Overview

Introduction

Wachtell has experience in the fields of mergers and acquisitions, strategic investments, takeovers and takeover defense, corporate and securities law and corporate governance.  They handle some of the largest, most complex and demanding transactions in the United States and around the world. They counsel both public and private acquirors and targets, handle sensitive investigation and litigation matters and corporate restructurings, and counsel boards of directors and senior management in critical situations.  They have...

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2021)

250 - 500

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No. of Partners Named (2021)

2

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Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


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No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)

29


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No. of Summer Associates (2021)

32 (29 2Ls; 3 1Ls)


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No. of U.S. Offices

1

Vault Verdict

Competitive is an understatement when it comes to landing a spot at the uber-elite Wachtell—the firm is one of the most selective law firms. Candidates should take interview prep seriously and be ready to discuss their interest in the firm’s specific work as well as substantive legal topics. Hard work and intellectual rigor form the backbone of the firm, but lawyers also value collaboration and get along well. Associates describe the firm structure as flat and believe partners are supportive of their development, though they feel decision-making from the top can be a bit opaque. The firm has a formal work assignment system for junior associates; as associates progress in seniority, there is a more free-market approach. Assignments themselves are high level, and associates are entr...

Firm's Response

Many factors set Wachtell Lipton apart, including our size, our structure, our culture, our work, and our compensation. The firm was founded in 1965 by four law school classmates who wanted to practice law together, two of whom are still very active and set the tone for all of us. We are a true partnersh...

About the Firm

Each year, a significant chunk of the world’s dealmaking—major mergers and acquisitions, antitrust and shareholder litigation, big-name restructurings, and multi-billion-dollar real estate ventures—gets cranked through the well-oiled machine that is Wachtell Lipton. Manning the apparatus are a gifted few, whose compensation far outstrips industry standards. While it may not be the biggest or the highest revenue-maker as a firm, it is the most profitable place in the world to practice law. Wachtell Lipton is one of the smallest firms in the AmLaw 100, but it is continually one of the top firms (and usually the top firm) when it comes to PPP, and it stands above the going market rate for first-year associate salaries. 

 

The New York Four

 

Associate Reviews


 

  • Firm culture is very collegial—everyone shares and acknowledges credit where due and works together.”
  • “The firm's culture is very professional and collegial. Everyone here—from the partners to the support staff—cares deeply about the work they do and performing at the highest levels in the field. That dedication does put some pressure on associates to go above and beyond to deliver on each matter, but it makes us better lawyers. The day-to-day atmosphere is fast paced and focused, but the people I have interacted with during my time here have been kind, collegial, and passionate about the work. I have enjoyed the culture as a result.”
  • “There is a strong focus on work, and everyone is very busy, making it difficult to prioritize social activities or non-case-related connections.”

  • “Lawyers here don't socialize much together outside of work, but within the office, people are very pleasant in day-to-day social interactions. Prior to the pandemic, there were quarterly dinners outside the office, which were well attended, and some attorney participation in the summer associate program. Prior to the pandemic, there were also dinners Monday-Thursday for attorneys working at the office into the evening, and people would come for a few minutes to grab food and chat.”

 

Why Work Here


Wachtell Lipton is dedicated to providing advice and expertise at the highest levels and to achieving extraordinary results for our clients. We seek individuals who are talented, motivated and committed in order to maintain our record of excellence. Our associates, paralegals and administrative staff are critical to this mission. Our lawyers and staff work closely together across departments comprising an elite legal team. We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment.

Wachtell Lipton is an equal opportunity employer.  As such, it adheres to an employment policy that prohibits discriminatory practices or harassment against applicants or employees based on any legally impermissible factor(s) including, but not necessarily limited to, race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, disability or any protected military or veteran status.

Diversity at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

"Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is strongly committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment that supports the recruitment, retention and advancement of women and men of all backgrounds, at all levels of the Firm. We are an original signatory to the New York City Bar's Statement of Goals for Increasing Minority Representation and Retention. The Firm is committed to recruiting a diverse and talented body of lawyers considering diversity in its broadest form. We were one of the first New York City law firms to..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “The firm is quite selective; it hires from a small pool of top schools with very few exceptions, and values maturity, prior work experience, and some articulable interest in the areas in which we specialize.”
  • “WLRK is looking for top graduates from top schools, but it also looks for something more—the firm wants people who want to do the work. The partners and associates genuinely enjoy our work, despite its demanding nature. The firm offers no illusions about what it is like to work here. It's intellectually rigorous with a great deal of responsibility and long hours. I like that—so do my colleagues. The firm is looking for candidates who fit that description because it benefits no one to lie about what it's like to work here only for attorneys to end up miserable and the firm to end up disappointed. I knew exactly what I was getting into, and I'm happy with my work. I will also add that I've been pleased with our efforts to hire more diversely.”
  • “In general, the process is quite competitive and seems to involve a focus on good grades, strong performance in responding to substantive interview questions, competitive schools, and involvement in journals or other activities, among other factors.”

Practice Area Q&A’s


Jenna E. Levine

Partner

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Tijana J. Dvornic

Partner

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Ryan A. McLeod

Partner

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
David K. Lam

Partner

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Andrew J. Nussbaum

Partner

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Perks & Benefits