Covington & Burling, LLP
Covington & Burling, LLP

Covington & Burling, LLP

5 Star Rating     3 reviews 
Main Office:

One CityCenter, 850 Tenth Street, NW | Washington | DC | 20001-4956

Phone: 202-662-6000 | Fax: 202-662-6291

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Year of establishment 1986 Number of partners 286
Number of offices 13 Partner to associate ratio 0.50
Biggest office Washington Percentage of women attorneys 32.20
Number of attorneys 1020 Percentage of minority attorneys 19.50
Number of associates 578 Percentage of LGBT attorneys 4.40
Covington & Burling, LLP
   3 reviews

Covington & Burling, LLP Reviews

- Reviewed on December 16, 2017

Advice to law firm management: If you go here, be sure to stick it out for the long haul and hope you make it to higher positions.

Pros: I was at Covington and Burling for over 2 years and the staff is lovely, helps however they can with anything.

Cons: The pay is a bit on the low side for the workload involved but the raises are fantastic.

Current or former employee?: Former Employee

- Reviewed on September 25, 2017

Advice to law firm management: Show more appreciation to the administrative assistants and secretaries.

Pros: I learned a lot and worked with good people. The atmosphere is collegial. People are smart and knowledgeable.

Cons: There are many very busy days. The large size is not suitable for all.

Current or former employee?: Former Employee


In an increasingly regulated world, we have an exceptional ability to help clients navigate their most complex business problems, deals and disputes. Our distinctively collaborative culture allows us to be truly one team globally, drawing on the diverse experience of lawyers and advisors across the firm by seamlessly sharing insight and expertise. What sets us apart is our ability to combine the tremendous strength in our litigation, investigations, and corporate practices with deep knowledge of policy and policymakers, and one of the world’s leading regulatory practices. This enables us to create novel solutions to our clients’ toughest problems, successfully try their toughest cases and deliver commercially practical advice of the highest quality.

Practice Areas

Covington & Burling, LLP practices law in the following areas and works with its clients to provide the best possible legal solutions.

  • Advertising & Consumer Law
  • Antitrust & Competition Law
  • Communications & Media
  • Corporate
  • Election & Political Law
  • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
  • Employment
  • Energy Regulation
  • Environmental
  • Federal-State Programs
  • Financial Institutions
  • Food & Drug
  • Government Contracts
  • Insurance Coverage - Policyholders
  • Intellectual Property
  • International
  • International Arbitration
  • Litigation
  • Privacy & Data Security
  • Public Policy & Government Affairs
  • Securities
  • Derivatives Litigation & Enforcement
  • Tax
  • White Collar Defense & Investigations

Hiring Criteria

Covington & Burling, LLP follows the set of hiring criteria outlined below.

The firm seeks talented and motivated individuals who share their values and commitment to excellence. Candidates seeking summer associate positions are based on an overall evaluation of their background and strengths. Academic distinction and undergraduate education are specifically looked into.

Candidates must show strong motivation and initiative and the drive to continue in the firm's great traditions of maintaining the highest standards of the profession.

Interviews are conducted each fall at many law school campuses. The firm also considers applications from outstanding students who are studying in law schools were interviews are not scheduled.

Interest candidates should provide a current resume, law school transcript, legal writing sample, and lists of references, particularly from faculty and past legal employers, if any.

Pro bono

In its 90 years of existence, Covington has never flinched from its strong commitment to public service. The firm encourages all of its lawyers to participate in pro bono work, and devotes significant resources to finding pro bono projects that reflect the diverse interests of its attorneys.

The firms pro bono program covers a wide array of issues, that include freedom of expression and religion; civil rights and civil liberties; gay rights; family law; education; landlord/tenant; homelessness; employment; criminal and court-appointed cases; police misconduct; environmental law; fairness in government procurements and grants; intellectual property; veterans benefits claims, and nonprofit incorporation and tax.

The firm has appointed two full-time attorneys and two part-time attorneys who actively seek pro bono opportunities.

In December 2008, Covington won asylum for a prominent Iranian journalist, Ms. S. In 2005, an Iranian court had sentenced Mr. S to death for his outspoken support of press freedom and women's rights. The sentence was reduced to three years on appeal. He fled to the US. Covington helped in reuniting him with his wife in the United States, helping him obtain asylum based on the persecution he suffered on account of his political beliefs.

The firm represents undocumented children who have escaped, often alone, abusive situations in their home countries. Through the KIND program (Kids in Need of Defense), the firms attorneys help the children remain in the US by seeking a form of immigration relief called SIJS (Special Immigrant Juvenile Status).

The firm negotiated a favorable settlement that the firm obtained resulted in reforms to a North Carolina school system designed to prevent abusive treatment of special needs students.

The American Lawyer magazine has ranked Covington's pro bono practice among the top three firms for 17 of the past 21 years.

