Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer at a Glance


  • “Excellent colleagues”
  • “No face time requirement”
  • “Top of market compensation”


  • “Lack of transparency in management”
  • “Uncertainty with the merger”
  • “Long hours”

About Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

Starting the year off with a bang, January 1, 2017 marked the beginning of a new firm, when the Washington, DC giant Arnold & Porter combined with New York's Kaye Scholer. The combined firm of nearly 1,000 attorneys took the most straightforward name of a merged firm in recent memory-Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer. The merger combines the best of both worlds- a DC firm known for its top-ranked practices, including antitrust, regulatory, and litigation, and a New York firm recognized by Vault and others for its top-notch associate quality of life.

A Playwright and a Professor build Kaye Scholer

In 1917, tax attorney and playwright Benjamin Kaye and Jacob Scholer established their firm in the Big Apple, with their early work focused on banks.  That is, they focused on banks until the Great Depression and the fall of the firm's largest client-Chatham Phoenix National Bank-in 1934 forced the firm to shift its focus. The firm moved forward on the shoulders of then-name partners Harold Fierman and Jim Hays-who served as the firm's first chairman-and welcomed the addition of Fred Livingston, a labor expert, in 1947.

In 1951, the firm welcomed one of the most interesting and versatile attorneys in its history: Milton Handler. A Columbia Law School professor (a role he continued into the 1970s) and former clerk for SCOTUS's Harlan Fiske Stone, Handler entered Kaye Scholer with a range of skills, including expertise in labor law-he was one of the drafters of the National Labor Relations Act; trademark law-Handler testified before Congress regarding the Lanham Act; and antitrust, perhaps his most well-known focus. Handler served as President Franklin D. Roosevelt's top antitrust advisor and was the first to teach an antitrust law school class in the U.S.; in fact, he was dubbed the "Dean of Antitrust."

A&P-Getting out of Government

While Handler was building his Kaye Scholer practice, two Yale Law professors and New Deal veterans, Thurman Arnold and Abe Fortas, decided to go into private practice. Arnold, who had previously headed up the antitrust practice of the DOJ, was also a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, but he resigned that post after two years because he decided he "would rather be speaking to damn fools than listening to damn fools." Fortas had served as general counsel of the Public Works Administration and undersecretary of the Interior, and was a close advisor to future president Lyndon Johnson. In 1947, a year after founding the firm, Arnold and Fortas were joined by former FCC commissioner and administrator of the wartime Office of Price Administration, Paul Porter. Future recruits would come from the departments of State, Justice, and Treasury, the Federal Reserve, FTC, FCC, CIA, and SEC. LBJ, however, shook up the firm's partnership in 1965 by appointing Fortas to the Supreme Court-like his cofounder, he apparently wasn't too keen to serve on the bench either-he is said to have accepted the nomination "reluctantly."

Arnold & Porter didn't waste any time making serious history and racking up an impressive client list. In its early years, the firm defeated unwarranted "communist espionage" charges against Asia scholar Owen Lattimore. The victory attracted similar entreaties from other accused academics and government officials in the McCarthy era and served as the foundation of the firm's lauded program in public interest law. The firm also represented Clarence Earl Gideon in Gideon v. Wainwright (the landmark Supreme Court case that established a criminal defendant's right to counsel) and handled an obscenity defense assignment for a little rag called Playboy (a long-standing client thereafter). By 1951, the firm had landed Pan American Airways, Lever Brothers, Western Union, Otis Elevator, the American Broadcasting Company, and Sun Oil as clients.

In the 1990s, A&P lawyers secured from then-President Bill Clinton the first posthumous presidential pardon in American history. The recipient of the 1999 executive order was Lt. Henry Ossian Flipper, the first African-American graduate of West Point and the first African-American commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. Flipper was dismissed from the Army in 1882 after a court-martial that has been long regarded as racially motivated.

APKS Today

APKS continues Arnold & Porter's legacy of top-notch antitrust work, handling the full range of complex and critical antitrust matters, including transactions, government investigations, cartel matters, strategic counseling, and class action litigation. The firm's lawyers have helped clients obtain antitrust clearance for some of the most significant mergers and acquisitions on both sides of the Atlantic, including: Kroger in its $2.5 billion merger with Harris Teeter; General Electric in the $32 billion combination of GE Oil & Gas with Baker Hughes; and AT&T in its $49 billion acquisition of DIRECTV. The firm also has a strong antitrust litigation practice representing a wide range of clients, such as the Golden State Warriors in the successful defense of an antitrust lawsuit brought by StubHub, and HarperCollins Publishers and Random House in multiple private retailer litigation matters following on federal and state government investigations into the sale of e-books.

