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Davis Polk Reviews

Updated February 11, 2018
86 reviews

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

86 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • A great place to start, either in the legal or financial service field (in 8 reviews)

  • great people, challenging work, market compensation (in 6 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. "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.)


  2. "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.

  3. "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.


  4. "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


  5. "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.


  6. "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


  7. "Associate"

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

    I have been working at Davis Polk full-time

    Pros

    Exit opportunities, mentors in senior associates, friendships with juniors associates, $ amount on deals

    Cons

    Long hours, FaceTime requirement, constant and unnecessary stress, partners don't want to teach, personal life not valued

    Advice to Management

    Ease up on FaceTime requirement, grow prioritization, project management and people management skills in senior associates

  8. "Administrative Assistant"

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

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

    Pros

    8 hour workday with 1 hour for lunch

    Cons

    not much room for advancement


  9. "Legal Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Davis Polk full-time

    Pros

    Kind work place environment - great place to work.

    Cons

    None - they do a great job of providing an amazing work environment.

    Advice to Management

    None


  10. "Associate"

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

    I have been working at Davis Polk full-time

    Pros

    Good place to work and learn.

    Cons

    Very stressful day with high expectations from your team.


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