Cravath Swaine Reviews | Glassdoor

Cravath Swaine Reviews

Updated March 9, 2018
72 reviews

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3.5
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Approve of CEO
Cravath Swaine Presiding Partner Evan R. Chesler
Evan R. Chesler
28 Ratings

72 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great people; great benefits; stability (in 7 reviews)

  • If you're on a busy team, like I was, you will be worked hard, but live very comfortably -- expensed transportation and dinner after 8pm and good pay (in 5 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. "Challenging but interesting"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cravath Swaine full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Intelligent colleagues and interesting work. It was exciting to be doing cutting edge projects.

    Cons

    Long hours. Sometimes the deadlines were a bit crazy although this was largely because of the clients.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on the future of law and technology because that is where the practice is heading. This is important.


  2. "Great benefits and good pay, but difficult culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cravath Swaine full-time

    Pros

    Cravath offers great employee benefits, and as a legal assistant living in NYC, it is nice to know that overtime starts after 35 hours (this is pretty huge considering that most companies start overtime after 40). If you're on a busy team, like I was, you will be worked hard, but live very comfortably -- expensed transportation and dinner after 8pm and good pay. Although my base salary was 43k, I made almost double that year with the amount of overtime. However, this is in reverse correlation to my work-life balance, which was awful. I spent more weekends than I can count in the office.

    Cons

    In addition to the drawbacks I mentioned above, there is a very competitive culture at the firm. It isn't uncommon to be guilted into staying later than necessary for various reasons. Some teams are better than others in this regard, but the long-standing emphasis on perfection at the firm makes it difficult to stand up against unreasonable demands. These extremely high expectations coupled with attorneys obsessed with attaining partnership, creates a very high pressure environment in which it is not uncommon to see teammates throw each other under the bus when necessary. The most difficult part about this is that often times the people who do this are not inherently mean people (there are exceptions). They are just under a lot of pressure. Every team at Cravath is unique. Admittedly, I was on a team that was notorious throughout the entire firm for being difficult to work. It is possible to have a positive experience here, but it won't be on that team.

  3. "Toxic"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cravath Swaine full-time

    Pros

    Pay, work hours, benefits

    Cons

    This place is toxic and extremely racist. People of color beware! No one takes responsibility for their mistakes and would rather blame someone under them. The people are toxic. They act like work is high school and throw people under the bus just because they don't like the person. Beware of this place. Do not let the money and the benefits fool you. Love yourself and find a better place to work. There are multiple firms in new york who can offer the same thing but with a better culture.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees with respect. Stop acting like people who work under you are less human than you are.


  4. "Attorney"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cravath Swaine full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Fast-paced; high caliber cases; independence and a lot of responsibilities

    Cons

    No work-life balance; demanding atmosphere


  5. "Security"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cravath Swaine part-time

    Pros

    Pay is good, on the job training is a plus.

    Cons

    Very rigid with company policies, not open to realistic changes.

    Advice to Management

    Dont make part time employees do mandatory training on days off. Treat all employees with respect and listen to ideas for change. Former Assistant manager/ now 4-12 supervisor has no law enforcement history or experience therefore unable to relate to staff which is 90% retired law Enforcement.


  6. "Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent training and market leader in legal market

    Cons

    depending on work load can have long hours


  7. "Cravath is a nice, stable place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Overall, Cravath is a great place to work. Most of the staff members are friendly and helpful. Everyone knows Cravath to be one of the most prestigious law firms in the country, but despite the image of cut-throat, corporate firm, most of the partners are actually very nice to the support staff. I met with many senior partners on projects and always felt comfortable. Really nice cafeteria with a view of midtown and usually a nice selection of breakfast, lunch and snack options. One of the best things about Cravath is the leniency for taking coffee/snack breaks (within reason) but it seems like management appreciates the staff enough to let them take a break here and there during a stressful workday.

    Cons

    Nothing particular; some managers can micromanage (but that can happen anywhere) but overall everyone seems helpful and genuine, working to uphold the firm's reputation.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work! I really enjoyed working at Cravath!

  8. "Best of the best"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Cravath Swaine full-time

    Pros

    Collegial environment, smart people, and prestige

    Cons

    The dress code is business professional.


  9. "Very Traditional"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Cravath Swaine full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits (excellent health insurance), good yearly bonuses, good cafeteria.

    Cons

    Adherence to tradition encouraged and rewarded.

    Advice to Management

    Get some new blood in management and shake things up a bit.


  10. "People are depressed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Paralegal in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Paralegal in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cravath Swaine full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good pay. Good resume booster, name recognition, and benefits.

    Cons

    Attorneys are not screened for likability. You have so many awkward and mean attorneys that you know will never make partner. Associates work their butt off for partners, but in the end most associates are terrible with people and thus will likely not attract clients (part of the reason why so few make partner!). Partners yell at associates. Associates yell at paralegals. The chain goes on. Nobody is happy, and the hours are terrible.

    Advice to Management

    Creating a culture of respect and kindness would go a long way toward retaining associates and staff.


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