2020 Vault Rankings
- New York#14
At a Glance
“We work on cutting-edge, high-stakes matters with brilliant attorneys.”
“The firm's free-market system, while generally very positive, can be a bit challenging. ...”
“Never being off the clock.”
About Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
With more than 1,350 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. Over the 20th century, the firm expanded to the East Coast and Europe, and while it still has a whopping four 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 three times since 2010 in the biennial competition: 2010, 2012, and 2016. 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.
News & Awards
Gibson Dunn won a nationwide preliminary injunction in coordinated lawsuits pending in the Northern District of California, stopping the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). Gibson Dunn represents pro bono six young Dreamers who filed suit along with numerous co-plaintiffs. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the injunction in November 2018. Gibson Dunn continues to represent the Dreamers in ongoing proceedings.
Gibson Dunn successfully represented four Taiwanese manufacturers of iPhones and iPads in connection with Qualcomm Incorporated’s attempt to collect billions of dollars in patent license royalties, initially defeating Qualcomm’s request for a preliminary injunction. The lawsuit was a part of a high-profile, multibillion-dollar global dispute between Qualcomm and Apple Inc. over patent licensing practices and involved related antitrust litigation and other proceedings. A settlement entered into after the opening of trial ended all ongoing litigation.
Gibson Dunn represented PepsiCo in its award-winning $3.2 billion acquisition of SodaStream International, the Israeli manufacturer and distributor of home carbonation systems and the world’s largest sparkling water brand by volume.
On behalf of CNN and its Chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, Gibson Dunn secured the restoration of Mr. Acosta’s White House “hard pass,” the press credentials he uses to cover the White House. The Trump Administration revoked Mr. Acosta’s credentials following a White House press conference. Gibson Dunn persuaded the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that revocation of Mr. Acosta’s press pass infringed on significant First Amendment liberty interests and violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Because of our emergency filings and the district court’s swift action, Mr. Acosta was back to work at the White House little more than a week after his pass was revoked.
- 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.
- Advised Marriott International, Inc. in its $13.6 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., a global hotel company.
- Won a civil RICO and fraud verdict for Chevron Corp. in connection with a multi-pronged defense against collection of a fraudulent $9.2 billion Ecuadorian judgment against it, and unanimous Second Circuit affirmance, in Chevron v. Donziger.
- Represented Jamestown Properties in its $2.4 billion sale of Manhattan’s Chelsea Market to Google LLC, the second-largest full single-asset sale ever in New York City.
- Named a 2018 Law Firm of the Year (Law360)
- Gibson Dunn earned 276 rankings in Chambers USA 2019, including 27 first-tier firm practice group rankings and 52 first-tier individual lawyer rankings. The firm was named among The Elite for Corporate/M&A nationwide and in New York.
- Named to the 2019 “BTI Brand Elite,” and “BTI Fearsome Foursome—the most feared law firms in litigation” (BTI Consulting Group)
- Recognized in eight U.S. litigation practice areas by Benchmark Litigation 2019 and awarded publication’s highest recommendations for the firm’s litigation practices in California, New York, Texas, and Washington, DC
- Named to the 2019 Pro Bono Hot List (The National Law Journal)
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: Steven E. Sletten
Total No. Attorneys 2019:
1K - 1.5K
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
Summer Associate Offers:
127 out of 130 (2Ls) (2018)
No. of Summer Associates:
139 total (130 2Ls; 9 1Ls)
Chief Recruiting Officer
Century City, CA
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Orange County, CA
Palo Alto, CA
San Francisco, CA
Business Restructuring & Reorganization
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.