Legal Jobs in Washington and Near Locations

Notable cases

  • Throughout its history, the firm has handled many significant, high-profile matters for its clients. Some of the more recent significant cases include:
  • Covington & Burling secured the victory against the largest content distributor in the nation when the Federal Communications Commission handed a decisive victory to the Tennis Channel yesterday in its discriminatory carriage lawsuit against Comcast Cable Communications.
  • Covington led the Coalition of Broadband Users and Innovators, including Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, eBay, and consumer groups before the FCC and Congress for policies that ensure that as broadband services are deregulated, these Internet content companies have the ability to reach their customers.
  • Covington defended Sony BMG Music Entertainment in purported class actions alleging that Sony fails to pay recording artists the proper royalties for digital music downloads and ringtones.
  • Covington defended the National Football League in a wide array of antitrust matters addressing licensing of intellectual property, franchise relocation, and ownership rules, among other subjects.
  • Covington represented Samsung in a patent infringement case brought by Genoa Corporation relating to DLP television technology.
  • Covington secured an award of over $1 billion for eleven oil companies against the United States in the Court of Federal Claims, and then the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, to remedy the government's breach of nearly three dozen oil and gas leases off the coast of California.
  • Covington successfully represented Merck in two major arbitrations involving insurance coverage for product liability claims relating to Vioxx.
  • Covington represented Freddie Mac in multiple securities class action and derivative lawsuits brought in the wake of the company's $5 billion restatement of earnings, obtaining a very favorable global settlement after prevailing on a novel defense to class certification.
  • Covington & Burling LLP successfully represented the European steel pipe industry in the anti-dumping investigation against Chinese imports of seamless pipes and tubes into the EU.

Covington & Burling, LLP Awards and Recognitions

Covington & Burling is consistently ranked among the leading law firms in each of its central practice areas. Additionally, its lawyers are consistently recognized as industry leaders and ranked among the best practitioners worldwide.

Ranked in A-list of twenty elite US law firms based on financial performance, pro bono activity, associate satisfaction, and diversity by The American Lawyer magazine from 2008-2012.

Selected as one of the nation's top five litigation departments by The American Lawyer magazine in 2008 and 2010.

The American Lawyer magazine has ranked Covington's pro bono practice among the top three firms for 15 of the past 19 years.

Ranked in the top 25 firms nationally by corporate directors - Corporate Board Member (2006-2011).

106 Covington lawyers in 46 practice areas recognized as "leaders in their field" - Chambers USA (2012).

Consistently top ranked in US and European surveys of leading law firms and attorneys.

Ranked as one of the best law firms for women nationally based on a survey measuring work/life and women-friendly policies, including flex-time, child care and women-focused mentoring, and leadership and networking programs by working mother, 2007-2009; 2011.


Covington and Burling believes that excellence in the practice of law knows no racial, ethnic, gender, religious, sexual orientation, or other boundaries. Its diverse lawyers bring a wide variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences to the firm's practice. The firm consistently recruits, retains, develops and promotes a diverse group of lawyers and believes that their diversity is an asset and a source of strength for the firm.

The firm strives to support its lawyers not only in their professional development, but also in their efforts to balance the demands of their jobs with their outside interests and responsibilities. The firm believes that such a balance is crucial to the success and happiness of the lawyers but also contributes to the overall success of the firm.

The firm's Diversity Committee brings together associates, counsel, and partners, and a designated liaison from the firm's Management Committee in a concerted and focused effort to foster a diverse workplace.

The firm's Women's Forum provides women attorneys an opportunity to come together to discuss issues of common interest, including business and professional development, leadership and training opportunities, and mentoring.

To maintain this balance the firm has a policy under which lawyers can set up their own schedules. It provides a state-of-the-art day care facility in Washington which has the capacity to take care of almost 100 children from infancy to age 5. Covington is a leader in the legal community in providing employment benefits to attorneys and staff.

The firm believes that meaningful diversity means that every single lawyer is given a genuine opportunity for personal and professional growth. The firm is committed to providing all its lawyers, including women and minority lawyers with the opportunity to achieve personal growth, career satisfaction, and professional success at the firm.

Summer associate program

Through its summer associate program the company chooses a diverse group of students' from across the country and provides them with the opportunity to participate in a wide array of meaningful range of legal activity. The associates are exposed to the firm's long-lasting values that have shaped their destiny and ensured that they excelled in the service they provided to their clients.

The associates are provided a whole range of benefits that include moving expenses, annual leave, sick leave, parental leave, unpaid leave of absence, alternative work schedules, insurance, disability, emergency travel assistance and retirement savings plans.

The firm assigns all its associates an associate mentor and partner advisor, who supervise their assignments and advice and counsel them about working life at Covington. Constructive feedback is provided, through informal evaluations and discussion of projects with the associates.

All associates are provided with individual assistance that makes the difference between having a god working summer experience and great one.

Working for the Covington & Burling, LLP

Lawyers and non-legal staff seeking to work at Covington can expect exceptional opportunities and an assurance of working in a mutually respectful and stimulating environment. The firm gives enough space to its lawyers to carve out their own niches and develop expertise in emerging industries and new areas of the law.

As one of the world's leading firms Covington has a great reputation for representing some very big names in the business, with a great success record in solving complex legal matters and serving the public interest, according to the very highest professional standards.

The firm welcomes talented law students, trainees, lawyers and staff members with the capability, reliability, and enterprise to ensure that Covington & Burling continues to be a motivating and gratifying place to practice law.


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