Davis Polk Reviews | Glassdoor

Davis Polk Reviews

Updated May 17, 2018
90 reviews

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4.0
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Davis Polk Managing Partner Thomas J. Reid
Thomas J. Reid
33 Ratings

90 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great place to be an associate, great colleagues (in 9 reviews)

  • The people are very nice people and expectations are generally reasonable (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Long hours, but to be expected in the position (OT significant boost to salary) (in 14 reviews)

  • Little room for growth and career advancement (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good Litigation Experience"

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

    I have been working at Davis Polk full-time

    Pros

    Great place to be an associate, great colleagues

    Cons

    Some matters can be tedious and drag for years


  2. "Decent people, tough work environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Summer Associate
    Former Employee - Summer Associate
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Davis Polk full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Everyone I worked with seemed like a decent person and all were quite smart, no one was out to get each other which I've heard is an issue at some other firms.

    Cons

    The traditional law firm structure creates a real class divide between associates and partners, and leaves the associates scrambling to please partners. There's not much control over the sort of work you do and much of it isn't overly stimulating.

  3. "Good place to get trained, but no long-term prospects"

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

    I worked at Davis Polk full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice people. Interesting work. Top name clients.

    Cons

    No real long-term prospects. Vast majority of associates get pushed out with little notice. Health insurance is terrible.


  4. "No balance"

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

    I worked at Davis Polk full-time

    Pros

    Some senior associates enjoy lawyering and teaching.

    Cons

    Expect to receive new projects if you bill less than 10-14 hours any single day, even if you have too many deadlines coming up or a personal event one night. Solution some people have discovered is to not release hours for weeks. Others work slowly and drag small assignments for hours. Brilliant minds are squeezed out for low hours; people with even low knowledge can be on partner track if they have high hours. Lack of personal life, rather than performance, is rewarded.

    Advice to Management

    Shift focus from hours to quality of work, knowledge (vs. lack of escalation) and reward efficiency.


  5. "Professional Development Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Davis Polk full-time

    Pros

    Great team. Very nice people to work with.

    Cons

    Upward mobility difficult as senior management has been there for many, many years.

    Advice to Management

    Create intermediary titles to develop and retain talent.


  6. "Associate"

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

    I have been working at Davis Polk full-time

    Pros

    Good culture; people generally very nice; high caliber work.

    Cons

    Hours can be brutal (but not more than at peer firms); technology should be more up to date.

    Advice to Management

    Spend more money on technology.


  7. "Great place to work; very demanding"

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

    I have been working at Davis Polk full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great variety of work and polite atmosphere

    Cons

    Crushing workload and on call at all times

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Mid-Level Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Davis Polk full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    High prestige (particularly in corporate practices) / working on major deals.

    Reasonably strong exit opportunities (again, particularly from corporate practices).

    Partnership prospects are actually decent if that's what you want and you're willing stick around for 10 years and work 2500+ hours indefinitely. Counsel is also a genuine option.

    Culture that requires people to be decent and polite.

    May vary by group, but mine has little face-time expectation. At least some successful associates often work from home.

    Lockstep partnership comp gives groups incentive to work well together, and partners incentive to share resources efficiently. Good for associates not to be fought over by partners who have their own eat-kill comp in mind.

    Good client contact for talented and trustworthy associates (depending on group).

    Comp and parental leave are at market.

    Fine cafeteria with discounts.

    No minimum hours for on-market bonus. If your department has a slow year, you don't have to worry about losing comp. (But also no extra bonus if you have a heavy year.)

    Cons

    Space is broken. There are sixth-years who are still sharing offices, and large meetings are nearly impossible to schedule. Way off market, and partners seem oblivious. Management appears to have head in sand; seems to be waiting for extra space to magically open up in our cut-rate building.

    Departments vary on treatment of vacations. Some give coverage (but often only for longer trips), some don't. Weekend instant-availability expectations worse than average biglaw.

    Process management is oddly weak given the caliber of people, but maybe par for biglaw. Not a point of emphasis and it shows. They have a training for 1/3/5-year associates, but don't do enough to free people up to attend. Partners who came up internally don't have the expertise to improve matters.

    Good pro bono opportunities are there (especially in Lit) but not as integrated into the firm's work as elsewhere. (Separate assignment process, little partner involvement.)

    Advice to Management

    Quit hoping for a long-term deal with the landlord, and find a permanent solution to the space crisis.

    Increase tech support staffing by a factor of ≈2. The IT folks have the right skills, but they're often too much in a rush to dig into problems.


  9. "Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    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 (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -Outstanding, talented colleagues with good hearts
    -Significant responsibility and client contact early in career
    -Interesting work

    Cons

    -Any cons are systemic to Big Law (hours, unpredictability, etc.)


  10. "Top-Notch Firm"

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

    I have been working at Davis Polk full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Professional environment, top-notch lawyers, high stakes litigation

    Cons

    Long hours, not much variety in cases


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