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Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

51 West 52nd St.
New York, NY 10019
(212) 403-1000



M&A giant and a leader in the New York legal market, Wachtell Lipton is one of the most elite law firms in the industry. Known for its high-profile matters and above-market compensation, Wachtell Lipton is home to a passionate group of lawyers who embrace hard work and professionalism. The firm is small by elite, BigLaw standards, which fosters a collegial atmosphere, and has spurned domestic or international expansion by maintaining a sole office in NYC.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2023)

250 - 500


No. of Partners Named (2023)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2023)



No. of Summer Associates (2023)

32 total (28 2Ls; 4 1Ls)


Base Salary

1st Year: $220,000

Vault Verdict

Wachtell Lipton stands out from the BigLaw crowd in many ways, including in its reputation, the prestige of its work, and how it still maintains only one office, which happens to be in NYC. Hiring focuses on candidates with top grades from top law schools who are hard workers and self-starters. Collegiality, closeness, and camaraderie rule the day when it comes to the office culture, and associates enjoy good relationships with partners and staff. Specifically, associates and partners work well together, with partners seeking associate input and feedback. Wachtell Lipton offers strong training opportunities in the form of resources and support staff, though the best learning comes on the job. And associates are able to do and learn a lot since they are given substantive work early...

About the Firm

Each year, a significant chunk of the world’s dealmaking—major mergers and acquisitions, antitrust and shareholder litigation, big-name restructurings, and multi-billion-dollar real estate ventures—gets cranked through the well-oiled machine that is Wachtell Lipton. Manning the apparatus are a gifted few, whose compensation far outstrips industry standards. While it may not be the biggest or the highest revenue-maker as a firm, it is the most profitable place in the world to practice law. Wachtell Lipton is one of the smallest firms in the AmLaw 100, but it is continually one of the top firms (and usually the top firm) when it comes to PPP. t also stands above the going market rate for first-year associate salaries. 

The New York Four

Founded in 1965 by four princes of NYU’s Law R...

Associate Reviews

  • “Collegial—people are friendly and treat each other professionally. Associates and partners work together quite closely (we have very low leverage), so there isn't as much of a divide there as I've heard about at WLRK peers.”
  • “There's a nice camaraderie among associates, and we all tend to hang out after work fairly regularly through occasional firm-sponsored events or just on our own. The firm is relatively small, so in general, it feels like we all know each other, which is nice.”
  • “Excellent work product is the priority, yet the firm facilitates a number of social interactions. Staff and attorneys are brought together in an inclusive manner.”

Why Work Here

Wachtell Lipton is dedicated to providing advice and expertise at the highest levels and to achieving extraordinary results for our clients. We seek individuals who are talented, motivated and committed in order to maintain our record of excellence. Our associates, paralegals and administrative staff are critical to this mission. Our lawyers and staff work closely together across departments comprising an elite legal team. We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment.

Wachtell Lipton is an equal opportunity employer.  As such, it adheres to an employment policy that prohibits discriminatory practices or harassment against applicants or employees based on any legally impermissible factor(s) including, but not necessarily limited to, race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, disability or any protected military or veteran status.

Diversity at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

"Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is strongly committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment that supports the recruitment, retention and advancement of women and men of all backgrounds, at all levels of the Firm. We are an original signatory to the New York City Bar's Statement of Goals for Increasing Minority Representation and Retention. The Firm is committed to recruiting a diverse and talented body of lawyers considering diversity in its broadest form. We were one of the first New York City law firms to..."

Getting Hired Here

  • “The firm stresses grades, law school attended, and many other factors. We definitely seek hard workers who are self-starters, genuinely interested in the law, and intellectually curious.”
  • “To be hired at WLRK, you have to not only have exceptional grades but also be a well-rounded and impressive person who can hold a conversation. I think the partners are looking for someone they wouldn't hate being stuck in an airport with for a long period of time. Self-starters thrive best in the firm's culture.”
  • “They are looking for the smartest person they can find.”
  • “The firm is looking for very self-motivated, ambitious, and collaborative individuals who ideally have some professional experience. The firm appears to consider law school attended and prior work experience highly, as well as general professionalism and maturity. I have not been involved in recruiting, but I believe interviewers receive guidelines.”

Perks & Benefits

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