Our summer program is designed to provide law students with an experience that mirrors the life of a first‑year associate.
Whether you choose to work in the Corporate, Litigation, Tax, Executive Compensation and Benefits or Trusts and Estates Departments, you will experience the day‑to‑day working life of a Cravath lawyer.
Preparations for your summer experience at Cravath begin well in advance. Prior to the summer, we collect Department preferences, assignment preferences (type of matter or practice area, specific teams or partners) and assist with summer housing for those coming from out of town. Upon arrival, you will be assigned to a partner from your selected Department. This partner will be responsible for assigning work, providing feedback, introducing the other team members and ensuring that your experience resembles that of a first‑year associate.
Our summer associates gain valuable hands‑on experience working directly for, and with, our clients.
Our corporate lawyers handle a wide range of matters from our New York and London offices. The Corporate Department is divided into 13 practice groups, most of which consist of three to six partners. Summer associates are assigned to a partner in a particular practice group in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, commercial banking, restructuring or real estate. Summer associates have the opportunity to work on a variety of sophisticated and complex deals in a dynamic team setting.
“As a summer associate in Corporate, I worked closely with both partners and associates on a wide array of complex M&A matters. One of my assignments involved our representation of a leading German industrial gases supplier seeking to acquire a major homecare health company.
“The complexity and speed of the transaction did not deter my team from assigning me substantial due diligence and drafting responsibilities. I was responsible for analyzing key contracts of the target company and communicating my findings in team discussions. I was also tasked with drafting major portions of the principal due diligence memoranda submitted to our client. After the deal signed, I helped prepare both primary and ancillary tender offer documents and coordinated their filing with the SEC.
“From the deal’s inception to closing, I was continually impressed by the commitment of Cravath’s partners and associates in explaining to me the many intricacies of the transaction. As a result, I understood clearly how my specific role created value at each stage in the deal process. For me, the opportunity to participate in such a headline‑making deal, and with such dedicated colleagues, was both exciting and hugely instructive. The dynamic intellectual collaboration at Cravath was self‑evident throughout my summer at the Firm—and it made for a truly enjoyable and enriching experience. It is just one of many reasons I am so excited to begin my career at Cravath.”Corporate Department Summer Associate, M&A Group
Our Litigation Department is made up of 32 partners who handle complex corporate litigation across a wide array of disciplines and industries. The department is divided into teams of partners and associates. Although summer associates are assigned to one partner, there are opportunities to work with other partners and associates on different teams because multiple partners often work together on particular cases. Summer associates can expect to have direct client contact and be relied on as essential members of their teams.
“At the beginning of my summer at Cravath, I was asked to fly to Amsterdam for a week to join my team to represent an Italian businessman suing to recover a more than $200 million loan. In Amsterdam our team would be taking depositions and reviewing internal documents. As soon as I arrived I began receiving substantive assignments and was immediately treated as a valued member of the team. After my team discovered I could speak French and Italian, I was put in charge of coordinating our foreign deposition requests for those countries, and was additionally sent to Milan for a week for witness preparation and depositions. It did not matter that I was only a summer associate—I had the requisite skills and so I was given the assignments.
“During my summer at Cravath, besides numerous other smaller projects, I wrote deposition outlines, helped prepare one of our witnesses for a deposition, and drafted a section of our summary judgment reply brief. Throughout my experience at Cravath, I have felt truly valued and appreciated, and am thankful to have worked with so many knowledgeable and engaging co‑workers.”Litigation Department Summer Associate
Our Tax Department is made up of four partners and approximately 23 associates who devise efficient tax structures for complex domestic and international transactions, including structuring and negotiating mergers, spin‑offs, joint ventures, securities offerings and intricate private equity transactions and financings. Summer associates are assigned to one Tax partner and will have the opportunity to work closely with other lawyers in the Firm. Due to the size of the department and other summer associates’ interest, summer associates who spend time in the Tax Department must split their summer with either the Corporate or the Litigation Department.
“My tax rotation provided me insight into both the breadth and the complexity of Cravath’s tax practice. Throughout the summer I worked on projects ranging from assisting with expert testimony on Reverse Morris Trust transactions, to researching novel tax issues related to S‑corporations and controlled foreign corporations, to helping with an article discussing the implications of a British court decision for both U.K. and U.S. tax practitioners. The common thread through all of these projects was that, in each of them, I was treated as an integral part of the team, generally working directly with my partner to answer the client’s questions.
