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2020 Vault Rankings

About Chapman and Cutler LLP

Chicago-based law firm Chapman and Cutler has a sophisticated financial services practice. The firm’s clients include the largest U.S. and foreign financial institutions, private equity and hedge funds, investment banks, insurance and finance companies, and state and local governments.

A Foundation in Finance

In 1913, Theodore Chapman left his position as counsel at Harris Trust and Savings Bank—then one of the country's largest distributors of municipal and corporate bonds—to open his own law office in Chicago. Chicago Title and Trust counsel Henry Cutler joined Chapman's practice the following year and together the duo carried out work in the municipal finance arena, including helping draft the Illinois Securities Law of 1919. In 1981, Chapman and Cutler opened an office in Salt Lake City and then expanded to San Francisco, New York, Washington, DC and Charlotte in the 2000s. A century later, the firm maintains industry-leading practices in public finance, commercial lending, structured finance, lease finance, registered investment company funds, insurance company private placements, and bankruptcy and restructuring.

From Aquariums to Airports

Chapman is among the nation’s top law firms representing the public sector in infrastructure, municipal facility, health care, education, and stadium financing projects and issuing tax-exempt securities. In 2016, two transactions the firm was involved in were named “Deal of the Year” – the Presence Health bond financing in Chicago (Health Care Deal of the Year) and the San Diego Unified School District bond financing (National Deal of the Year). In Chicago alone, the firm has served as counsel for projects like the Chicago O'Hare International Airport, the White Sox's Comiskey Park (now Guaranteed Rate Field), the North Pier Complex and the Oceanarium at the John G. Shedd Aquarium. According to the Chicago Tribune, Chapman and Cutler is also one of the premier firms handling Chicago-area financing for school and park districts. The firm has also helped design affordable loan programs to stem the wave of foreclosures in the area.

Nationally, Chapman also touts a particularly athletic client list. The firm served as bond counsel for projects stemming from 2002 Winter Olympics and has counseled on finance, tax, construction, and other issues for clients like the NBA, NFL, MLB, and FIFA (organizer of the World Cup).

Financing Innovation

Chapman has been paving the way in the development of new and innovative financing products. Working with client organizations – banks, institutional investors, investment companies, and other issuers – the firm has been leading the development of marketplace lending, social finance, and green bonds, among other areas of finance. Chapman is one of the few law firms in the country that has completed social impact bond financings, also known as pay for success financings. The firm is also a top law firm for marketplace lending and fintech and has written the go-to regulatory guide for the industry.

Creative Career Paths

Chapman teamed up with the Indiana University Maurer School of Law to create a two-year Finance Law Development Program designed for college graduates interested in finance and the law who seek to gain comprehensive work experience before pursuing law school or another advanced degree. Following the successful completion of the program, individuals who wish to pursue a law degree may be eligible for designation as a Chapman Law Fellow, with the potential for scholarships and other financial assistance. Program participants choosing not to attend law school may be offered other opportunities within Chapman or with Chapman clients.

Chapman and Cutler LLP

111 West Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 845-3000


Chief Executive Partner: Timothy P. Mohan
Hiring Partner: Aaron J. Efta

Base Salary

1st year: $180,000
Summer associate: $3,462/week New York
1st year: $180,000 Salt Lake City
1st year: $130,000 San Francisco
1st year: $180,000 Washington, DC
1st year: $180,000

Summer Program

Summer Associate Offers:
7 out of 7 (2Ls only) (2016)

Employment Contact

Katie Hoekstra
Legal Recruiting and Professional Development Manager
(312) 845-3462

Major Office Locations

Chicago, IL (HQ)
Charlotte, NC
New York, NY
Salt Lake City, UT
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC

Major Departments

Asset Securitization
Banking and Financial Services
Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Workouts
Commercial Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Corporate Counseling
Corporate Finance and Securities
Environment, Energy and Resources
Federal Government Finance
Health Care Finance
Investment Management
Lease Finance
Project Finance
Public Finance
Real Estate
Renewable Energy
Social Finance and Impact Investing
Sports Finance
Trusts and Estates
Utility Finance