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Davis Polk & Wardwell

From lawbrain.com

Davis Polk & Wardwell’s history dates back to 1849 when an ambitious solo practitioner hung out a shingle in Manhattan. As the years went by, Davis Polk grew steadily not only in size, but also in reputation.[1]



Known for being an elite law firm with lots of experience in financial matters, Davis Polk is often called upon for advice by big clients with a lot to lose. Citibank did just that in 2008, and Davis Polk helped it secure government backing to help survive during the recent economic crisis. Davis Polk is not only strong in finance, but also virtually every area of corporate law practice, not to mention its proficiency in other areas, such as litigation. Davis Polk prides itself on its firm culture, prizing excellence and collaboration. These ideals infiltrate the organization and Davis Polk credits them with its past and current success.[2]

Davis Polk has also been consistently recognized for the diversity of its workforce. Through the activities of its Diversity Committee, Affinity Groups, Sponsorships, and Women’s Initiatives, Davis Polk is firmly committed to creating diversity within its organization, welcoming the benefits that different backgrounds and life experiences can provide.[3]

Davis Polk also dedicates itself to pro bono work and community service. Davis Polk encourages all of its attorneys to engage in pro bono matters and even treats pro bono work with the same importance as billable work, offering the same excellence to those in need as is offered to paying clients. Many attorneys also volunteer with numerous community service and other partner organizations to contribute legal assistance to those in need.[4]

Davis Polk Practice Areas

Davis Polk competes in the legal arena with over 50 areas of specialized practice spread across 6 main practice groups, listed as follows:[5]

  • Corporate Law
  • Litigation
  • Tax
  • International Law
  • Industry-Related Practices
  • Trusts and Estates

Davis Polk Offices

Davis Polk aims to meet the needs of its clients worldwide with offices both in the United States and abroad.[6]

  • New York
  • Menlo Park
  • Washington
  • Paris
  • London
  • Madrid
  • Hong Kong
  • Beijing
  • Tokyo

Davis Polk’s headquarters can be found in New York City.[7]

Davis Polk & Wardwell
450 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Phone: (212) 450-4000
Fax: (212) 450-5545
Web: www.davispolk.com

Davis Polk Size

Consisting of over nine offices worldwide, it should come as no surprise that Davis Polk employs a good number of attorneys. Across all its offices, Davis Polk keeps over 570 associates and over 160 partners on its payroll.[8]

Davis Polk Recruiting

Associates at Davis Polk praise not only the high standing of the firm in the legal community, but also the brilliance of their colleagues as well as the high-profile, cutting-edge types of challenges presented. Complaints ranged from the passive-aggressive nature of some associates and partners as well as the lack of sleep and lack of time spent with family.[9]

Davis Polk typically hires from its pool of summer associates, though from time to time it has been known to accept experienced lateral hires that it feels would be compatible with its firm’s culture.[10] Partnership is available to a select few, and most partners spend their entire careers with Davis Polk. Associates who join Davis Polk are also afforded opportunities to engage in rotation through different practice groups and even take advantage of overseas rotations at its offices abroad.[11]

Like many other top law firms, Davis Polk offers a competitive benefits package. Davis Polk will offer to new associates reimbursement for some relocation expenses, a salary advance, bar review tuition and fees, four weeks of paid vacation, comprehensive insurance benefits, subsidized gym membership, paid tuition for continuing legal education, retirement benefits, commuting benefits, down payment loan benefits, flexible childcare scheduling and options, and paid leave for primary caregiver/parental leave. Davis Polk will also pay bonuses ranging from $50,000 to $70,000 to incoming associates who just completed select judicial clerkships.[12]

Davis Polk Salary and Bonuses

Associate Base Salary Bonus Range Bonus Comments
Low High Discretionary

1st Year

No $35,000
2nd Year

No $40,000
3rd Year

No $45,000
4th Year

No $50,000

Based on January 2008 numbers.[13]


  1. http://www.davispolk.com/firm/history/
  2. http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/companies/company-profile/Davis-Polk-&-Wardwell?companyId=385
  3. http://www.davispolk.com/diversity/
  4. http://www.davispolk.com/pro-bono/
  5. http://www.davispolk.com/practices/
  6. http://www.davispolk.com/offices/
  7. http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/companies/profile?companyId=385
  8. http://nalpdirectory.com/dledir_search_results.asp?fscid=F007501&orgtypeid=F
  9. http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/companies/company-profile/Davis-Polk-&-Wardwell?companyId=385
  10. http://www.davispolk.com/careers/
  11. http://www.davispolk.com/careers/associate-life/
  12. http://www.davispolk.com/careers/associate-life/comp-benefits/
  13. http://www.infirmation.com/shared/lss/one-payscale.tcl?employer_id=NY1060



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