Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP logo

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

450 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10017
(212) 450-4000



One of the oldest New York-based firms, boasting premier offices in, London, Madrid, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Brussels, and São Paulo, Davis Polk is renowned for its offerings across its corporate, litigation and tax departments. The firm prides itself on a collegial environment where associates are given the resources and support to learn and excel. Central staffing and lockstep compensation encourage associates to focus on client service and career development above numerical targets.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2023)

1K - 1.5K


No. of Partners Named (2022)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2022)



No. of Summer Associates (2023)

227 total (222 2Ls; 5 1Ls)


Base Salary

1st year: $215,000

Vault Verdict

The firm is a true New York elite, and they’re looking for the best and brightest young lawyers. Davis Polk hires heavily from the T14 law schools, but high achievers from other law schools are also well represented. Getting in the door might be competitive, but once in, associates rave about the culture. Davis Polk attorneys are almost universally “polite” and “respectful,” and while hours can be high and workloads heavy, colleagues go out of their way to be appreciative and accommodating. The absence of a billable hour requirement allows associates to focus more on quality of work than quantity. Salary and bonuses are lockstep, and Davis Polk is a market mover when it comes to compensation. Firm leadership could be more transparent on “macro” decisions, but regular town hall mee...

About the Firm

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP boasts one of the nation’s best and most comprehensive corporate departments, with impressive teams in capital markets, M&A, executive compensation, finance, financial institutions, restructuring, tax, and tech transactions. Its lauded litigation practice includes top-notch antitrust, civil litigation, intellectual property, and white collar criminal defense practices. 

Historical Connections

Davis Polk was founded by Francis Bangs in 1849, making it one of the oldest law firms in the United States. Bangs’ successor, Francis Stetson, was quick to recognize the growing importance of corporate work. In 1887, banker and industrialist John Pierpont Morgan selected Stetson as his chief counsel; the firm helped Morgan restructure the Pennsylvani...

Associate Reviews

  • “Davis Polk has a highly professional and collegial culture. Colleagues are to be treated with the highest level of respect. People occasionally get drinks with colleagues, but the firm does not have a party culture.”
  • “Not a lot of after-hours socializing, which is fine by me. Kindness and respect predominate. As with all NY white shoe firms, the hours are just too many to really say that the culture is ‘great.’ The only way this job is ‘fun’ is if you make it foundational to your life and identity. Otherwise, it has merits other than being ‘fun’: great training, incredible colleagues who are extremely competent and intelligent, dynamic work, and prestigious clients.”
  • “Davis Polk is a firm where brilliant people are kind and authentic. Staff are treated respectfully as colleagues. There are firm-sponsored events, many during the workday, making it easier to attend. I appreciate that there are not many after-hours events, as I think the firm respects the boundary between work and home lives. …”
  • “Davis Polk is exceedingly polite. Nobody will yell at you, and it's really rare (at least in my group) to even get slightly reprimanded for even obvious mistakes. Everyone is very friendly and willing to help out when you need it.”

Why Work Here

Davis Polk provides the experience and environment that help you develop into an exceptional lawyer, no matter where your career takes you. From your first day, you’ll be involved in complex and meaningful matters, working side by side with some of the best lawyers in the world.

Who We Are

Davis Polk is one of the world’s most admired firms, with top-tier clients and an enviable reputation.

We are proud of our collaborative, close-knit culture. You’ll receive mentoring and training to develop your skills in an atmosphere of respect and support. This is a place of remarkable, accomplished people who work together seamlessly to achieve the best results for our clients.

The Firm’s approximately 1,000 lawyers are spread across our offices in New York, Northern California, Washington DC, São Paulo, London, Paris, Madrid, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo. Our presence in major financial centers around the world allows us to connect with our international client base on matters spanning borders, languages, cultures and jurisdictions

Diversity at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

"Davis Polk is deeply committed to promoting diversity and inclusion at our firm and in the legal profession. Our culture of inclusiveness and respect is integral to our values and inherent in how we relate to our clients and each other. We believe that the diverse perspectives of our lawyers enhance our ability to provide creative solutions tailored to our clients' most challenging business needs. We understand the urgency of improving diversity and inclusion in the legal industry as a whole and within our firm, and are focused..."

Getting Hired Here

  • “Obviously, Davis Polk looks for smart and intelligent people. Other qualities they look for in candidates are respectfulness, being a team player, reliability, organization, and responsiveness. Grades, journal experience, and prior work experience are also valued. Davis Polk hires from the top law schools, but they are also open to offering positions to non-T14 candidates.”
  • “DPW looks for top students from the T14 who are also very personable and driven.”
  • “DPW seeks to hire the brightest associates who are willing to work hard, be team players, and treat others with respect. My peers come from a variety of backgrounds, so I don't think there's a single type. The approach is holistic, but we have a number of law school valedictorians from the T14 law schools in my class.”

Perks & Benefits

Circle icon
Circle icon
Circle icon
Circle icon
Circle icon
Circle icon