The firm also boasts an impressive appellate litigation practice, building on Arnold & Porter's history of success at the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as in the federal and state appellate courts. Appellate group head Lisa Blatt has argued 35 SCOTUS cases, prevailing in 33-an unprecedented win record.

APKS also continues Kaye Scholer's successful history of litigation defending Big Pharma from potentially devastating lawsuits, on behalf of clients like Novartis, Pfizer, Purdue Pharma, and Complete Genomics. Also noteworthy is the firm's bankruptcy department, which has handled numerous high-profile matters, including the bankruptcies of Enron, Adelphia, Delta Airlines, Delphi, Reliant Energy, Aladdin Gaming, and Formica.


Lateral Movement

Since the start of 2017, a number of lateral partners and counsel have joined the firm, expanding the breadth of services available to its clients doing business in the global economy. Areas of growth for the firm have included its practices in the following areas: Corporate and Finance, Telecommunications, Environmental, International Trade, and Antitrust.

March 2017
Cross-Practice Conveyance

A cross-practice team including lawyers from the firm's Financial Services, Insurance, Corporate and Finance, and Tax practices advised Onex, a private equity firm, on the $4.3 billion sale of insurance firm, USI Insurance Service to an affiliate of KKR & Co. L.P., a private equity firm, and CDPQ, a Canadian pension fund.

February 2017
Maybe It Should Be "Kaye" Street?

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer's Legislative and Public policy practice, as well as individual practitioners, Partner Kevin O'Neill and Senior Health Policy Advisor Eugenia E. Pierson, have received recognition for their lobbying work. APKS was one of four firms to meet Bloomberg Government's rigorous standards to be named a "Top Performing Lobbying/Law Firm" for 2016. O'Neill, co-leader of the firm's legislative group along with Charles Landgraf, and Pierson, head of healthcare legislative advocacy, were individually recognized by The Hill as "Top Lobbyists" for 2016.

January 2017
A&P + KS

Arnold & Porter and Kaye Scholer combined on January 1, 2017 to form Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, bringing together renowned regulatory, litigation, and transactional practices. With a significant presence in both Washington, DC and New York, and approximately 1,000 lawyers across nine domestic and four international offices, APKS is uniquely situated to meet clients' cross-practice needs. Arnold & Porter's focus aligns with Kaye Scholer's critical strengths in bankruptcy, corporate, finance, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and tax.

December 2016
Lawyer Warrior                                                                                                                   

Arnold & Porter San Francisco partner Daniel Asimow was named to the Daily Journal's 2016 list of the "Top 100 Lawyers" in California. Mr. Asimow, a member of the firm's Antitrust/Competition practice, focuses on representing technology companies in complex disputes. He was recognized, among other matters, for his successful representation of the Golden State Warriors in an antitrust lawsuit that alleged the Warriors and Ticketmaster monopolized the market for secondary ticket exchange services for Warriors games.

December 2016
Fortune Favors the Firm

Arnold & Porter has been named to the inaugural "50 Best Workplaces for Parents" list by Fortune and Great Place to Work. More than 120,000 working parents evaluated their workplaces on a variety of factors including support for work-life balance and overall workplace quality. APKS is consistently recognized for its supportive work environment. The firm has previously earned recognition on lists such as Working Mother's 100 Best Companies, Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For," The Dave Thomas Foundation's "100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces," and Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, "Best Places to Work."

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Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

601 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 942-5000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman: Richard M. Alexander
  • Hiring Partners: Ellen Kaye Fleishhacker, Kate Schumacher, and Darren Skinner
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 727

  • Base Salary

    All US offices
    1st year: $180,000
    2nd year: $190,000
    3rd year: $210,000
    4th year: $235,000
    5th year: $260,000
    6th year: $280,000
    7th year: $300,000
    8th year: $315,000
    Summer associate: $3,465 per week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    56 out of 59 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Antitrust • Appellate Litigation • Bankruptcy • Corporate & Finance • Environmental • Financial Services • Government Contracts & National Security • Intellectual Property & Technology • International Arbitration • Labor & Employment • Legislative & Public Policy • Life Sciences & Healthcare Regulatory • Litigation • Product Liability • Real Estate • Securities Enforcement and Litigation • Tax • Telecommunications • White Collar Litigation

Major Office Locations

  • Chicago, IL • Denver, CO • Houston, TX • Los Angeles, CA • New York, NY • Palo Alto, CA • San Francisco, CA • Washington, DC • West Palm Beach, FL Brussels • Frankfurt • London • Shanghai