“Despite the high levels of responsibility on complex issues, I never felt overwhelmed, in large part due to the Tax Department’s training and mentorship. Tax training sessions held specifically for summer associates provided the background necessary for us to conduct effective research and introduced us to the types of deals most commonly seen by summer and first‑year associates. Biweekly tax lunches provided opportunities to catch up with tax partners and associates, to learn more about what people were working on in the department, and to hear updates about important goings‑on in the tax world. Perhaps most importantly, I was truly impressed by how comfortable I felt approaching both associates and my partner with questions. The Tax Department’s collegial and friendly atmosphere was what initially drew me to Cravath, and my summer experience reinforced and surpassed my expectations. Such a high level of collegiality facilitated and encouraged professional growth as a tax attorney and contributed to the excitement and satisfaction of going to work.”Tax Department Summer Associate
Executive compensation matters pose issues that are central to our corporate practice. Our lawyers are experienced at analyzing the corporate governance implications and legal and financial risks associated with compensation and benefit arrangements, as well as navigating the interrelated tax, ERISA, securities law, disclosure and accounting issues that often arise. Our Executive Compensation and Benefits Department consists of two partners and approximately eight associates. Summer associates who are interested in spending time in this Department must split their summer with either the Corporate or the Litigation Department.
“I chose to spend half of my summer in the Executive Compensation and Benefits Department (ECB). The department’s work is a combination of tax law, securities law and M&A in a rapidly growing field undergoing significant changes. On my first day in the department, I was staffed on two acquisitions and one spin‑off involving significant SEC disclosure. Over the next few weeks, I drafted and revised an ECB profile detailing the existing employment agreements and benefits plans for the acquisition target, drafted executive and director compensation disclosure to be filed with the SEC and amended the terms of a merger agreement. I spent a significant portion of my time researching avenues to avoid potential penalty taxes upon the payout of expiring options held by the executives of a private company acquisition target. This involved tax research of regulations that have changed significantly over the last few years, in addition to negotiating the terms of the agreement with seller’s counsel. In each instance, I was involved in the meetings with in‑house and opposing counsel, expected to explain my findings, and recognized for my research and proposed solutions.
“From the first assignment, I always felt like a true member of the ECB team. They trusted me with real matters but were always available to answer any questions I had. The field of Executive Compensation and Benefits is typically unknown to a law student, but I left the department with a solid foundation in an area that is integral to every business and corporate transaction.”ECB Department Summer Associate
Our Trusts and Estates lawyers work closely with the Firm’s other departments representing domestic and international private clients, including successful entrepreneurs, senior executives and families, by advising them in the creation and administration of trusts, estates and charitable foundations. The Department is made up of two partners and approximately 10 associates. Summer associates who are interested in spending time in the Trusts and Estates Department must split their summer with either the Corporate or the Litigation Department.
“As a summer associate in the Trusts and Estates Department, I enjoyed an intense and comprehensive introduction to all aspects of the department’s practice. I was exposed to an assortment of traditional estate planning assignments: drafting wills, powers of attorney and trust instruments customized for a diverse range of property and family situations. In addition, I had the opportunity to work on various other fascinating matters that were central to our clients’ estate plans. I wrote memoranda concerning the application of obscure provisions of the gift tax, the deduction for charitable giving and the tax on employment benefits; I researched state law issues about trust administration, will construction and trustee liability in anticipation of possible litigation; and I drafted organizational and other transactional documents for clients’ family businesses.
“From the first day of the summer, I was treated like a full member of the department. I received my assignments directly from the partners, to whom I would submit my work product and report back on the findings of my research. The partners were incredibly generous in explaining not only the particular question they needed answered or the comments they had on my drafts, but also how my contributions would fit into the larger picture of the estate plans that the client had entrusted us to create and implement. The associates were an incomparable resource as well, whether patiently sharing their experiences on similar matters or helping navigate the steep learning curve.
“When I interviewed, I had been told that the department was similar to a traditional general law practice, requiring attorneys to be versatile in their skills and comfortable dealing with different areas of the law from day to day. That description could not have more truly reflected my summer experience—it was engaging and always intellectually stimulating.”Trusts and Estates Department Summer Associate
SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES IN OUR LONDON OFFICE
Summer associates who choose to spend their entire summer in the Corporate Department may have the opportunity to split their time between the London and New York offices. Our London office is staffed with approximately 26 lawyers, including four partners. Summer associates are principally assigned to one partner. However, due to the nature of the deals and size of the office, summer associates in London routinely work with other partners and associates. London is fully supported by the New York office via the Firm’s integrated systems which allow summer associates to participate in training classes presented in our New York office. There are a variety of events that go on throughout the summer that allow summer associates to socialize with the attorneys in the London office and to experience the culture and excitement of London.
“Though I was assigned to a specific partner, the smaller setting of the London office offered me the chance to work with and get to know almost all of the attorneys in the office. Despite working overseas, I still felt the full support of New York‑based resources, and was able to take advantage of Cravath’s various summer training course offerings.
“My primary assignment involved a leading German telecommunications provider seeking to raise capital in order to refinance existing debt and better compete in the market for new subscribers. The transaction allowed me to gain exposure to high‑level international business leaders, and required a cooperative effort among legal teams specializing in U.S. and German law. The rapid pace of the transaction was such that I was able to participate in all phases—launch through closing—during my rotation.”Corporate Department Summer Associate, London Office