2021 Vault Rankings
- Firm Culture#14
- Pro Bono#22
- New York#14
At a Glance
“The free-market system and the ability to choose and manage your personal docket.”
“High-stakes and high-profile cases and clients.”
“I am surrounded by incredibly smart people who are exceptionally nice.”
“Free-market system is not for everyone.”
“The unpredictable hours.”
About Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
With more than 1,355 attorneys across ten countries, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher is a force. Among the top firms in the country, Gibson Dunn is well known for its litigation and trial work—especially its bustling appellate litigation and securities litigation practices—as well as its top-notch antitrust, M&A, private equity, and real estate work, among others.
Tinseltown and Beyond
Gibson Dunn began through a partnership between John Bicknell and Walter Trask in 1890. A mere seven years later, Judge James Gibson joined the firm. The trio joined forced with William Dunn—a former Los Angeles City Attorney—and Albert Crutcher—a former Assistant City attorney—to create the largest law firm in Los Angeles at the time. During the 20th century, the firm expanded to the East Coast, Europe, and Asia, and while it still has a whopping five offices in California alone, Gibson is truly a global firm with 20 offices around the world.
Litigation Hat Trick
Gibson Dunn is perhaps best known for its litigation practice. In fact, the firm has been named Litigation Department of the Year by The American Lawyer four times since 2010 in the biennial competition, in 2010, 2012, 2016, and 2020. As for 2014 and 2018—the firm was a finalist. The firm sits comfortably atop its perch as a top 5 firm for litigation in Vault’s rankings. Gibson Dunn’s litigation sub-practices are vast and include antitrust, betting and gaming, FCA/qui tam, intellectual property, FCPA, environmental law, government contracts, labor and employment, securities litigation, white collar defense and investigations, and more.
But there is one practice area that sets Gibson Dunn apart: its appellate litigation practice. The firm is the long-reigning No. 1 in Vault’s Appellate Litigation rankings. Among the firm’s notable SCOTUS cases are Perry v. Brown, in which firm partner Ted Olson delivered arguments in favor of overturning Proposition 8; Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which the Court held that corporations have a First Amendment right to engage in political speech; and Wal-Mart v. Dukes, where the Supreme Court, in what many consider the most important class action opinion in a decade, unanimously reversed the Ninth Circuit’s certification of the biggest employment discrimination case in history.
Gibson Dunn isn’t only about litigation, however. The firm is among the top 20 firms in Vault’s General Corporate Practice ranking. In recent years, Gibson lawyers advised MetroPCS, T-Mobile, and Citigroup on billion-dollar mergers. The firm’s corporate transactions practice encompasses several practice groups including Capital Markets, Global Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Private Equity, and Securities Regulation and Corporate Governance.
Set Them Free
A hallmark of Gibson Dunn’s practice is its free-market assignment system through which associates seek out their own practice groups and their own assignments. During their first and second years at the firm, associates can try work from different departments and see how practice varies among them. Associates then select their area of focus at the beginning of their third year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended many of the traditional ways that firms connect with potential recruits, but we continue to hire new attorneys and to reach out to law students in multiple ways (from small group virtual coffee breaks to larger presentations), to ensure both that they get the chance to see what makes Gibson Dunn a special place and that we get the chance to meet them. We intend to continue doing this and look forward to meeting more recruits (through whatever format) as we head into the summer and fall. For this summer, Gibson Dunn has kept its 2020 summer program but adopted a shortened, primarily virtual program that takes advantage of our technology through program-wide events. We have also set up ways for our summer associates to connect with our attorneys in novel ways, and to find mentors across all of our U.S. offices.
News & Awards
On behalf of Playboy magazine White House correspondent Brian Karem we won unanimous DC Circuit affirmance of the restoration of Mr. Karem’s White House “hard pass,” the credential that allows journalists to access White House press areas. The Trump Administration had temporarily suspended it following a White House social media summit at which Mr. Karem was confronted by former White House advisor Sebastian Gorka. Gibson Dunn filed suit and convinced the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that the suspension infringed significant First Amendment liberty interests and violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The district court ordered immediate restoration of the hard pass and the government appealed.
