Vault and Firsthand have combined platforms! Learn more

cross

Overview

Introduction

Robinson & Cole LLP has three offices across Connecticut, its home state, and boasts eight more offices across the U.S. At more than 200 lawyers strong, the firm serves clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Associates here are incredibly happy, which is clear from the firm’s placement in 13 of Vault’s quality of life rankings—including the No. 1 spot for integration of laterals and clerks (of which the firm hires many). The firm is also a leader in tech, wellness, and diversity.

Firm Stats


More

Total No. Attorneys (2021)


More

No. of Partners Named (2020)


More

Featured Rankings

Best Law Firms for Integration of Laterals & Clerks...


More

Base Salary

All offices...


More

No. of U.S. Offices



More

No. of International Offices

Vault Verdict

Robinson+Cole seeks high achievers from a wide range of schools and also hires a good number of laterals and clerks. The firm’s Hartford office is the social hub, but the firm has a collaborative culture that is felt throughout all offices. There are strong relationships between associates and partners, and associates feel they are treated as peers rather than subordinates. Associates appreciate the firm’s level of transparency; leadership provides information on such areas as firm financials and goals—plus, associates receive biannual performance reviews. Workload reportedly ebbs and flows but associates overall feel they have decent work-life balance. Many describe compensation as standard for smaller markets. Some feel bonus calculations could be clearer, and some associates wi...

Firm's Response

Robinson+Cole is proud to be ranked in Vault's Overall Best Law Firms to Work For, the Best Law Firms for Integration of Laterals and Clerks, and Best Law Firms for Business Outlook rankings. We want all our new attorneys to quickly feel an important part of the Robinson+Cole family, and to help facilitate that, we have developed a com...

About the Firm

Robinson & Cole LLP was founded in 1845 in Connecticut. The firm has three offices in the Constitution state, and boasts an additional eight offices across the U.S. With more than 200 lawyers among its ranks, Robinson+Cole is an AmLaw 200 firm with clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies.

From Trials to Transactions

Attorneys at Robinson+Cole work in 15 main practices, advising clients across 11 industries. Among the industries the firm serves are construction, education, energy, exempt organizations, financial institutions, food and beverage, health care, insurance, manufacturing, marine ports, real estate, and technology. The firm also pens various blogs relating to some of these areas.

Close to one third of the firm’s lawyers practice in its ...

