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Miller & Chevalier Chartered.

Main Office: 900 16th Street NW | Washington | DC | 20006
Phone: 202-626-5800 | Fax: 202-626-5801










Miller & Chevalier Chartered. Reviews view all

Reviewed on May 02, 2023
Former Employee

5.Former Employee, more than 3 yearsTop-Notch Lawyers and Supportive FirmCounsel in Washington, DCRecommendProsGreat attorneys and supportive firm with wonderful culture.ConsNo real cons that I can think of.

Former Employee


Full time

Reviewed on November 20, 2019
Former Employee

get new ceo and secretarial supervisor

attorneys that I worked for were very pleasant

management and secretarial supervisor are horrendous, moral among the staff was lowest of any firm I have worked!

where to start?

Location near metro and restaurants

Former Employee


Full time



Headline: Experience the Benefits of Working at Miller & Chevalier Chartered.

Working at Miller & Chevalier Chartered. in the Bay Area can be an exciting opportunity for attorneys. Miller & Chevalier is the first federal tax practice in the United States and offers a wide range of services, including tax planning and consulting, administrative and tax controversy, employee benefits and employment tax, and litigation services. Miller & Chevalier's lawyers have a broad range of technical experience and industry background, spanning financial products and structured finance, international tax, tax accounting, business transactions and reorganizations, transfer pricing, criminal tax, and withholding tax issues.

Attorneys at Miller & Chevalier can benefit from the firm's expertise in areas such as qualified plans, nonqualified deferred compensation, non-ERISA fringe benefits, health and welfare benefits, payroll taxes, worker classification, and information reporting. The firm also offers a full range of consulting, planning, and litigation services in the area of employee benefits and employment tax. Additionally, the firm's tax policy experience is critical in a business environment characterized by tremendous regulatory and legislative change.

At Miller & Chevalier, attorneys have the chance to contribute to the firm's success and benefit from the firm's dedication to providing excellent client service. The firm provides attorneys with the resources they need to succeed in their practice and develop their skills. Additionally, the firm provides a supportive and collegial environment and competitive compensation and benefits.

By working at Miller & Chevalier Chartered., attorneys can take advantage of the firm's extensive experience in the federal tax arena and benefit from its reputation of excellence in the Bay Area. Miller & Chevalier's commitment to excellent client service and the resources it provides to help attorneys succeed make it an exciting opportunity for attorneys looking to make an impact in the legal profession.

Practice Areas

Miller & Chevalier Chartered. practices law in the following areas and works with its clients to provide the best possible legal solutions.

Hiring Criteria

Miller & Chevalier Chartered. follows the set of hiring criteria outlined below.

Miller & Chevalier recruits most actively from the top 15 to 20 law schools and it "definitely prefers the Ivy League." Because the firm's practice emphasizes litigation, writing skills are highly valued. One person advised that "because Miller is really bi^ on writing, make sure that your resumes and writing samples are letter perfect." On-campus interviews look to "winnow out" unqualified candidates, and thus tend to be substantive. Callbacks, however, are typically "more friendly and informational;" in the words of one insider, they are "far and away a 'glad to meet you' type of interview." Callbacks involve four one-on-one interviews with a variety of partners and associates, then lunch with two more attorneys. Afternoon interviewees are rarely invited to dinner; however, undecided candidates favored by the firm will be "wooed" with a dinner at a local restaurant. Candidates should be prepared to talk about "why they chose to be a lawyer, attended a particular school, and worked at different jobs." Friendliness, diversity, and humor are all important to Miller, but. showing a serious interest in one of the firm's limited practice areas is a candidate's linchpin. Because Miller is not a full-service law firm, an '"I don't know what I want to do when I group' attitude reflects poorly," we were told. Candidates were advised to study the practice group in which they are interested and to be certain that the firm actually offers that practice: "people at Miller become very upset when applicants state that they want to work in areas that the firm does not engage in-this is not a general practice firm," one insider observed.

