Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP at a Glance


  • “Excellent pro bono”
  • “No billable hours requirement”
  • “Great people”


  • “Merciless hours”
  • “Difficulty of making partner”
  • “Assignments are occasionally monotonous as a litigation junior”

The Buzz

  • “Great private equity and white collar”
  • “Diverse”
  • “Tough place to work”
  • “Overconfident”

About Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

For decades, Paul, Weiss has valiantly defended the coffers and reputations of some of the world's largest financial institutions and companies. Though perhaps best recognized for its courtroom dazzle, the firm's prolific corporate and restructuring departments more than hold their own. The firm is also known for its expertise in telecom and entertainment law.

Diverse to the Core

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison dates to pre-WWI New York, where Samuel William Weiss and partners opened a practice to handle commercial law matters for other members of the local Jewish business community. Back then, Jewish attorneys struggled to find acceptance in Gentile firms, so many formed firms of their own. Weiss's son Louis took a different tack-after graduating from Columbia Law he went into business with a classmate, John F. Wharton, who was a Protestant. It was one of the earliest instances of an American law firm where Jews and Gentiles worked as equals. Eventually Weiss & Wharton merged with the firm Louis' father had helped start.

The firm's focus on diversity continued. Paul, Weiss was the first New York firm to hire a black associate and was the first major New York law firm to make a woman partner. The words of longtime partner Simon H. Rifkind remain entrenched in the firm's statement of principles: "We are sensitive to the fact that we practice in New York City, which is a pluralistic community and the major international and financial center of the Western world. We believe in maintaining, by affirmative efforts, a membership of partners and associates reflecting a wide variety of religious, political, ethnic and social backgrounds, characteristic of that community." Paul, Weiss continues to make serious efforts to hire and retain a diverse mix of lawyers and support staff through the work of the firm's Diversity Committee and programs such as its annual Diversity Networking event.

With Liberals and Justice for All

From its earliest days, Paul, Weiss was associated with progressive politics and civil rights. Well-known First Amendment lawyer Walter Pollak joined the firm in 1936, after having argued some of the infamous "Scottsboro Boys" trials (which inspired Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird) before the United States Supreme Court. Named partners Lloyd Garrison and Randolph Paul joined in the mid-1940s. Paul was a tax attorney who'd previously worked at the Treasury, and Garrison-the great-grandson of an abolitionist-stood up for clients like Arthur Miller, J. Robert Oppenheimer and Langston Hughes during the McCarthy era. 

The last name partner to join the masthead was Judge Simon Rifkind, who came on board in 1950 after serving as a federal district court judge and working in the Roosevelt administration to craft New Deal legislation. He stayed with the firm until his death in 1995 and is credited with helping to establish the firm as a litigation powerhouse.

Trial Size Gets Huge

The firm grew through the 1960s and 1970s, expanding from litigation, tax and entertainment law to include corporate clients. It continued to be involved in the kinds of cases that defined their times, from the earliest environmental lawsuits to the "salad oil scandal," in which major financial institutions, including American Express, got caught up in a fraudulent loan scheme involving a New Jersey vegetable oil company. In the 1980s, the firm developed a white-collar defense practice-star attorney Arthur Liman defended corporate raider Carl Icahn, mutual-fund embezzler Robert Vesco and junk bond dealer Michael Milken.

Today Paul, Weiss is smaller than many of its rivals, but it remains among the top 50 firms in the U.S. by gross revenue. It has forged ahead during the financial crisis, representing Bear Stearns and major client Citigroup in litigation and regulatory matters.


May 2015

Paul, Weiss represented The National Football League in an investigation into the use of deflated footballs in the 2015 AFC Championship Game. The 243-page report, which was released publicly by the NFL, garnered extensive and ongoing worldwide media attention.
Paul, Weiss client Virtu Financial, Inc. closed its initial public offering of approximately 19 million shares of its Class A common stock at an initial offering price of $19 per share. The sale of the common stock yielded approximately $335.9 million in net proceeds. At the IPO price, the company has a market capitalization of approximately $2.6 billion.

April 2015

Paul, Weiss represented Pfizer in achieving a complete defense verdict in the first Zoloft birth defects case to go to trial in the U.S. A second trial is scheduled to begin in Pennsylvania state court in May 2015.

January 2015

Paul, Weiss client Grupo Salinas completed the sale of Mexican wireless company Iusacell to AT&T for $2.5 billion, inclusive of Iusacell's debt. As part of the transaction, AT&T acquired all of Iusacell's wireless properties, including licenses, network assets, retail stores and approximately 8.6 million subscribers.

December 2014

Paul, Weiss represented Anthony Chiasson in connection with his successful appeal from an insider trading conviction. The Second Circuit's decision represents the most significant change in insider trading law in decades, and has had profound effects on the investigation and prosecution of insider trader cases.

March 2014

Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York approved a landmark settlement negotiated by Paul, Weiss and a number of legal advocacy groups representing a class of individuals with mental illness residing in adult homes in New York City. The settlement follows more than a decade of pro bono litigation, and pursuant to the settlement, New York has agreed to move up to 4,000 adult home residents to supported housing over the next five years.

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Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

1285 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 373-3000
Fax: (212) 757-3990


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Firm Chair: Brad S. Karp
  • Valerie E. Radwaner: Deputy Chair
  • Hiring Partners: Daniel J. Toal and RT. Robert Zochowski, Jr.
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 942

  • Employment Contact
    Pamela N. Davidson
    Chief Recruitment Officer
    Phone: (212) 373-3000
    Fax: (212) 757-3990
    E-mail: Recruiting contacts for all locations at

  • Base Salary
    New York, NY; Washington, DC
    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
    9th year: $290,000
    Summer associate: $3,100/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    111 out of 111 (2014)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Bankruptcy & Corporate Reorganization
    Communications & Technology
    Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
    Intellectual Property
    Personal Representation
    Real Estate

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY (HQ)
  • Washington, DC
  • Wilmington, DE
  • Beijing
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Tokyo
  • Toronto
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