Gibson Dunn won Second Circuit affirmance of the dismissal with prejudice of a copyright lawsuit that targeted comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s hit Netflix show, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” The plaintiff, whom Mr. Seinfeld had hired to direct the show’s pilot, alleged that Mr. Seinfeld stole the concept for the show and that he—not Mr. Seinfeld—was the owner of the show’s copyrights. Gibson Dunn persuaded the Second Circuit that the lawsuit was meritless, achieving complete vindication for Mr. Seinfeld.
Gibson Dunn represented PepsiCo, Inc. in its $3.85 billion acquisition of Rockstar Energy Beverages, whose products are available worldwide in more than 30 countries.
Gibson Dunn successfully represented Deutsche Telekom (DT) when the Southern District of New York held, in a landmark antitrust ruling following a two-week trial, that DT’s entity’s $26.5 billion acquisition of Sprint Corporation did not violate Clayton Act §7, clearing the way for the transaction to proceed. In this rare case, the Attorneys General of numerous states and the District of Columbia sued to block the deal after the DOJ’s Antitrust Division had already approved it.
- Gibson Dunn obtained the first national injunction protecting all DACA recipients and the firm’s clients, six individual Dreamers, against the Trump Administration’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Then, in consolidated appeals, successfully defended DACA in the U.S. Supreme Court, which held the termination was unlawful.
- Secured a first-of-its-kind Third Circuit decision, in Crystallex International Corp. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, allowing Crystallex to attach shares of CITGO Petroleum’s parent company owned by PDVSA in aid of enforcing a $1.4 billion arbitration award and judgment against Venezuela.
- Advising with respect to the development of multiple sports and entertainment venues in Inglewood, CA, including the multibillion-dollar SoFi stadium sports and entertainment complex (home to the L.A. Rams and Chargers NFL teams), Steve Ballmer’s recent acquisition of the Forum, and development of a new arena for the NBA’s L.A. Clippers.
- Won a historic marriage equality victory before the U.S. Supreme Court, whose Hollingsworth v. Perry decision left intact the district court’s broad injunction against the enforcement of California’s Proposition 8.
- Litigation Department of the Year, 2020—The American Lawyer
- Firm of the Year, 2019—Law360
- Named to 2020 “Leading Law Firms in Cybersecurity & Data Privacy” list and “BTI Client Service 30”—BTI Consulting Group
- Earned 302 rankings, including 31 first-tier firm practice group rankings and 53 first-tier individual lawyer rankings. Named among The Elite for Corporate/M&A nationwide and in New York, 2020—Chambers USA
- Recognized in the U.S. categories of Banking; Capital Markets: Debt; Capital Markets: Equity; Capital Markets: High-Yield Debt; Investment Funds: Private Equity Funds; Mergers and Acquisitions; Private Equity – Transactions; and Restructuring and Insolvency—IFLR1000
Why Work Here
The Freedom to Shape Your Career
Gibson Dunn’s acknowledgment of its lawyers’ individuality and potential starts with a culture of collegiality and respect. This is fostered by the Free Market System through which our attorneys secure work.
Rather than being limited to set practice areas, our associates have the freedom to seek out matters that interest them and partners who inspire them. In fact, our new associates have the flexibility to rotate through each of our four main departments (litigation, corporate, real estate, and tax) during their first two years with the firm, gaining real-world experience before deciding on a practice area at the start of their third year.
333 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90071-3197
Phone: (213) 229-7000
Chairman & Managing Partner: Kenneth M. Doran
Chair of Firmwide Hiring Committee: Perlette Jura
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
1K - 1.5K
No. of Partners Named 2020:
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
4th year: $255,000
5th year: $280,000
6th year: $305,000
7th year: $325,000
8th year: $340,000
Summer associate: $3,700/week
Chief Recruiting Officer
No. of U.S. Offices: 10
No. of International Offices: 10
Century City, CA
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Orange County, CA
Palo Alto, CA
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC I Beijing
Business Restructuring & Reorganization
Labor & Employment
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.