Pro bono

In the past, any effort to perform pro bono work was "entirely up to the individual attorney at the firm," and such work tended to be oriented towards small cases, such as landlord-tenant disputes, immigration and asylum cases, and child custody battles. Miller now has a pro bono committee and, in April of 1998, the firm hired a part-time pro bono coordinator. "The quality and variety of cases may improve; it's too soon to tell," according to one insider. Pro bono hours are officially billable at Miller, but "in some practice areas they may not be given priority by partners," we were told.

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Miller was described as "a good place for women," and a number of female attorneys have significant clout at the firm. Marcia Madsen heads the government contracts group, which has several other women partners including Mary Lou Soller, who was recently named as Miller's general counsel. Catherine Creech (tax) is on the executive committee ("a major achievement") and Patricia Sweeney (tax) is in charge of associate development functions firm wide. The litigation group does not have any female partners and has only three female associates; however, one person informed us that "I believe this is a coincidence, rather than an indication that the group is not female-friendly. It is definitely not the macho boys club that characterizes some firms' litigation groups." Although there has been "some grumbling" of late that there has been a "recent dearth of new partners being made and none have been female," our contacts agreed that women receive the same opportunities as men at the firm. Miller offers generous maternity and paternity leave programs, to which attorneys may tack on additional vacation time. We were told that one senior associate who is approaching partnership took off six months this year when his wife had a baby, and another associate at the same level also took off six months last year after she had her first child and is now working part-time. Miller does not offer formal daycare assistance, but there is an emergency daycare facility in the building. Miller does not have any minority partners, and minority associates are not well-represented at the firm. One contact informed us that "the firm is very unhappy about this" and wishes it were otherwise. Miller does have a diversity committee, and requires all of its attorneys to attend an annual diversity training program. In addition, the firm makes special efforts to recruit minority attorneys. Still, the firm reportedly has made no efforts to mentor its minority associates, and one source noted that "minority associates here lack partners as role models or a large minority community within the firm."

Summer associate program

The summer program at Miller is "pretty well-balanced between work and play, with something social happening at least once or twice a week." One representative contact informed us that "my summer experience was very positive, with a lot of substantive work (and public credit from partners for doing it), a wonderful corner office, and an enjoyable time with extracurricular activities such as attending a professional tennis tournament, going to the D.C premiere of Apollo 13, going to a charity dinner at the National Zoo, seeing an Orioles game and dinner at the managing partner's house in Annapolis (and sailing on his boat). We also had several lunches a week at the office for summer associates and frequent lunch invitations from lawyers at the firm."

