One of the most elite corporate law firms, Simpson Thacher is a dream firm for anyone pursuing a career in transactional law. The firm boasts a supportive environment that highly values training—including through its robust training program STB Ready—and mentoring, which is fostered from those at the top.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2022)

1K - 1.5K


No. of Partners Named (2022)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2021)



No. of Summer Associates (2022)

181 total (159 2Ls; 22 1Ls)


Base Salary

1st year: $215,000

Vault Verdict


When associates use the word “collegial” to describe Simpson Thacher, they really mean it—in the best possible way. Simpson might be at the top of the prestige rankings, but the firm’s culture is down to earth. Associates describe relationships within the firm as both friendly and professional, with deep respect between partners, associates and staff. Associates become part of the team from day one, whether out of law school or laterals, and quickly take on high-level, substantive work. The hours are fairly standard for BigLaw (i.e., long), but associates appreciate the lack of a billable hours requirement and enjoy flexibility when it comes to managing their workload. The firm has a deep commitment to pro bono work, with multiple pro bono coordinators reg...

About the Firm

A Wall Street institution, Simpson Thacher houses elite teams in M&A, banking, capital markets, private equity, and litigation. With more than 1,000 lawyers across 10 global offices, Simpson Thacher has long held its spot among the most elite law firms in the world.

Hear Them Roar

In 1884, three Columbia Law grads—John Woodruff Simpson, Thomas Thacher, and William Milo Barnum—hung a shingle in lower Manhattan. It didn’t take them long to leave their mark in the history books, jumping right into the railroad reorganizations of the 1880s and having a hand in some of the most important deals relating to U.S. infrastructure—for example, advising none other than General Electric as it set up power and light companies, setting up the American Locomotive Company, and structuring the A...

Associate Reviews


  • “Simpson has a wonderful culture of respect and collegiality. The firm is led by partners who genuinely care about their associates.”
  • “Very collegial. I'm surprised people can have such stressful jobs while remaining so pleasant. Work definitely comes before socializing, though, which is fine with me if I'm being realistic about what kind of social culture can exist at a place doing such high-level work.” 
  • “STB has an incredibly collegial, friendly, humble and down-to-earth culture. The firm has been extremely cautious with in-person events over the past year and a half, so they have been scarce. That said, the in-person events that have been hosted have been wonderful—no expense spared—and well-attended. It's also refreshing to see a place where it seems like everyone genuinely gets along well and is able to balance healthy relationships both at work and at home.”
  • “The firm's culture is respectful of people's time and personal choices. We have weekly happy hours but they are not considered a requirement. Attorneys and staff work together well and are very friendly.”

Why Work Here

"STB offers a great work environment. Despite the long hours that come with the caliber of work that we handle, partners and associates are able to maintain a cordial and pleasant atmosphere. STB also offers great learning opportunities and has greatly improved its training for associates."

Diversity at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

"The firm views diversity as one of our greatest strengths, as stated in our diversity mission statement: "Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP believes that the diversity of our attorneys is vital to our continuing ability to provide the highest quality legal services to our clients in the global community we serve. In order to maintain and build on our present success we must recruit, retain, mentor, develop, and promote outstanding individuals from diverse backgrounds, who bring to the practice of law a variety of perspectives, experiences and..."

Getting Hired Here

  • “Simpson looks for very highly qualified and motivated individuals, but they also look for someone professional and personable. It's what makes the atmosphere here so collegial and pleasant.”
  • “The hiring process is competitive. The firm considers the traditional factors, but also cares a lot about personality, diversity, and cultural fit.”
  • “Excellent academic CV, graduation from top universities, past experience, passion, and motivation.”
  • “I think I appreciate Simpson’s recruitment process because it's actually based on personality and fit over just grades. Other firms focus way too much on grades and school, whereas we have been explicitly told about plans (at least in Palo Alto) to hire talent from a broader array of schools (i.e., even non T-20) so that we can also attract a broader talent pool.”