigation, arbitration, and investigations.

The Fabulous Four

Hughes Hubbard dates back to 1884 when Charles Evan Hughes joined the firm Chamberlain, Carter & Hornblower. In just four short years, Hughes became name partner. He went on to have a successful political career—including stints as the Governor of New York, as Secretary of State under two presidents and as Chief Justice of the U.S. But he stayed connected to the firm—retu...

Associate Reviews


  • “Even though we are technically a ‘BigLaw’ firm, it feels much more like a small firm in that teams are leanly staffed, most people know each other, and everyone is very collegial and friendly.”
  • “People are friendly and kind to each other; I frequently socialize with friends from the firm, including lawyers and staff.”
  • “Tight-knit group of collaborative and smart colleagues. Everyone is nice and helpful.”
  • “Overall, I would say the firm has a very welcoming culture. Everyone, with a few exceptions, is fairly approachable and happy to answer questions/give advice. I would also say that the associates are very social. They host the occasional happy hour [or] office event. The firm also highly values its staff members, and attorneys and staff work closely together. Overall, I would say the firm’s atmosphere is very positive.”
  • “Partners treat associates with respect and provide individual mentorship and guidance; however, the firm itself does not provide a high-degree of transparency about its decision-making processes.”
  • “Partners are generally very cooperative and work like ‘one of the team’ and are very approachable. However, firms' decisions on bonuses, salaries, promotion options, and performance review are pretty opaque and should be more transparent.”
  • “Every associate-partner relationship is likely different, but the partners I work for treat me with great consideration and respect. In terms of finances, once a year the partnership does a presentation to associates showing full financial results from the prior year.”
  • “Reviews are conducted annually. Associates submit information on the projects they worked on and attorneys they worked with. Then those attorneys submit feedback. As a younger associate, the feedback at the review session was not super substantive, it was mostly along the lines of ‘keep doing what you are doing.’ Rather, more feedback comes from the day-to-day interactions with partners and associates.”
  • “There is a lot of flexibility surrounding when/where work gets done, which I really appreciate. We've been staying busy across the board, which has been really good for morale.”
  • “Hours are long, but mostly manageable. Billable-hour requirement is high, yet rewarding for high billers.”
  • “Unpredictable work hours.”
  • “We do get long hours to work, like in every BigLaw firm. However, the work in M&A is cyclical, so we get weeks that are more flexible than others.”
  • “Salary and bonuses are on par with other firms in the market and seem fair. Although as a junior associate, it is a bit difficult to control the type of work you are given (billable vs. non-billable), and thus [it] can be difficult to meet the bonus threshold.”
  • “Senior associates are paid slightly below market base comp; our bonuses are market at 2,050 billables with an opportunity to make above-market at higher tiers. …”
  • “We are paid well, and the firm paid spring and COVID special bonuses to those of us with strong hours.”
  • “Most of the assignments I have been given have been very substantive. I have had the opportunity to draft documents and briefs, meet with clients, and participate in witness interviews. The firm is also good about keeping you on a matter, meaning you get to see your cases progress from beginning to end, which is nice.”
  • “I have a lot of responsibility on my cases and was able to play a very substantive part from the very beginning of my career.”
  • “Some cases are all substantive work (drafting pleadings, arguments, briefs, etc.) and others are more document review. I have done work well above my level.”
  • “I write briefs, do legal research, speak with clients for factual research, attend hearings, [and] attend calls between the partners and clients. I have a lot of responsibility and have always had it.”
  • “The firm has provided us all with laptops, a second monitor, and other office necessities. Overall, the technology is pretty reliable and makes it easy to work at the office or at home.”
  • “I think the firm has adapted well; generally, the IT teams are a little slow to incorporate new technology, but when they do, it’s done the right way.”
  • “The transition to working remotely was seamless.”
  • “We receive monthly newsletters, are encouraged to seek help if we need it, and, though I haven't yet attended one, I know they bring in outside speakers to present on wellness. We also have anonymous access to several organizations that offer help.”
  • “Limited active programs, but I’ve been happily surprised by how seriously partners take wellness efforts. I’ve been encouraged to take vacation and shielded from work demands when I’ve been sick.”
  • “The firm may offer counseling services, but otherwise there are no wellness initiatives I am aware of.”
  • “Fantastic informal mentoring, which is something that partners devote a lot of time to and value highly. …”
  • “The mentorship program was revamped in 2021 and is much better now! Regular check-ins and mentorship events occur every few months. I really feel like my mentors are looking out for me, and all three of them have offered to review work product for other cases.”
  • “The firm recently re-launched a formal mentorship program. Notwithstanding, I would say most of the training and mentorship is ‘implicit’ in the sense that you learn from the feedback/comments/edits the partners make on your assignments, and from watching the way partners interact with the clients. …”
  • “I feel promotion to partnership is realistic, and I feel valued by my firm.”
  • “Non-partners can become counsel.”
  • “It's unclear if it's possible to make partner at the firm. While young associates were promoted to partner in recent years, the associate-partner ratio seems to limit that option further until the associate ranks get bigger. Also, there are some 10-year associates that were not promoted to counsel or partner yet, despite being very competent and worthy of promotion. I think a move in-house is a solid option with the valuable experience I am getting.”
  • “Promotion to partner is realistic, but once you're partner, it is unclear how you will bring in business. The firm recently did a months-long "Associate Business Development Committee" training program that was much appreciated, but finding clients—especially in litigation, and for a relatively smaller firm like ours—still seems daunting.”
  • “We do an enormous amount of pro bono work.”
  • “Our firm greatly values pro bono and allows for pro bono hours to count towards your billable-hours requirement.”
  • “Strong commitment to pro bono work. I’ve worked recently on several criminal matters, including a successful clemency petition.”
  • “Pro bono only counts as billable hours if your hours already make you bonus eligible. At that point, only 50 hours count. The firm has wonderful pro bono opportunities that allow for client interaction and the development of drafting skills, oral argument skills, and others. I have worked on many appellate level immigration cases.”

Diversity at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

"Hughes Hubbard has a distinguished history dating back more than a century. The firm was founded by Charles Evans Hughes (future governor, secretary of state and chief justice), whose values and innovative thinking about the practice of law have been passed down through generations of our firm's lawyers. Like Hughes, who immersed himself in his clients' businesses, we are known for our strong commitment and dedication to our clients. This has led to a collaborative and warm environment that is valued by everyone at the firm...."

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