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 has grown purposefully and now boasts a team of nearly 70 lawyers.

Caplin & Drysdale is recognized as one of the nation's top tax law 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 wealthy 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


  • 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