Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered at a Glance


  • “Work-life balance”
  • “Quality work”
  • “Tight knit group of associates”


  • “Lack of transparency”
  • “Bonuses”
  • “Not much infrastructure for training and mentoring”

About Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered

With offices in Washington, DC and New York City, Caplin & Drysdale prides itself on staying lean and maintaining a laser-like focus in an era when some law firms are ballooning to seemingly gargantuan proportions.

Top in Tax

Caplin & Drysdale, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, was founded by Mortimer Caplin, former commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. He also once graced the cover of Time Magazine in an issue dedicated to taxation. The firm's co-founder, Douglas Drysdale, had been a student of Caplin's at the University of Virginia School of Law and he himself went on to teach tax law at the school for more than 20 years. Starting with only six lawyers, Caplin & Drysdale now boasts a team of 65 lawyers.

Caplin & Drysdale is recognized as one of the nation's top tax practices. National and international rankings list Caplin & Drysdale's tax practice alongside those of firms 10 and 20 times Caplin's size. The firm's lawyers are often quoted in leading industry publications such as Tax Notes Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Bloomberg BNA. Although the firm only has two offices, it has a global footprint.  Caplin attorneys speak as experts-"lawyers' lawyers"-at conferences worldwide. 

The tax practice encompasses tax planning, tax controversies, tax-exempt organizations, employee benefits, estate planning, and criminal tax defense work. 

Acclaimed Practices in Litigation and Political Law

In addition to its tax-oriented practices, the firm has a vigorous and accomplished litigation practice centered on insolvencies, corporate reorganizations in bankruptcy, and other complex financial and commercial disputes, including matters that cross national boundaries. Caplin & Drysdale also boasts a national political law practice that provides businesses, trade associations, nonprofits, candidates, and activists with timely, concise counsel on the high-stakes legal issues that involve "pay-to-play" restrictions, lobbying regulations, campaign finance laws, and ethics rules.  Much like the firm's tax attorneys, the litigators and political law attorneys are highly ranked in Chambers USA, Best Lawyers, and other top rankings.


November 2016
Core Legal Services Earn Tier 1 Rankings

U.S. News-Best Lawyers' 2017 edition of "Best Law Firms" ranks several Caplin & Drysdale core legal practices in the publication's national and regional Tier 1 rankings. Eligible firms must have a lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top 4% of practicing lawyers in the United States. In the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, 18 Caplin & Drysdale lawyers from the firm's primary practice areas were listed.

August 2016
18 Caplin Attorney earn "Best Lawyers" Listing

Prominent lawyers from across the nation named 18 Caplin & Drysdale attorneys for inclusion in the 2017 edition of Best Lawyers in America. Moreover, firm President Beth Shapiro Kaufman earned the "Lawyer of the Year" honor, awarded to an attorney with the highest overall peer-feedback, for her reputation in Trusts and Estates law in Washington, D.C. Also making his appearance on the list is Kevin C. Maclay for his advocacy of clients in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law.

June 2016
Giving Cutting Edge Advice

Caplin & Drysdale lawyers demonstrating "cutting edge and innovative advice" are included in the 2016 U.S. edition of The Legal 500. In its second year as a "Top-Tier Firm for US Taxes-Contentious," firm clients and peers remarked "'excellent firm' and 'first-class' service in all matters, from voluntary disclosures and IRS investigations to offshore-related matters." Also, for a fourth consecutive year, the ranking adds to its elite "Leading Lawyer" list H. David Rosenbloom and Christopher S. Rizek. New to the listing are Dianne C. Mehany and Jonathan S. Brenner.

June 2016
Cream of the Crop for Tax, Bankruptcy, Estate Planning and Political Law

Caplin & Drysdale lawyers have been distinguished with listings in the 2016 editions of Chambers Global and Chambers USA. Cono R. Namorato, achieved Senior Statesmen status for his work in Tax Fraud, the only tax fraud attorney listed in this category. He joins the firm's other Senior Statesmen H. David Rosenbloom. Also, new to Chambers USA and acknowledged for his Tax Controversy practice is Charles M. Ruchelman, increasing the percentage of Caplin Members in the ranking to 45%.

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Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered

One Thomas Circle, NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 862-5000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Firm President: Beth Shapiro Kaufman
  • Hiring Partner: Kirsten Burmester
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 65

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $155,000
    Summer Associate: $2,980/week (2Ls); $2,700/week (1Ls)

  • Summer Associate Offers
    1 out of 2 (2016) (2Ls only)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Bankruptcy • Complex Litigation • Corporate Law • Business, Investment & Transactional Tax • Employee Benefits • Exempt Organizations • International Tax • Political Law • Private Client • Tax Controversies • Tax Crimes • Tax Litigation • White Collar Defense

Major Office Locations

  • Washington, DC (HQ)
  • New York, NY