Davis Polk Reviews in New York City, NY

Updated August 5, 2014
Updated August 5, 2014
41 Reviews
3.8
41 Reviews
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Davis Polk Managing Partner Thomas J. Reid
Thomas J. Reid
11 Ratings

24 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Great Work Environment with Unpredictable hours

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Legal Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Legal Assistant in New York, NY

    I have been working at Davis Polk full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Manager is fair and pleasant to talk to.

    Cons

    The hours can be taxing at times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good place to grow

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at Davis Polk full-time

    Pros

    The environment is highly intellectual, which makes it interesting to work in and the people employed by DPW are great to learn from. I find the cafeteria to be a plus (the breakfast is top-notch).

    Cons

    The hours can be quite long and unpredictable, but that's as expected, given the nature of the work. Sometimes the work/life balance is a bit difficult.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3.  

    Great team environment but overworked employees

    Former Employee - Corporate Legal Assistant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Corporate Legal Assistant in New York, NY

    I worked at Davis Polk full-time

    Pros

    The value of working for Davis Polk as a Corporate Legal Assistant is the exposure and ability to work on big cases. The teamwork environment also makes it easy to establish your reputation as a hardworking and reliable paralegal among the attorneys.

    Cons

    Paralegals are overworked and almost work in the same capacity as junior associates in the firm. You are expected to put in the overtime and accede to last minute demands of the transaction/case if help is needed. This is not a place for a work/social life balance, it is for building your career as an entry-level Legal Assistant.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There needs to be a better bonus and incentivizing structure for Legal Assistants, especially for "career paralegals" and plan to stay long-term (past 2 years) with the firm.

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  5.  

    Legal Support

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Legal Support in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Legal Support in New York, NY

    I worked at Davis Polk full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Respectful, nice atmosphere, decent pro-bono

    Cons

    No work/life balance, cut a lot of programs/benefits

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Best employer ever

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY

    I have been working at Davis Polk full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The Tiffanys of law firms

    Cons

    Wall Street hours year round

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Interesting and challenging (in a good way)

    Current Employee - Corporate Legal Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Corporate Legal Assistant in New York, NY

    I have been working at Davis Polk full-time

    Pros

    Given a lot of responsibility upon demonstrating skills

    Cons

    Can be very long hours

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to foster the communication between senior associates and legal assistants

  8.  

    Awesome culture, great experience, friendly people, best place to work in NY Biglaw

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY

    I have been working at Davis Polk full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    People treat you with respect and make a real effort to avoid needless late night and weekend work, firm morale is very high, consensus is that the firm is headed in the right direction and expanding strategically both from a practice area perspective and geographically. Vacation time is absolutely sacred and everyone takes all 4-5 weeks.

    Cons

    Hours can be long and very unpredictable, but this is the nature of the industry. Not a lot of firm-wide events, would be nice to have some more opportunities for social interaction with colleagues.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Great firm and great opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY

    I worked at Davis Polk full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    We will work with talented people. You will have great clients who are able to pay a lot for lawyers. You will have exciting work.

    Cons

    You will work long hours. You will get a lot of training too, but the learning curve is steep and there will be lots of situations where you will have to sink or swim.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    One of the best places to work in Big Law. But you're still working in biglaw.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY

    I have been working at Davis Polk full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The best reason to work at Davis Polk is the people. People are (generally) kind and interested in getting the work done, not interested in embarrassing one another or being rude.

    Cons

    Because people are kind, they often fail to give good feedback for fear of being rude. Also, working in big law is crappy, no matter what firm you work at. Davis Polk is the best of a bad bunch.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management doesn't need my advice, the firm is very well run. Big law is probably in for a decline in the coming years but DPW management is very good and the firm will weather the decline better than most.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    The best place to be a legal assistant in NYC (take that as you will)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Legal Assistant in New York, NY

    I worked at Davis Polk full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -Access to some very high profile cases, most of which you'll read about in the news. The firm counts some of the largest, most powerful companies in the world as its clients. This is a harsh economy for most firms. Not this one. Davis Polk has been around forever and will continue to thrive due to its longstanding corporate relationships.
    -Access to top-notch lawyers. Granted, your face-time with partners will be very limited, but the associates here are cream of the crop. Really valuable for networking/law school recommendations/general advice.
    -Excellent firm culture. No yelling. Some reviewers who are attorneys may complain about how the firm seems "passive aggressive" in that people are very nice but will stab you in the back. I haven't witnessed that firsthand but as a legal assistant you are probably not important enough to have that happen to you. One of the upsides of being low on the food chain is that nobody has any reason to be anything but nice to you.
    -Collegiality: really feels like a team. Managers genuinely care about your workload and will generally stick up for you when you get unreasonable requests.
    -Name recognition: Davis Polk turns heads in the world of law. Sounds superficial but in the legal world, these things matter on your resume.
    -Perks are well above average for law firms: great cafeteria, dinner & car service home on late nights, beautiful building, law school admissions panels for legal assistants, etc.

    All said, this is a good place to work immediately after college. Just don't get stuck for more than 3 years because there are no opportunities for upward mobility without a JD, and salary increases are not significant. I don't know of any other firms of similar type and caliber that have more satisfied legal assistants. Just have realistic expectations when applying--it's a good 'stepping stone' job if you are at least considering law school--and this job will be a great experience.

    Cons

    -Salary. $40k base is tough to live off of in NYC. Overtime helps but you'll have to work hard to see any real savings. No significant bonuses.
    -Work is often unfulfilling and monotonous. This is NOT specific to Davis Polk, but rather a trait of this position across Biglaw.
    -You have to carry around, and check, a Blackberry. You'll get used to it, but you won't stop hating the constant buzzing of incoming emails.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Regular work schedule should be 40 hours/week instead of 35 to help with the salary issue. We don't need to get off at 5:30--we're young and could use the extra $.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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