Working for the Miller & Chevalier Chartered.
New associates at Miller typically choose their practice area, although market conditions may limit their options at times. The firm does not have a formal rotation program, but summer associates may work in all of the practice areas, and permanent associates have been known to switch areas. Mentoring is "something that the firm tries hard to support, reinforce, and improve." Each associate chooses a mentor who assigns 30 percent of their workload, enabling the mentor to "teach the craft" to the associate and providing junior associates an opportunity to discuss their workloads and potential future assignments. Mentors will also "go to bat" for an associate if the office has a project available that the associate has a particular interest in. Each group at Miller has a work assignment coordinator, but in practice associates tend to approach members with whom they would like to work in order to get their assignments. Junior associates work "very closely" with partners; one source noted that "it is rare to work 'for' a senior associate. Typically, cases at Miller are staffed leanly. Because Miller has a high partner-to-associate ratio, associates are often asked to take on a "surprising level" of responsibility very early in their careers. Partners are encouraged to give associates as much responsibility as they can handle, and then to "pare back that responsibility only if the associate struggles," we were told. It is not unusual for a first- or second-year associate to be the main point of contact on a daily basis for very substantial matters. One insider claimed that "as a first year, I was the main contact with the client for several months in the early stages of filing a half-billion dollar tax refund suit in federal district court. I was also involved in a major international tax restructuring in which a second year was the main daily contact person with the client company's tax director. These examples are not atypical of the tax practice." Responsibility is delayed somewhat in the litigation department, we were told, and junior associates in that group should not expect to find themselves in court, directly advising clients, or negotiating with opposing counsel until their mid-level years. One litigation associate explained that "Miller & Chevalier involves its associates in strategic decisions and other internal work early on, but outside responsibilities are generally much more limited than at some other firms. This is the tradeoff of the firm's low leveraging: associates work directly with and learn from members, but the clients are so large, the problems so significant, and the staffing so top-heavy that an associate seeking substantial, independent responsibility may not find it." Most associate training at Miller is on-the-job; however, the firm does provide in-house training on "research, oral presentations, recruiting and business development." The firm also hires consultants to conduct one-on-one training in legal writing and public speaking. Miller offers a unique feedback system in which each partner is required to evaluate every first, second and third year's work at the end of each major project. Partners who do not complete evaluations in a timely manner are "penalized in the pocketbook," according to one insider. Associates and staff members are also asked to review the partner's performance after each project. Fourth-year associates and beyond are evaluated every six months or yearly, depending on the associate's level. Partnership prospects are not indicated until these fourth- or fifth-year evaluations. According to one contact, "the official mantra is that 'everyone should make member,' but of course economics often gets in the way of that." Because many of the attorneys at Miller are married and have children, the informal social life at the firm is "somewhat limited." Intra-firm dating is discouraged, but many of the attorneys run or exercise together and the firm has a softball team in the summer. Every Friday the firm sponsors a happy hour, and on Wednesdays the firm provides a catered buff a lunch where attorneys "sit together in small groups and interact with people from different practice groups." Special events at the firm include an annual working weekend retreat at a resort, a summer picnic, a formal winter gala, and an in-house holiday party. The highlight of the social calendar is the firm's 4th of July party, where the attorneys gather on the firm's "huge" terrace overlooking the Washington Monument to view the city's famous fireworks display. "The terrace is the best location in the city to watch the fireworks," boasted one contact. Miller is run by a three-member executive committee that meets twice a month. This committee, headed by Phil Mann, makes all of the firm's decisions that d : not require a vote. Mann was described as "Mr. Everything these days, in part because he has taken on a lot of responsibility that no one else wanted such as hiring, business development and general management." The chairs of each practice group (John Magee, tax; Marcii Madsen, government contracts; Homer Moyer, international; and Don Craven, litigation) also have substantial influence at Miller. Because of associate complaints in past years, Millers management has recently become more forthcoming about its policies and procedures, we were told. One person marveled that "it is hard to imagine how much more information they could give us. Copies of departments' strategic plans, copies of everyone's hours for the previous month, copies of executive committee minutes, copies of business development reports, and so forth, are all provided to associates." Associates at the firm also have their own committee, which is made up of three elected members who serve as liaisons with the membership. All firm associates meet with this committee monthly; one of its current project S involves evaluating Miller's bonus system. Miller's salary structure is "quite competitive" with other large Washington firms. Although D.C. salaries continue to "spiral up," one contact told us that "the firm has shown a commitment to keep pace with the competition." Financially, Miller is doing well, and associates received a "huge" 20% to 25% salary increase last year. The firm's bonus system was changed in 1998 and reportedly is "still being tweaked." Bonuses are based on billable hour, which causes some associates to feel "quite a bit" of billable hour pressure. Last year, more than half of the firm's associates did not receive a bonus. One insider explained that "bonuses are viewed as 'combat pay'. It is my impression that some partners would prefer it to be a goal, but I have not heard c 1 anyone being criticized for not getting 'the bonus." Fringe benefits include a 25% matching program for 401(k) donations, subsidized subway tickets, free use of the building's health club, emergency daycare and some life insurance.


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