One of the most prestigious law firms, Sullivan & Cromwell subscribes to a generalist approach, allowing lawyers to work across industries and subgroups. Sullivan & Cromwell boasts an army of over 800 attorneys across eight countries. The firm prides itself on its mentoring and career advising, as well as its commitment to being a unified global practice by only staffing its offices with lawyers who have built their careers at S&C.
Total No. Attorneys (2022)
No. of Partners Named (2022)
No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2022)
No. of Summer Associates (2022)
Looking for the top-of-the-line attorneys, the hiring process at Sullivan & Cromwell is highly competitive with an emphasis on candidates with stellar grades. Associates at Sullivan & Cromwell take pride in focusing their efforts on complex, substantive legal work. The absence of a billable hour requirement fosters a highly collaborative work environment and associates find a sense of ownership over the work they perform. Work ebbs and flows, but associates appreciate the flexibility in where they work. Compensation is unrelated to individual performance, which associates find leads to a more supportive atmosphere. The culture at Sullivan & Cromwell is formal and polite, and associate-partner relationships are heavily relied upon for constructive informal f...
About the Firm
A BigLaw powerhouse, Sullivan & Cromwell has followed—if not created—the blueprint for legal success: It has grown internationally and in response to the increasing cross-border M&A, restructuring, and finance transactional demands of the biggest corporate clients in the world.
Kind of a Big Deal
Sullivan & Cromwell has consistently steered the development of many of the world’s corporate titans over the past 130-plus years. The firm founders, Algernon Sydney Sullivan and William Nelson, advised J.P. Morgan—as in the man himself—during the creation of Edison General Electric in 1882 and later guided key players in the formation of U.S. Steel and the financing of the Panama Canal. These lucrative foreign ventures caused the firm to be one of the first to ex...
- “Collegial, professional atmosphere. Attorneys are treated like adults and given autonomy without micromanagement.”
- “The firm does not have a single cookie-cutter type of lawyer. There is something for everyone and every personality. Leadership seems to take more of a hands-off approach and just trusts that people will go about their work in a respectful and professional manner.”
- “People are generally easy to get along with, although there are a few difficult people here and there. It is generally a less social bunch, but there are definitely those of us who like to get together—firm sponsored or otherwise—and socialize. Many of the first-year [associates] regularly go out for drinks, dinner, etc. At work, there can be a lot of pressure, but people are generally understanding if you are unable to do something.”
- “Everyone is much friendlier than expected. I am on multiple teams, and everyone is polite, gives positive and constructive feedback, and is great to work with. For events, we have firm-sponsored dinners, Broadway show tickets, and other events about once a month.”
Why Work Here
Listen to our conversation with the managing partner of our Litigation Group, Sharon Nelles. Milana Hogan, Chief Legal Talent Officer, interviews Sharon about why she chose S&C, the Firm's approach to associate development and mentoring, her role as head of the Litigation Group, and her advice for students as they navigate their way through the recruiting process.
Diversity at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Getting Hired Here
- “I have only been through the recruitment process from the candidate's side. However, my sense is that the firm is looking for a commitment to doing the highest quality work, and a demonstration of that through grades and other achievements. I believe the firm cares deeply about the individuals that it selects to hire and wants to invest in them. There is not any single type of personality the firm is looking for. Rather, my sense is that the firm views every individual as contributing something unique, so long as they are committed to doing excellent work.”
- “S&C is very much a fit firm, but you need the grades to even open the door. Very few lateral hires, if any, apart from certain specialty areas.”
- “Other than good grades, there is not any unifying characteristic the firm seeks out. The firm takes students from all law school rankings, but most people did attend a T-14 school….”
- “The hiring process is competitive. In addition to good grades, I get the impression the firm is looking for kind, humble people with a good work ethic and a baseline social competency.”