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Staff Principles

We provide the best service to our lawyers—and through them to the Firm’s clients—no matter what the challenge.

We pay close attention to details, and we are available to the Firm’s lawyers at any time, day or night. The quality of our work is essential to maintaining the Firm’s outstanding reputation for the highest-quality representation of its clients. We are dedicated to continuing and upholding these standards, no matter what it takes.


Our overall goal is to provide a measurable competitive advantage to our attorneys in their efforts to attract important and demanding legal work and to provide valuable assistance to clients. We will achieve our goal when the performance of every member of the administrative team reflects these principles.

1. Customer Focus

Our customers are Cravath’s clients, attorneys and each other worldwide! Our customers’ interests always come first. When we serve all customers well, our own success follows.

2. Excellence

We are the legal industry’s equivalent of a 5-star hotel. We provide higher quality service more consistently than any other administrative staff by fully understanding customers’ needs, “sweating” the details, anticipating and avoiding what could go wrong, personally double-checking our work before it is delivered and following up to make certain that we meet our standards of excellence.

3. Whatever It Takes

Each of us is the best at what he or she does—an expert at our role or function in the Firm. However, at any time we may need to help others in some way that is entirely unrelated to our usual responsibilities—i.e., at all times we do “whatever it takes” to get the job done.

4. 24 x 7, Global Team

At any given moment, there is a team member or vendor “partner” somewhere in the world, at work or otherwise reachable, who can help us solve a problem to meet a deadline. We always make or take the phone call. We always respond quickly and helpfully.

5. Deadlines

Our numerous customers tend to request our help with a sense of urgency, often resulting in overlapping deadlines. Therefore, we need to set priorities and customer expectations. To make any reasonable deadline, we will:

  • first, extend ourselves in any way possible;
  • second, ask for help and expect others to “pitch in”; and
  • finally, apprise the customer well in advance of the deadline so that plans can be adjusted. A missed deadline “surprise” is a rare and extraordinary event. When one occurs, we modify our judgments/procedures to eliminate the likelihood that it will happen again.

6. Reputation

We are usually the “first line of defense” in protecting the reputation of the Firm. When someone’s actions seem inappropriate, wasteful or wrong, it is our responsibility to discuss it with that person, that person’s manager, the Human Resources Department, the Executive Director or the Office of the Presiding Partner. We trust that it will be dealt with fairly, discreetly and promptly.

7. When We Spend Money

In our Firm, the ability to schedule additional staff or order services, supplies, etc., is highly decentralized compared to most other companies because client responsiveness is important. When we spend money to facilitate business, every decision is measured against these three standards:

  • a Cravath client reimbursing the Firm for that expenditure would agree that it is necessary and reasonable under the circumstances;
  • we will realize no personal financial gain or loss as a result of the decision; and
  • we will spend the clients’ and Firm’s money as if it were coming out of our own pockets.

8. Customer Complaints and Criticisms

Customer complaints and criticisms are good. They usually lead to modifications of procedures and guidelines in order to improve service. They always give us an opportunity to demonstrate responsiveness—even if we disagree. Every complaint is thoughtfully considered and analyzed. We contact the customer directly and promptly for follow-up, which is critical to improvement and to encouraging future feedback.