Debevoise & Plimpton LLP at a Glance


  • “Commitment to diversity”
  • “Office culture is really positive”
  • “High-quality international work”


  • “[S]pending 1.5 years in your first [rotation] group is too long”
  • “Not clear what factors go into decisions re: practice group assignments and rotations”
  • “BigLaw hours”

The Buzz

  • “Arbitration powerhouse”
  • “Intellectual”
  • “Funds/private equity”
  • “White shoe”

About Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP ranks as one of New York's most powerful law firms, representing high-profile clients in transactions and disputes in established and emerging markets around the world. The firm's core franchise practices include strategic and private equity, M&A, insurance and financial services transactions, private funds, complex litigation/investigations and international arbitration.

Good Genes

Eli Whitney Debevoise-a direct descendent of the inventor of the cotton gin-and William E. Stevenson founded their firm in New York in 1931. Debevoise wasn't the only one with an interesting background; Stevenson was a gold medalist on the 1,600-meter relay team in the 1924 Olympics. Francis T.P. Plimpton, whose name graced the masthead starting in 1933, was the father of famed journalist and writer George Plimpton.

Sophisticated Practice across the Globe

Debevoise's corporate department remains its largest, with M&A and private equity leading the charge. Its lawyers consistently lead transactions for some of the world's most prominent corporations, financial services institutions and private equity firms. The firm has particularly strong experience with complex leveraged acquisitions and cross-border transactions across a wide range of industries. Debevoise is a leader in the representation of private equity firms, in fundraisings and deal activity for those firms and their portfolio companies, providing "one stop shopping" for private equity and financial sponsor clients. The firm's Financial Institutions Group possesses deep knowledge of the financial services industry and long experience counseling financial services clients on complex banking, insurance, securities broker-dealer and investment management matters.

On the litigation side, the firm boasts one of the premier and most active white collar practices in the country, representing clients in the U.S. and abroad involved in criminal and SEC investigations and litigation, and in parallel civil and administrative proceedings. The international arbitration practice includes two of the top 14 leading international arbitration lawyers in the world and handles a large number of significant international arbitrations, including treaty and other public law arbitrations. Debevoise is the only law firm to have former U.S. and U.K. Attorneys General. The firm also has a stellar intellectual property team, covering trademark, trade dress, false advertising, anti-counterfeiting, unfair competition, copyright, trade secret, patent, first amendment, information technology, domain names and right of publicity.

The first of the firm's six international offices was opened in Paris in 1964 to provide French, U.S. and English law advice. A London bureau was established in 1989. Eastern Europe came in 1992, with the creation of a Moscow office, and in 2001, the firm opened a Frankfurt location. Debevoise has also had a presence in Asia since the 1980s and continues to maintain offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Still, the firm's midtown New York office handles the bulk of its activity and houses more than 450 of the firm's lawyers.

"Do-gooder Ethos"

Debevoise has an established paper trail of pro bono achievement. Indeed, The American Lawyer has made special note of the firm's "do-gooder ethos." Recent pro bono representations have served a diverse range of clients: a class of mentally ill New York City inmates; Texas doctors whose hospital admitting privileges were revoked because they provide abortion services at other facilities; continued representation of certain Mexican nationals on death row in the United States; Yemeni and Sudanese detainees at Guantánamo Bay, including a mentally ill detainee for whom the firm secured release and repatriation back to Sudan (it was the first habeas grant to a Guantanamo detainee since 2010); and asylum-seekers from around the world who have benefited from Debevoise lawyers' work on their bids to obtain refugee status and settle permanently in the United States. 

Dedication to Feedback

Debevoise has an associate review system designed to improve the quality, frequency and timeliness of the practical feedback it provides associates. The firm conducts training sessions for lawyers on writing effective evaluations, for partners on giving effective review talks, and for associates on making the most of feedback opportunities. It created an Associate Development Model to make explicit the competencies to be evaluated, and revised the evaluation form to track the model in order to provide more targeted feedback for associate reviews.


March 2015

It's Electric!
Debevoise advised Standard General L.P. in an asset purchase agreement between its affiliate General Wireless Inc. and RadioShack, whereby General Wireless acquired 1,743 of RadioShack's U.S. company-owned stores. General Wireless, the entity formed to acquire the stores under the asset purchase agreement, agreed with Sprint to establish a new dedicated mobility "store within a store" retail presence in certain of the acquired stores.

February 2015

A Big Sale
Debevoise advised Protective Life Corporation in its sale to Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited, for approximately $5.7 billion. This transaction created the 13th largest global insurer, with total assets of $424 billion.

Can You Hear Me Now?
Debevoise represented Verizon Communications Inc. in the sale of its local wireline operations serving customers in California, Florida and Texas to Frontier Communications Corporation. Frontier agreed to pay Verizon approximately $10.54 billion for the business and related assets in these states.

International Arbitration Experts
Debevoise was named "International Arbitration Firm of the Year" at the second annual U.S. Benchmark Litigation Awards, which are based on extensive research and comprehensive interviews with litigators and their clients to identify the leading litigation practices across the country. In 2014, the firm's International Dispute Resolution Group advised on nearly 200 matters worldwide, involving clients from six continents and 42 different countries.

June 2014

A Big Acquisition, Eh?
Debevoise advised Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in its acquisition of Wilton Re Holdings Limited for $1.8 billion from a group of investors led by Stone Point Capital, Kelso & Company, Vestar Capital Partners and FFL.

A Network TV Win
Debevoise & Plimpton represented ABC, CBS and NBC in the litigation against Aereo, a case that The New York Times said would "shape TV's future." The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, held that Aereo, which retransmitted over-the-air broadcast television programs via the Internet to its own subscribers without the networks' authorization, violates the networks' copyrights.

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Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

919 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 909-6000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Presiding Partner: Michael W. Blair
  • Hiring Partner: Nicole Mesard
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 646

  • Employment Contact
    Sandra E. Herbst
    Director of Legal Recruiting
    Phone: (212) 909-6657
    Fax: (212) 909-6836

  • Base Salary
    U.S. 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
    Summer associate: $3,077/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    81 out of 81 (2014)

  • Major Departments & Practices

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY (HQ)
  • Washington, DC
  • Frankfurt
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Moscow
  • Paris
  • Shanghai
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