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FAQ

The following section lists questions that law students most frequently ask about life and work at Cravath.

During the 2019 recruiting season, we will conduct interviews at Cardozo, Columbia, Duke, Fordham, Georgetown, Harvard, Howard, New York University, Northwestern, Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, University of Texas, University of Virginia and Yale.

Additionally, we will participate in the following job fairs: Boston College/Boston University, Brigham Young, Cornell, Emory, George Washington, Harvard BLSA, Lavender Law Career Fair, LeGal LGBT Career Fair, Midwest‑California‑Georgia Consortium, Northeast BLSA, Tulane/Washington University, University of Texas and Vanderbilt.

Time constraints prevent us from visiting as many schools as we would like. Therefore, we strongly encourage qualified applicants from campuses we are unable to visit to apply to us directly by sending a cover letter, along with a copy of their resume and transcript.
10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Arrive at Cravath and meet with a member of our Legal Recruiting team for an overview of the day.

10:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Meet with two or three partners or associates in separate interview sessions.

12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Lunch with two associates.

2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Meet with one to three partners or associates in separate interview sessions.

4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Meet with Legal Recruiting to wrap up your day and receive a list of everyone you met.
We do not conduct our call-back interviews on a pre-set schedule. This means that a candidate may meet with an interviewer for whatever amount of time allows for a full and open discussion. At the conclusion of each interview, the Legal Recruiting office coordinates the next person for you to meet. This process allows us to maintain flexibility, and allows students to meet with a variety of partners and associates in different practice areas. If you want to meet lawyers who have worked on particular types of matters or in particular areas of law, just ask.
One of our goals for having full day interviews is to give you the best sense of who we are. We have found that a full day of interviews allows you to evaluate the Firm so you can make the best decision about your future career. It also gives us the opportunity to get to know you better.
Decisions regarding offers are made as quickly as possible after reviewing the interviewers’ comments. Candidates should expect to know their status within one to four days after their call-back.
Applicants who receive an offer are welcome to return for a second visit to meet additional attorneys and to follow up on any outstanding questions. We are also happy to provide contact information for partners and associates if this is more convenient. Additionally, you can always contact Legal Personnel with any questions.
Summer associates can express a preferred practice area or, more specifically, a particular partner or partner group. Although we cannot make any guarantees, we try to honor these preferences.
Summer associates can choose to spend their summer in one department or split their summer between two departments. If you elect to split the summer between two departments, we strongly encourage you to spend 12 weeks at the Firm in order to maximize your experience.
Our London office is staffed with corporate lawyers on an 18- to 24-month rotation from our New York office, in addition to lawyers who are based in London and do not rotate. As an associate, rotations through the Firm’s London office are considered regular corporate rotations and occur at varying levels of seniority. Our London office represents clients in a variety of capital markets matters; SEC compliance matters; mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures; restructurings; and general corporate matters.
Summer associates may request to spend a portion of their summer in our London office. As we get closer to summer associate arrival dates, we determine the needs of the partners and associates in the London office.
Partners generally distribute work among the associates assigned to them or their group based on which of their associates are available and capable of handling the work.

