Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered at a Glance


  • Partners are incredibly personable, yet also brilliant at what they do”
  • Sophisticated work”
  • Work/life balance”


  • “The pay is not as high as it could be”
  • “Some of the technology is a bit outdated”
  • “Decision-making is not all that transparent”

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 just celebrated its 50th anniversary, was founded by two men who know taxation very well.  Mortimer Caplin was a the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service for three years in the early 1960s under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson and he once graced the cover of Time Magazine, 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 at taxation at the school for more than 20 years. Starting with only six people, Caplin & Drysdale has grown purposefully and now boasts a team of nearly 70 lawyers.

Caplin & Drysdale is recognized as one of the nation's top tax boutique practices. 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 still has a global footprint offering a full range of tax, tax controversy, and related legal services to companies, nonprofits, professional service providers, and individuals throughout the United States and around the world. Caplin & Drysdale's other legal services include bankruptcy, complex litigation, corporate law, creditors' rights, employee benefits, exempt organizations, political activity, private client services, and white collar defense.


March 2016
New Version of Tax Guide Created to Help Employers Hire Veterans

Caplin & Drysdale in collaboration with the Center for America, announced the creation of a simple, user-friendly guide to help employers take advantage of tax credits available for hiring qualified veterans. Firm President Beth Shapiro Kaufman and Associate Elizabeth J. Stevens updated the Guide in 2016 to include legislation enacted by Congress in late 2015 changing and extending tax breaks for employers who hire veterans.

January 2015
Beth Kaufman Named President of Caplin & Drysdale

Scott Michel, who held the reins for eight years, commented "Beth brings significant and proven leadership skills, as well as extensive knowledge, experience, and wisdom to the position. Under Beth's leadership, we will continue to strengthen our client-focused philosophy and collegial culture."

October 2013
Caplin Cares

Reaching out to the community is essential to Caplin & Drysdale's core values of Excellence, Scholarship, Community, and Family. Therefore, to honor the communities in which Caplin & Drysdale maintains its offices-Washington, D.C., and New York City-the firm has launched "Caplin Cares for a Cause," a charitable concern that will donate funds and volunteer time to charities and entities that serve these communities. 

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Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered

One Thomas Circle, NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-862-5000
Fax: 202-429-3301


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Firm President: Beth Shapiro Kaufman
  • Hiring Partner: Kirsten Burmester
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 68

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $145,000
    Summer Associate: $2,750/week (2Ls); $2,500/week (1Ls)

  • Summer Associate Offers
    1 out of 1 (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Complex Litigation
    Corporate Law
    Corporate, Business & 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