Associate Reviews


  • “The firm's culture is definitely collaborative. There is a strong interest in developing young lawyers.”
  • “Each office has a very different culture—Hartford is the ‘hub’ of the activity. ....  I have found NY and Hartford as the most social while Stamford is very quiet.  NY is working to bring the entire firm (15th and 20th) floors together more often through socializing.”
  • “The firm's culture is likely my favorite aspect of working at the firm. My colleagues are respectful and highly talented, and I enjoy working with them.”
  • “Associate/partner relations at the firm are great, individually and at the aggregate level. Partners treat associates with respect and with friendly dispositions. The firm is incredibly transparent as to the firm's performance and finances, including an annual state of the firm address as well as several other presentations concerning the firm's goals and performance. The internal promotion and performance review processes are also transparent. Performance reviews are conducted twice a year.”
  • “The vast majority of partners are kind and genuinely interested in helping associates succeed. The firm is more transparent than most with respect to firm performance and finances, including the range of bonuses awarded to associates at the end of the year. The firm conducts associate meetings between the managing partner and associates at various points throughout the year. The firm also frequently sends emails discussing its long- and short-term goals, as well as issues a yearly state of the firm address.”
  • “Partners and associates tend to work on matters on a close-to-one-to-one ratio and, as a result, the relationships are very cordial. The partners treat the associates with respect and like their peers, rather than their subordinates. Often, I've been in social/business development and professional settings with a number of partners where my input was genuinely valued.”
  • “I have a lot of flexibility and work from home at least one day most weeks. Work hours depends on workload/client demand. [It] fluctuates from extremely busy to quiet but is always manageable because it fluctuates. If I have a crazy two weeks, I'm sure to have a very quiet two weeks soon. I feel I am given just enough work to meet my billable requirements, which is perfect for me at this stage in my career.”
  • “Very flexible about the option to work from home and to travel to other offices. The workload is really what you make of it. Partners almost always inquire as to capacity before assigning you to a new matter.”
  • “There is an 1,800 annual billable-hours requirement. Pro bono hours count (no maximum!). Business development hours are required but do not count towards your billable-hours requirement.”
  • “Firm has adhered to lockstep. Near top of market for Connecticut. Under market in large cities. Bonuses are ordinary.”
  • “I'm given a great deal of freedom to work independently, which is great. The partners trust you to take ownership in your assignments. I've done a limited amount of doc-review-type assignments, but these really only come up when absolutely necessary. Of course, there are discovery-related tasks that can be menial, but you'll find partners as well as associates pitching in to get this work done.”
  • “R&C provides an opportunity for associates at [the] junior and mid-level to get substantive legal work. As a litigator, I have conducted and defended depositions, participated in trials, and drafted substantive briefs within the first few years of joining R&C. The vast majority of my time is spent on these types of substantive matters. There are also research assignments, document reviews, and discovery objections, but this is not a place where you get stuck in a back room doing document reviews for the first several years of your career.”
  • “You receive a lot of substantive opportunities early on here. Your supervisors, however, will not throw you into the deep end without having the proper skills to succeed. To borrow a phrase from a partner in my group, the idea is ‘watch one, do one,’ meaning you watch another attorney conduct a deposition, hearing, etc., and then you do one on your own.”
  • “The firm has been focused on implementing new technologies and is continuously looking for ways to adopt new technology. The firm's technology has served to further work efficiency and my practice.”
  • “[The] firm has increased [its] focus on attorney wellness in the past year with the introduction of the wellness committee. [The] firm offers discount rates at local gyms and complimentary mediation app. (Headspace).”
  • “Beyond everyone taking a personal interest in the well-being of their colleagues, the firm actively tries to keep associates informed of challenges associated with private practice and general well-being. This often comes in the form of firm initiatives and meetings.”
  • “Firm assigns everyone an associate and a partner-level mentor. These relationships are in addition to the more organic relationships that grow after working in your practice group for a while. Overall, there is a real willingness for more senior attorneys to take calls from junior-level attorneys to discuss any questions relating to assignments or as it relates to growing one's individual practice through business development and internal and external branding.”
  • “The firm provides extensive formal training, including in-house continuing legal education and presentations. The firm also conducts a litigation academy for litigators that consists of multiple training sessions and culminates in a mock trial. The firm also provides a formal mentor program that assigns two mentors to every associate, which is invaluable.”
  • “Making partner is realistic for those that desire to make partner. There is a transitional role between associate and income partner that we refer to as ‘counsel’. Some associates are promoted straight to partnership; others spend a year or two in transition as counsel. There are also career counsel. For those looking for in-house opportunities, R&C has long history of placing associates at in-house positions with clients.”
  • “The firm really has a model that lends itself to those who are willing to put in the work to eventually become partner. The numbers alone are extremely favorable, with partners actually outnumbering the associates at the firm. As a result, you can really picture where you'd fall into the mix as a partner. A lot of peers who do not stay with the firm end up going in-house in their field.”
  • “I have worked at two other firms and knew pretty quickly that they were not in my long-term plan. Here, I feel like this is a firm that invests in me and one that I want to invest in as well. My goal is to practice here for my career and transition to partnership at the appropriate time. It seems as though most people who are interested in becoming partner become partner. We have a counsel role as well. Most, if not all, attorneys go into the counsel role for a period before becoming partner.”
  • “Pro bono is actively encouraged and something most attorneys do.”
  • “Pro bono work is highly regarded at the firm. The firm has a longstanding partnership with multiple local organizations that provide meaningful pro bono opportunities on a recurring basis. Pro bono hours are counted toward an associate's billable-hour requirements. I have recently worked on a pro bono project involving applying for pardons from criminal convictions and a court-assigned pro bono case. The firm encouraged me to work on both recent matters. The firm also awards an annual pro bono award to individuals who have made significant pro bono contributions over the past year.”
  • “R+C is one of those firms that genuinely cares about pro bono work. We have a pro bono coordinator that regularly sends out opportunities and also provides information on training for particular pro bono opportunities. Some of the pro bono opportunities I have had have been drafting an appellate brief for an indigent defendant and assisting on a prisoner's 1983 lawsuit.”
  • “The firm has a serious commitment to pro bono work. It is recommended that each attorney perform a minimum of [20] pro bono hours a year, and most attorneys far exceed this requirement. An unlimited amount of pro bono hours counts toward an attorney's billable-hour requirement.”
  • “The firm is actively aware of the issues that can arise around diversity and is taking active steps to be mindful of them. The firm has developed a diversity committee and is working on Mansfield Rule Certification.”
  • “The firm appears to be making great efforts toward more diverse hiring and promotional activities. The firm is also extremely accommodating to attorneys who are parents and need to modify their schedules or workload to be able to take care of their families.”
  • “The firm is very aware of the need to promote diversity in the workplace and the advantages that drawing from a diverse cross-section of the population offers. In addition to seeking to become Mansfield certified, the firm sponsors a number of 1L summer diversity fellowships that help to introduce underrepresented groups to the private practice of law.”

