Founded over 145 years ago, Shearman & Sterling LLP combines a venerable history in America with a strong contemporary international practice. Branching out from its Wall Street roots, the firm has approximately 850 lawyers in 20 offices around the world and boasts healthy M&A, antitrust, securities, real estate, project development, dispute resolution and tax practices.
Shearman's commitment to Pro Bono has won the firm wide recognition.
Shearman was one of the New York firms to provide Pro Bono assistance to victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The firm advised residential and commercial tenants who were unable to return to their homes and businesses because of the attacks, and the private client group advised on trust and estate issues. Special recognition went to the firm's successful campaign to win compensation for a woman whose common-law husband died in the World Trade Center. Common-law marriages aren't recognized in New York State, making the woman ineligible under initial rules; Shearman eventually secured recognition of the marriage and compensation from the fund set up for victims and their families. Shearman continues to represent the families of more than 20 victims, many of which are low-income, immigrant families.
Those law students looking to make Shearman their home should keep in mind the firm's international reach. "The firm usually looks to candidates who've done well in school and are well-rounded," says a lawyer. "An interest in international law helps, as does other law school accomplishments." Find something to make your resume stand out. "Everyone here has at least one attribute that sets them apart from the typical candidate," says a source. Make sure you're ready to discuss what sets you apart, as it likely will come up in your interviews.
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OUR SURVEY SAYS
"Shearman's culture is friendly, courteous and professional," says an insider. "I have yet to hear a voice raised in anger." Says a junior associate, "I was originally drawn to the firm by the people and the degree to which they are approachable and appear to live balanced lives. My years at the firm have reinforced my initial impression. I continue to meet attorneys at the firm with whom I enjoy working and socializing." Some insiders point out that the typical Shearman lawyer is not a one-dimension law nerd. "The people are very friendly and very sociable," remarks one source. "Although the associates are brilliant and work very hard to achieve a perfect work product, the associates also are able to carry on conversations outside of their work and the law." Many associates appreciate the firm's efforts to bring people together. "The firm hosts events like the 140th Anniversary, "State of the Firm" updates, and various social events throughout the year. "Compensation is on par with the rest of the street," says a lawyer. "The compensation structure is excellent compared with other New York firms," says an insider who is happy the firm has "no billable hour targets."
LEARNING ABOUT LAW
Insiders agree that Shearman gives its associates the tools they need to grow as attorneys. "This is definitely a place where you learn," says one insider who calls the firm's training programs "the best reason to work at Shearman & Sterling." "I have been really impressed by the organized training at the firm and the efforts made to inform us of options for training outside of the firm," says a source. "I have been particularly pleased with the degree of hands-on workshops that are offered on substantive topics that I am interested in." If only there were more hours in a day. "The firm has excellent CLE programs, but when you are busy it is nearly impossible to attend," notes one insider.
SALUTE TO SHEARMAN
Shearman has won praise for its efforts to maximize racial diversity. Associates salute the firm's efforts on gender diversity. "Attempts to make working at our firm more women-friendly have been apparent," reports one associate. The firm notes that it makes women partners available to mentor associates or to discuss ideas to improve retention.
Underscoring the importance the firm places on diverse perspectives, experiences and backgrounds, Shearman supports several inclusion networks created and directed by associates. Formed voluntarily, these groups meet regularly to share ideas on professional and business development and to offer guidance and support to one another as the groups’ members advance within the firm. The groups also host events of interest to people within and outside the firm, showing thought leadership and building relationships with colleagues and members of the broader legal and business communities.
The firm is also proud to have been ranked among the Top 25 Best Law Firms for Diversity in the 2017 Vault Law Rankings.
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