Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP at a Glance


  • “The Wall Street clientele”
  • “Management is truly committed to improving the firm”
  • “New rule eliminating hours requirement”


  • “Limited partnership prospects”
  • “Free market system for assignments can be difficult when business is slow”
  • “Lack of feedback”

The Buzz

  • “Great for securitization”
  • “Old school”
  • “Unhappy associates”
  • “Improving”

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. 


April 2014

Top of Table. Again.
Cadwalader was ranked No. 1 in deal value as both issuer's counsel and underwriter's counsel in the Mortgage-Backed Securities category of The American Lawyer 2014 Corporate Scorecard-the 14th consecutive year in which the firm was ranked first in the "Top Issuer Counsel" category in both the midyear and end-of-year rankings.

Equality in the Office
Cadwalader achieved a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index for 2014. The firm is designated by HRC as one of "America's Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality."

March 2014

It's a Big Deal
Cadwalader's Christopher Cox, co-chair of the firm's Corporate Group, was named a "Dealmaker of the Year" by The American Lawyer for his work with Irish drug maker Elan Corporation.

Soaring Above the Rest
Cadwalader's Financial Regulation Group was named "Financial Regulation Team of the Year" by IFLR, while two Cadwalader antitrust teams were honored by Global Competition Review for their outstanding client work on behalf of US Airways in its merger with American Airlines ("Matter of the Year Award") and for the ongoing representation of Irish airline Aer Lingus in its defense of Ryanair's hostile takeover bids ("European Merger Control Matter of the Year"). In September 2013, Derivatives Week/Derivatives Intelligence selected Cadwalader as its "Law Firm of the Year."

January 2014

Leaders in their Fields, and Now, of the Firm
Effective January 1, 2015, Jim Woolery will become Cadwalader's chairman and Pat Quinn will be become managing partner. Woolery joined Cadwalader as deputy chairman of the firm and co-chair of its Corporate department in 2013. He is widely recognized as one of the country's leading M&A advisors, and he was previously co-head of North American Mergers and Acquisitions at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Quinn has been with the firm for 25 years and is a leader in the securitization field.

February 2013

Trusted Investigator
Cadwalader was retained by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to conduct an external review into improprieties allegedly committed by the NCAA's Enforcement Staff during its investigation of the University of Miami and its sports program.

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Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

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


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman: W. Christopher White
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 457

  • 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

    Molly Nielsen
    Manager of Associate Development & Recruitment
    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
    35 out of 37 (2013)

  • 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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