The below associate quotes are derived from Vault's Annual Associate survey, which took place from late January 2020 to early April 2020.

Why Work Here


PAST + PRESENT STRENGTHS

Robinson+Cole is an AmLaw 200 law firm established 175 years ago with a deeply-rooted culture of collaboration, civility and inclusion. We share a rich history and culture of community involvement, pro bono service and dedication to client service. Our past shapes and informs  us, but it does not define us. The connections we have today and will make tomorrow keep us focused on the future, helping to refine our methods while devising new ways to best serve clients and maintain a competitive advantage in the legal profession.

More than ever, a modern law firm must be flexible and creative to thrive. This is not simply adapting to the changing legal landscape; it is taking the initiative to ensure mutually-rewarding business relationships with our clients. Alternative fee arrangements are a regular fixture of the conversation between law firms and their clients, and warrant consideration even when they may not fit a particular set of circumstances. We welcome those conversations.

 

Diversity at Robinson & Cole LLP

"We welcome an inclusive work environment where the diverse backgrounds of all of our lawyers and other professionals are respected and each individual is empowered to succeed. To that end, we are participating in the Diversity Lab's Mansfield Rule 3.0 and have already signed on to Mansfield Rule 2021, a year-long certification process that runs from July to June, developed to increase the representation of diverse lawyers in leadership positions by broadening the pool of women, lawyers of color, lawyers with disabilities, and LGBTQ+..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “Grades, writing sample, diversity, personality, prior work experience, and ability to work hard are all strong factors.”
  • “The firm definitely considers personality and culture fit strongly during hiring as well as grades combined with law school attended, there are not really any feeder schools, the firm hires from schools all over across the country.”
  • “Many graduates from law schools in the New England area; [the firm] recently seems to be geographically broadening schools where new hires come from.”
  • “The firm has a competitive summer associate program and also actively hires lateral associates. I believe the firm is looking for individuals with strong academic backgrounds, including journal experience. For laterals, prior experience appears to be particularly important.”
  • “Tell me about your law school note. What practice area are you interested in? Why are you interested in this geographically located office? Describe your 1L summer internship experience.”
  • “The firm's questions are pretty standard, and it obviously asks more experienced associates detailed questions about the work and experience over the candidate's career in an effort to find if they will align with a group's particular needs.”
  • “I was asked about my background and the projects that I was working on at my previous firm. They were interested in knowing what my skill set and abilities were as well as examples. They were also interested in knowing the goals that I have for my future and what I was looking for in life as well as professionally.”
  • “The firm is very welcoming and makes great efforts to make sure new associates are well-integrated.”
  • “The firm greatly values the experience that judicial law clerks gain and, as you progress, you're frequently called upon to use that experience. The firm did a nice job of integrating me from clerk to junior associate and realizing that there is a learning curve associated with that.”
  • “Lateral associates are provided a review shortly after joining the firm and twice per year.”