Partners view their summer associates much like first-year associates and rarely draw distinctions between summer associates and first-years in the work they assign. Accordingly, as a summer associate you would be assigned to transactions or cases by the partner to whom you are assigned. The level of the work, just as with all our associates, would depend on your capabilities, as well as what is happening in the matters to which you are assigned. We find that our summer associates can perform very valuable work on real matters. We do not “create” projects for summer associates.
Training at Cravath is conducted both formally and informally. Each year, the Firm’s Departments conduct formal training programs. Courses are taught by partners, experienced associates and experts brought in from outside the Firm. Some classes cover basic subjects that are important to new lawyers, while other classes provide detailed instruction in specific areas of the Firm’s practice. Partners and associates in particular practice groups also conduct less formal lunchtime presentations that focus on topics of current or legal business interest. We also conduct a series of training classes for summer associates.
We assign each associate to a partner or small group of partners when he or she starts at the Firm, and associates continue to rotate through various partners or partner groups throughout their tenure as associates. For the summer, we assign each summer associate to a partner in the summer associate’s preferred area of practice. As a result, associates and summer associates spend a significant amount of time working closely with their partner and the other partners in their group.
We allow our summer associates to split their summer, on the condition that they commit to spending the first 10 weeks of their summer at Cravath. We do not, however, permit splits with other New York law firms (including New York branch offices). All requests to spend time at another firm must be approved in advance of accepting the offer.
Our Legal Recruiting Department helps our summer associates find housing by screening listings and visiting apartments on their behalf.
Our summer social events ensure that summer associates spend time with partners and associates from all the Firm’s Departments. During previous summers, our social activities have included a party at the Central Park Zoo, Broadway shows, SPiN ping pong tournament, sailing, a comedy show, Shakespeare in the Park and opportunities to attend various sporting events. We also host a number of informal lunches and dinners designed to allow our summer associates to spend time with the Firm’s associates and partners in a less structured setting.
Summer associates are assigned to one partner in their group who has primary responsibility for overseeing the summer associate’s experience and who closely works with him or her. In addition, each summer associate is assigned an “advisor” who is generally a junior associate at the Firm.
Early in the 20th century, Paul Cravath created the model for the modern law firm. Cravath hired law students directly after law school or clerkships based solely on their accomplishments and talents, and not on their lineage or connections. The mission of Cravath’s system was to train associates rigorously and promote them exclusively from within. From its earliest days, the Cravath System was designed to produce lawyers with breadth, sophistication and a deep working knowledge of a wide variety of practice areas. We accomplish this through our unique “rotation” system. The hiring, training, compensation and promotion of our lawyers share a common source and serve the same goal. Other firms have borrowed parts of the Cravath System, but none has been able to implement it in its entirety.
We believe that the best way to develop the legal and business judgment of our young lawyers is to immerse them for extended periods in each of the disciplines within their chosen area of practice. When associates start at the Firm, they indicate their preference as to which of our primary practice areas (Corporate, Litigation, Tax, Executive Compensation and Benefits or Trusts and Estates) they wish to practice. We then assign each associate to a partner or partner group in that practice area, and the associate rotates every 12 to 18 months to other partners or through the various partner groups. Associates continue to rotate throughout their tenure at the Firm until they are considered for partnership. The rotation system allows our lawyers to develop the skills necessary to master new areas of our practice quickly, and provides our associates with a broad but intense training experience they are not likely to find anywhere else. After a few years, our associates are generally capable of handling almost any matter that arises within their chosen area of practice.
The offer to join the Firm as an associate remains open until after the clerkship ends.
Incoming associates who have completed a qualifying clerkship will receive a year of credit for both compensation and partnership consideration purposes. Those incoming associates who have completed a clerkship of two years or two one-year clerkships will receive two years of credit for compensation purposes, and one year of credit for partnership consideration purposes. However, if one of the two years was spent as a clerk for a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, an incoming associate will receive two years of credit for all purposes.
Yes. For any qualifying clerkships, the Firm pays a clerkship bonus of $50,000 to incoming associates. If an incoming associate has clerked for two years in qualifying clerkships, the Firm will pay a $70,000 bonus (in lieu of the $50,000 bonus described above). Incoming associates who have clerked for a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court are paid an additional bonus.
We do not have minimum billable hours requirements, and billable hours are not considered when determining salary or bonuses. We have lock‑step compensation at the associate level. Because all your work comes through the partner(s) to whom you have been assigned, we have no need to use billable hours as a surrogate for the quality of your work or your contribution to the Firm. The partner(s) to whom you are assigned know the quality and quantity of your work first-hand.
Yes, it is encouraged. We treat pro bono work as regular Firm work, and it is staffed and handled in the same way. All work, including pro bono work, is supervised by a partner. Although we have ongoing relationships with a number of pro bono organizations, associates can and often do volunteer for specific pro bono projects.
Approximately 70 new associates will join us this Fall.