Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP at a Glance


  • “Intelligent, lovely colleagues”
  • “Rotation system”
  • “Quality of the work”


  • “Constantly on call”
  • “Strict hierarchy”
  • “Shared offices [in junior years]”

The Buzz

  • “Best deals on Wall Street”
  • “Extremely sophisticated”
  • “Intense”
  • “New York-centric”

About Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has been known as one of the nation's pre-eminent law firms for nearly 200 years. With industry-leading practices on both the litigation and corporate sides and stand-out teams in M&A, securities, commercial banking and corporate governance, Cravath has played a central role in developing not only how law is practiced, but also how lawyers are trained. Although the firm has only two offices and a relatively concentrated list of services, it has the unqualified esteem of its peers.

Storied History

At nearly two centuries old, Cravath is one of the nation's oldest law firms. Firm founders Richard Blatchford and William Seward were active early members of the Whig party, and Seward went on to develop an illustrious career as a federal statesman, including as Lincoln's Secretary of State. Past clients of the firm include several 19th-century greats, such as New York Tribune publisher and famed abolitionist Horace Greeley, whom the firm defended in a libel suit filed by Last of the Mohicans author James Fenimore Cooper. The firm also has a history of championing new-fangled notions: Cravath has represented inventors Samuel Morse (the electric telegraph), Cyrus McCormick (the reaper) and Elias Howe (the sewing machine).

If It Ain't Broke…

Cravath is a market leader in salaries, bonuses and hiring practices. Named partner Paul Cravath pioneered the modern associate hiring approach (still called "the Cravath System"), which focuses on finding the best and brightest law school grads, paying them high salaries in lockstep compensation and promoting partners from within that group after a certain number of years. While the model is definitely fraying at the edges at many firms (associates are hardly guaranteed partnership like they used to be, and lateral movement by associates has become standard in the industry), Cravath has stuck to its guns. It rarely hires lateral partners, almost never hires lateral partnership-track associates, has kept its number of lawyers relatively low, and still rotates each of its new hires to work under as many partners as possible in the associate's chosen department.

Rolling With the Times

For a large operation, Cravath responds very nimbly to market changes. When the economy went into meltdown, Cravath's team stepped up, advising directors at companies like Citigroup, General Electric, General Motors, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Wachovia. Its partnership weathered the economic downturn well, seeing an uptick in its board advisory practice and adding a new restructuring and insolvency practice to its well-known litigation, M&A and corporate finance capabilities. A white-shoe stalwart, Cravath has also shown its innovative side by being willing to consider-and in some circumstances even suggesting-alternative billing arrangements with its clients.

International without the Sprawl

Each of Cravath's practice areas includes an international aspect, and approximately 25 percent of its clients are based outside the United States. After opening and then abandoning two international offices during the last 50 years, Cravath has settled on a lean and mean approach to world dominance. It recently bulked up its London capabilities in both securities and M&A, but still continues to practice only U.S. law. London partner Philip Boeckman is a recognized corporate powerhouse in the area of capital markets and M&A, and the London office follows his lead-its accomplishments include teaming up with Freshfields to defend the London Stock Exchange from NASDAQ's £2.7 billion hostile bid.

It's 1 p.m. Monday-Do You Know Where Your Partners Are?

In a tradition that goes back to the 1920s, every Monday afternoon, Cravath's entire New York partnership gathers for a weekly business lunch. At each of these lunches, the partnership considers and decides on pressing firm matters, discusses each new client business matter from the prior week, and reviews weekly financial statements that detail the firm's performance. Longer-term decisions and discussions of strategic initiatives are reserved for the three times each year that the firm holds a Firm Meeting of all partners.


March 2013-April 2015

They've Got Credit Suisse's Back
Cravath is nationwide coordinating counsel for Credit Suisse in all of its residential mortgage-backed securities litigation. Cravath is lead courtroom counsel in approximately 25 pending actions filed in nine states by institutional investors, and the firm oversees strategy in related monoline insurance actions, class actions and trustee repurchase actions. Cravath is also defending Credit Suisse in three separate suits filed by the Attorneys General of New York, New Jersey and Virginia. Between March 2013 and April 2015, Cravath secured the dismissal of claims in six actions against Credit Suisse covering approximately $980 million in securities.

April 2015

Acquisition Experts
Cravath is representing Mylan N.V. in connection with its $35 billion proposed acquisition of Perrigo Company plc and the concurrent unsolicited proposal from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. to acquire Mylan.

March 2015

Big Banks and Big Offers
Cravath represented a consortium of financing sources, led by JPMorgan, Mizuho and Wells Fargo, in connection with $36.4 billion of credit facilities provided to Actavis plc to finance its acquisition of Allergan, Inc. Cravath also represented the banks in a $21 billion registered fixed and floating rate notes offering, which was the second largest corporate debt offering to date, as well as a $4.2 billion registered ordinary shares offering and a $5.1 billion registered mandatory convertible preferred shares offering, which represented the largest healthcare equity offering and the largest non‑financial mandatory convertible preferred share offering to date, respectively.

That's A Lot of Ketchup
Cravath is representing H.J. Heinz Company in connection with its pending merger with Kraft Foods Group, Inc. in a transaction valued at approximately $60 billion. The merger creates The Kraft Heinz Company, which will be the third largest food and beverage company in North America.

December 2014

White Collar Wizards
Cravath's white collar criminal defense team is representing companies in significant criminal prosecutions, regulatory enforcement actions and internal investigations involving a wide range of issues, including insider trading, accounting fraud, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, trade sanctions, export and anti-money laundering controls, tax fraud, healthcare fraud and antitrust. Among other high-profile matters, Cravath represented Avon Products in connection with the DOJ and SEC's prosecutions against Avon for alleged FCPA violations. Avon and its Chinese subsidiary settled with the government for $135 million in December 2014.

April-August 2014

Credit Cards and Class Actions
Cravath is representing AmEx in major antitrust litigations in New York courts, including a civil lawsuit filed by the DOJ and 17 state attorneys general challenging AmEx's nondiscrimination provision in merchant acceptance agreements, which was tried in July and August 2014. In April 2014, Cravath won a judgment in favor of AmEx after trial in a class action suit alleging an antitrust conspiracy by credit card issuers to adopt arbitration clauses barring class actions by cardholders. Cravath represents AmEx in several other class actions and arbitrations, as well as in a shareholder derivative action, concerning AmEx's "anti-steering rules" and other alleged anticompetitive practices.

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Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Worldwide Plaza
825 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10019-7475
Phone: (212) 474-1000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Presiding Partner: C. Allen Parker
  • Hiring Partners: Eric L. Schiele (Corporate); Karen A. DeMasi (Litigation)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2015: 456

  • Employment Contact
    Lisa A. Kalen
    Director of Legal Recruiting
    Phone: (212) 474-3215
    Fax: (212) 474-3225

  • Base Salary
    All 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
    95 out of 95 (2014)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Executive Compensation and Benefits
    Trusts and Estates

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY
  • London, United Kingdom

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