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Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

At a Glance


“Variety and quality of work”

“Commitment to attorney development.”

“Industry-leading practice groups.”


“No control over schedule.”

“High billable hours.”

“Lack of reward for marketing/pro bono.”

About Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP


Established more than 225 years ago, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is the oldest Wall Street firm still in existence. Among its practices are capital markets, corporate, financial restructuring, litigation, and real estate. The firm is a well-established presence in Charlotte; London; New York; and Washington, DC.

Dating Back to the Days of Washington . . . As in George

Cadwalader was founded in 1792, when folks were still sealing letters with wax and writing with quills. But the firm revolutionized law firms by doing away with the old system of unpaid law clerkships and establishing the role of the associate. 

The present-day Cadwalader forged a niche in the early New York legal field by working on commercial claims, litigation, maritime law, and real estate for banks and representing insurance companies and members of New York society. The real catalyst for the firm’s growth and increased financial stability came when former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State John L. Cadwalader joined the firm in 1878, bringing big-time corporate connections with him. 

Cutting Edge

A regular in the top 20 of Vault’s Real Estate practice ranking, Cadwalader is well known for its work in the area, which includes construction finance, distressed real estate financings, joint ventures, loan sales, management and leasing, mezzanine loan financings, and mortgage finance.

The firm boasts a strong transactional practice, which includes a stellar reputation for its capital markets and securities work. Cadwalader is a consistent top 20 firm on Vault’s Securities/Capital Markets ranking, and in May 2021, the firm was recognized by IFLR Americas as a Structured Finance and Securitization “Team of the Year”. The firm’s regulatory bona fides are at the top of industry—the firm garnered another IFLR Americas “Team of the Year” award in the financial services regulatory category. The firm also received a 2020 Law360 “Practice Group of the Year” award in the Banking category. Cadwalader also tries to stay on the cutting edge and provide innovative solutions for its client. For example, the Cadwalader Cabinet—an award-winning, web-based financial regulatory knowledge and intelligence platform—utilizes powerful expert systems to allow financial service practitioners to perform legal, compliance, and transactional tasks through an interactive online solution. 

Beyond Billables

The firm offers a year-long First Year Training as well as a Mid-Level Training Program and a Business Development Training Series for all attorneys to sharpen their business development skills in such areas as networking, branding, developing relationships, and perfecting pitches. But educational opportunities aren’t all about work. For example, through its Civil Rights Series initiative, the firm hosts speakers from a variety of civil rights organizations, including The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Women’s March, Lambda Legal, GLAD, The Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU, NAACP, the Brennan Center for Justice, the NYC Commission for Human Rights, and the Center for Reproductive Rights. The goal of the program is to spark conversation and involvement in pro bono and the community.

COVID-19 Update

Since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, Cadwalader’s recruiting team has successfully utilized virtual platforms to engage with potential new hires, including conducting interviews remotely and employing online onboarding tools. The 2020 summer associate class joined the firm virtually for five weeks and participated in a modified yet well-attended schedule of attorney training programs, CLE opportunities, client events, pro bono opportunities, and a number of creative get-to-know-the-firm social programs. Our 2021 summer associate class participated in a 10-week virtual program that included a similarly robust mix of training and programs, including some small-scale in-person events.

News & Awards

  • Cadwalader handled two of the most publicized cases of the Great Depression era: the Gloria Vanderbilt custody case and the copyright infringement suit involving Gone with the Wind. Litigation in the financial arena increased dramatically during the 1970s and 1980s, as insider trading and white-collar crimes were aggressively prosecuted. The firm's high-profile cases include Tavoulareas v. The Washington Post, the Agent Orange class action suit, and the Dalkon Shield class action suit.
  • Cadwalader was selected by the Federal Reserve's Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC) to develop best practices for cash products in the post-LIBOR world—a $200 trillion market.
  • Cadwalader advised Pershing Square Tontine Holdings, Ltd. (PSTH), a Delaware-incorporated, newly organized special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), on its $4 billion initial public offering—the largest-ever IPO by a SPAC.
  • Cadwalader advised Bank of America on its $4.1 billion broadly syndicated subscription credit facility to funds managed by The Carlyle Group—the largest U.S. ESG-linked fund finance transaction to date, with pricing tied to progress towards the goal of achieving 30% diverse representation on portfolio company boards within two years of ownership.
  • Americas COVID-19 Resilience Derivatives Law Firm of the Year, 2021—GlobalCapital Americas Derivatives Awards
  • Securitization and Structured Finance Law Firm of the Year, 2021—U.S. News – Best Lawyers
  • Top Firm for Minority Attorneys, 2020—Law360 Diversity Snapshot
  • Top Firms for Gender Equity & Family Friendliness: Hiring Practices and LGBTQ+ Representation, 2020—Yale Law Women
  • Banking Group of the Year Award, 2019—Law360

Why Work Here

Why Cadwalader?

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

200 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10281
Phone: (212) 504-6000

Firm Stats

Managing Partner: Patrick Quinn
Hiring Partners: Henry A. LaBrun (Charlotte), Lisa J. Pauquette (New York), Jodi L. Avergun (Washington, DC)
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
250 - 500
No. of Partners Named 2021:

Base Salary

Class of 2021: $202,500
Class of 2020: $205,000
Class of 2019: $215,000
Class of 2018: $240,000
Class of 2017: $275,000
Class of 2016: $305,000
Class of 2015: $330,000
Class of 2014: $350,000
Class of 2013: $365,000
Summer Associate: $3,894/week

Employment Contact

Tara Conlon
Director of Legal Recruitment
(212) 993-2929
General Recruiting Email:

No. of U.S. Offices: 3

No. of International Offices: 2

Major Office Locations

Charlotte, NC
New York, NY (HQ)
Washington, DC I London

Major Departments

Capital Markets
Derivatives & Structured Products
Executive Compensation, Benefits & ERISA
Financial Regulation
Financial Restructuring
Financial Services
Fund Finance
Insurance and Reinsurance
Intellectual Property
Investment Management
Private Wealth
Real Estate
Securitization & Asset Based Finance
White Collar Defense and Investigations
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.