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Covington & Burling

One CityCenter
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 662-6000



Known for its white collar, antitrust, and corporate work—among other practices—Covington is a mainstay in the top 20 of the Vault Law 100. The firm attracts intellectuals who lean progressive and thrive on collaboration, hard work, and giving back via pro bono matters.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2024)

1K - 1.5K


No. of Partners Named (2023)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2023)



No. of Summer Associates (2024)

135 total (123 2Ls; 12 1Ls)


Base Salary

Base Salary (2024)

Vault Verdict

For unmatched associate/partner experiences and pro bono opportunities, Covington is the place to be. Hiring focuses on candidates with high grades from elite schools, and the firm reaches out to an applicant’s recommenders. Personalities matter, too, because the firm’s setting is professional but not overly social, and the importance of separating associates’ work and personal lives is recognized. Partners are known for appreciating associates and valuing their input, caring about their development, and respecting their work-life balance. Strong on-the-job guidance and mentoring are supplemented with plentiful formal training opportunities. Lateral and clerk hires feel plugged in and welcomed right away. Work experiences are diverse, ranging from mundane to interesting, including...

About the Firm

This “brain trust” law firm is known for quietly (and smartly) going about its business—antitrust, litigation, white collar defense & investigations, corporate, intellectual property, export controls, data privacy and cybersecurity, and regulatory work—with particular strengths in the sports, insurance, life science/pharma, energy, tech, and media/entertainment industries.

Capital Roots

Judge J. Harry Covington and Edward B. Burling founded their firm in Washington, DC, in 1919, with a (then unique) concept of focus on regulatory issues. Since its founding, most members of the Fortune 200 have worked with Covington. The firm played significant roles in many of the leading legal matters that arose from the New Deal. Later, in the 1950s, Covington lawyers wrote the key briefs in ...

Associate Reviews

  • “Covington lawyers seem to have developed genuine social bonds that extend beyond the office. Associates have taken the lead and created parent’s support groups in many of the offices. The office environment itself is professional but not stuffy. There is a genuine camaraderie amongst lawyers and staff.”
  • “The firm atmosphere is collegial, friendly, respectful, and professional. Colleagues enjoy socializing with one another at firm events, but it is not an extremely ‘social’ firm overall. I've never felt pressure to attend events. Office events, such as Wednesday lunches, are fairly well-attended by both lawyers and staff.”
  • “As with most big firms, there is some variation between offices with respect to socializing and events. That being said, Covington prides itself on instituting a firmwide collaborative culture that produces high-level work. As compared to other firms, there is something to be said for ‘Covington nice’ and ‘Covington quality,’ although there can be outliers.”
  • “Lawyers are friendly, open, and interested in each other's lives in-office. Interactions occur either in meetings or at a coffee station. Total number of social events are likely lower comparatively (three to four per year), but it seems this is a result of many lawyers having a family life and enjoying going home to family at night.”

Why Work Here

Working at Covington

Our distinctively collaborative culture allows us to be truly one team globally, drawing on the diverse experience of lawyers and advisors across the firm by seamlessly sharing insight and expertise. What sets us apart is our ability to combine the tremendous strength in our litigation, investigations, and corporate practices with deep knowledge of policy and policymakers, and one of the world’s leading regulatory practices. This enables us to create novel solutions to our clients’ toughest problems, successfully try their toughest cases, and deliver commercially practical advice of the highest quality.

Diversity at Covington & Burling

"Our Values At Covington, we recognize the differences among us as an asset and a source of strength. We believe that excellence in the practice of law knows no racial, ethnic, gender, religious, sexual orientation, or other boundaries. Covington lawyers bring a wide variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences to our practice. By recruiting, retaining, developing, and promoting a diverse group of lawyers, we advance the interests of our clients, our practice, and our entire profession. Commitment from..."

Getting Hired Here

  • “Covington is looking for intellectually curious, kind, collaborative, and detail-oriented associates who take pride in their work. While the majority of associates come from T14 schools, there is a sizable contingent of lawyers from non-T14s. The firm cares about grades and quality of legal writing, so journals, moot court, and TA experience are valued.”
  • “The firm is looking for academic successes. It focuses on the top 14 law schools with a strong bias for Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. Journal experience and clerkships are favored. The firm also looks for candidates who can display their legal analysis and include an assessment of that as part of their screening and callback interviews.”
  • “Generally, based on law school and grades with specific practice groups looking for different things. We also tend to recruit from DC-area schools in the DC office, which is our HQ. Most commonly we hire from Harvard, UVA, and Georgetown, with good representation among all the top law schools. We also consistently hire top candidates from law schools in the DC region, including those in Maryland and Virginia.”
  • “The firm tends to hire people with a more academic outlook. I know the firm hires people with high grades from highly ranked schools. The firm also reaches out to recommenders. I would say the biggest feeders are Harvard, UVA, Georgetown, and George Washington. The firm will sometimes hire students who are near the top of their class at regional schools outside DC.”

Perks & Benefits

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