Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP at a Glance


  • “No billable requirement”
  • “Market leader in securitization”
  • “Opportunity to learn quickly”


  • “Partnership culture (‘eat what you kill’)”
  • “Prospects for advancement”
  • “Large difference in management between departments”

The Buzz

  • “Wall Street institution”
  • “Bond powerhouse”
  • “Tough environment”
  • “Stuffy”

About Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Established over 200 years ago, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is the oldest Wall Street firm still in existence. Known especially for its capital markets, bankruptcy and real estate expertise, the firm is a well-established presence in the New York legal market and has expanded around the globe in recent years.

Dating Back to the Days of Washington . . . As in George

Cadwalader was founded in 1792, when folks were still sealing letters with wax and writing with feathers. But we just might have Cadwalader to thank for all the bells and whistles that constitute a modern law firm. In the late 19th century, the firm introduced such new-fangled technology as typewriters and telephones to its offices. Cadwalader was similarly revolutionary in its approach to training and staffing: to replace the old system of unpaid law clerkships, the firm established the role of the associate.

The present-day Cadwalader forged a niche in the early New York legal field by working on commercial claims, litigation, maritime law, and real estate for banks, insurance companies and members of New York society. The real catalyst for the firm's growth and increased financial stability throughout the 20th century, however, came when former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State John L. Cadwalader joined the firm in 1878, bringing big-time corporate connections with him. The 1889 addition of name partner Henry W. Taft-whose older brother would later succeed Teddy Roosevelt in the White House-brought more political clout and cemented the firm's status as a fixture in American law. In 1942, the firm elevated a woman, Catherine Noyes Lee, to partner: the first woman partner of a major Wall Street firm. Now, Cadwalader runs offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium and China, with an eye that's generally focused on corporate and financial work.

Historically Strong but Ever Evolving

During the recent economic crisis, Cadwalader's highly-leveraged model-which had been lucrative in the boom years-became a liability once real estate and structured finance work began to slow.  Cadwalader responded with layoffs and a shift in leadership, but the firm-traditionally a finance powerhouse-has also increasingly relied on other areas of strength in tough times, including its antitrust, IP, and white-collar litigation practices, as well as its restructuring and regulatory groups. This diversified practice has allowed the firm to more ably weather economic storms, which are inevitable when one's history spans over 200 years. The firm has placed itself where its clients' needs dictate-including financial, energy, and political centers-and continues to position itself for growth.

Keeping Up with the Present

While respecting its remarkable history, Cadwalader also tries to stay on the cutting edge and is committed to new and innovative solutions. The firm launched the Shareholder-Director Exchange (SDX) initiative and a new blog, Quorum, to provide guidance on the growing trend toward shareholder-director engagement and to flag the key challenges and opportunities shaping the boardroom. In addition, the Cadwalader Cabinet, an award-winning, web-based financial regulatory knowledge and intelligence platform, now features Knowledge Driven Systems (KDS), which allows financial service practitioners to perform legal, compliance and transactional tasks through an interactive online solution. The firm's international practice launched a blog, an eBook, and an online International Law and Litigation Center, providing insight on news and trends in international law. The firm's energy team also provides an online resource center. You can even follow the firm on Twitter at @cadwalader. In addition to its online presence, the firm tries to set itself apart from the competition by offering benefits such as sabbaticals to attorneys after five years of practice. 


May 2015

And Tonight's Top Ten List...
Cadwalader was named among Yale Law Women's 2015 Top Ten Family Friendly Firms. Yale Law Women (YLW) produces its annual Top Ten Family Friendly Firms list by monitoring trends in family friendliness among law firms ranked in the Vault 100.

April 2015

On Top of the World
Cadwalader won its second consecutive Global Competition Review Antitrust Matter of the Year Award. The firm was recognized for its representation of Eli Lilly & Company in connection with securing Federal Trade Commission clearance for the company's acquisition of Novartis Animal Health.

Fine China
Cadwalader won the Asian-MENA Counsel magazine Deal of the Year award for its representation of TutorGroup Holding in securing Series B financing from Alibaba. China Business Law Journal likewise recognized the firm's representation of TutorGroup as its Deal of the Year.

It's a Very Big Deal
Cadwalader represented Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd., a leading U.S. specialty pharmaceutical company, in its acquisition by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. in a $15.6 billion deal.

March 2015

Making a Statement
Cadwalader launched the VS. State Guide, an interactive state-by-state overview of human trafficking legislation, recent news and state-specific resources. The VS. State Guide was developed by VS.: Confronting Modern Slavery in America, the firm's pro bono campaign committed to raising awareness about, and developing creative solutions to fight, human trafficking in the United States.

January 2015

15 Years and Counting.
Cadwalader was recognized as both "Top Issuer Counsel" and "Top Underwriter Counsel" by Commercial Mortgage Alert. The firm has now topped the issuer counsel list for 15 consecutive years.

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Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

One World Financial Center
New York, NY 10281
Phone: (212) 504-6000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Pat Quinn
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 442

  • Employment Contact
    New York
    Tara Pavon
    Manager of Legal Recruitment
    Phone: (212) 993-2929

    Washington, DC and Houston
    Abby Halzel
    Manager of Associate Development & Recruitment
    Phone: (202) 862-2240

    Cori Niemann 
    Attorney Development & Legal Recruitment Assistant
    Phone: (704) 348-7997

  • Base Salary
    New York, Washington, DC and North Carolina offices                  
    1st year:  $160,000                
    2nd year:  $170,000               
    3rd year:  $185,000                
    4th year:  $210,000               
    5th year:  $230,000              
    6th year:  $250,000                
    7th year:  $265,000                
    8th year:  $280,000                
    Summer associate:  $3,075/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    37 out of 37 (2Ls) (2014)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Business Fraud
    Capital Markets
    Energy & Commodities
    Financial Restructuring
    Health Care
    Intellectual Property
    Mergers & Acquisitions/Securities
    Private Client
    Private Equity
    Real Estate
    Regulated Industries

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY (HQ)
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Houston, TX
  • Washington, DC
  • Beijing
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Brussels
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