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Davis, Polk & Wardwell

published April 05, 2004

Jefferson Byrd
( 200 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
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As one of the oldest law firms in the United States, Davis, Polk & Wardwell maintains the prestige of being responsible for incorporating General Electric and overseeing J.P. Morgan's international expansion, but Davis Polk also prides itself on being New York's friendliest firm.

Good grades from a top-tier school might be enough to get an attorney an interview with Davis Polk, but stellar credentials are not enough to secure a position. A candidate's personality is the most significant factor in whether or not her or she can find a home with Davis Polk. The firm takes its standing as a friendly law firm seriously, only considering attorneys who fit the high standards of cordiality the firm has set. Strong communication skills are a prerequisite. At some New York firms, an attorney might expect to be offered a position when the firm calls them back in after the initial interview. Prospective Davis Polk attorneys go through a series of interviews with partners and lunch dates with associates before a decision is reached.

Although the firm has offices in Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Tokyo, their foreign offices are staffed by American attorneys. It is generally lawyers from the firm's New York headquarters that are sent abroad, with junior associates typically spending six months in a foreign office. Consequently, foreign language skills are a definite bonus for an applicant. Once onboard as an associate, many find it difficult to make partner. Most, however, do not seem to mind, since the firm has enviable exit options. Training is an important aspect of life at Davis Polk, with top-notch training programs available, even for mid- and senior-level associates.

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