Lateral Look: Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Gibson Dunn is one of the largest law firms in the country and global enterprise.

Gibson Dunn began life in LA in 1872. The firm is now a global enterprise, with its largest domestic office in New York and ten overseas bases in key economic centers such as London, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. Across its 80+ rankings in Chambers USA, Gibson picks up numerous top-tier nationwide nods for its antitrustappellate, corporate crime/investigations, product liability, and securities practices (among others). Gibson is widely recognized as a litigation powerhouse across the country, particularly in its home state of California, but also in New York (where it’s ranked in the ‘elite’ category) and DC. It’s also considered world-beating for its corporate investigations and anticorruption work in Chambers Global. And while the firm’s status as a litigation maestro is well known, its transactional credentials are certainly nothing to be sniffed at either: Chambers USA holds the firm’s M&A, energy and real estate teams in very high regard across the country. Gibson Dunn is frequently an exceptional performer in our research. In 2021 the firm made the US top 10 in Associate SatisfactionRetention, and Pro Bono

View the firm's Chambers USA rankings here>>

Why did you choose Gibson Dunn?

“The firm's strength in white collar.”

“Superior litigation department.”

"Camaraderie among the associates, fascinating work, and excellent exit opportunities."

"Strong real estate practice & incredible people."


Strategic recruitment focuses 2022

Corporate careers

Gibson Dunn's corporate practice encompasses M&A/private equity, capital markets, finance, funds, oil & gas, and power & renewables.

The view from the firm: We are an international leader in public and private company mergers, stock and asset purchases, tender and exchange offers, restructurings and acquisitions out of bankruptcy, divestitures and spinoffs, leveraged buyouts and private equity investments, strategic investments and joint ventures, special committee representations and cross-border M&A transactions. Our capital markets practice represents issuers, underwriters and investors in a variety of securities transactions around the world. On the finance side, we represent lenders, borrowers, underwriters and issuers in a range of debt and structured finance transactions, including: leveraged loans, high-yield bond offerings, mezzanine and subordinated debt, project finance, equipment financings, restructurings and securitizations.  Finally, we have extensive experience in the industrial, commercial, financial and political issues that are inherent in the development, financing, construction and operation of major energy, renewables, and infrastructure facilities.

Corporate clients: PepsiCo, General Electric, Kraft Heinz, AT&T, News Corp

Recent highlight: Gibson Dunn represented Pioneer Natural Resources in its $6.4 billion acquisition of private-equity-backed DoublePoint Energy.

Real estate careers

The view from the firm: Our practice handles all aspects of sophisticated real estate transactions worldwide, including real estate finance, development, sales and acquisitions, land use and environmental, leasing and workout transactions.  We have represented clients through high-impact, city-shaping developments in major geographies across the world.

Real estate clients: Rockpoint, Blackstone, Hackman Capital Partners, DivcoWest

Recent highlight: Advised Stockbridgein the $1.9 billion acquisition and financing of a portfolio of 23 warehouse industrial properties.

IP litigation and life sciences careers

The view from the firm: Our practice is known for litigating high-profile, billion-dollar IP disputes, negotiating licenses and joint ventures, navigating regulations governing privacy, trade and the protection of IP and advocating for change in IP law and policy.  We represent many well-known and cutting edge technology firms of varying sizes and stages of development.

IP litigation and life sciences clients: Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Gilead Sciences, Merck, Fitbit, Peloton

Recent highlight: The firm had a trial victory in the International Trade Commission for Fitbit, which was accused of infringing three patents by competitor Philips.

Business restructuring and reorganization careers

The view from the firm: Our lawyers regularly represent official creditors’ committees, ad hoc creditor groups, secured lenders, investors and the debtor/company side (including DIP and exit financing) in out-of-court work-outs and Chapter 11 cases.

Recent highlight: Advising a group of lenders to Mallinckrodt in connection with its chapter 11 cases.

Litigation careers

The view from the firm: Our firm has an award-winning, broad, cutting-edge, and cross-functional litigation practice and welcomes candidates with experiences across the litigation spectrum (e.g., antitrust, appellate, white collar, class actions, environmental, IP, fiduciary litigation, labor & employment, privacy, securities, etc.).  We were American Lawyer's 2020 Litigation Department of the Year and have won in four of the last six years of the biennial competition.

Litigation clients: Apple, Facebook, Walmart, Toyota, The Cartoon Network

Recent highlight: Gibson Dunn secured a complete dismissal of a breach of contract suit against Bob Dylan and Universal Music relating to the singer's sale of his song catalog to Universal in 2020, reportedly for over $300 million.  


Career development & the path to partnership



2.5 : 1


partners made
in 2021

associate : partner 

of junior associates intend to make partner




felt partnership was achievable for attorneys with children strongly agreed the firm’s name adds value to their resume agreed partners
are nurturing
future leaders


The view from the firm: Gibson Dunn’s Professional Development department provides a vast array of support services to the firm’s associates, including confidential 1-1 coaching to associates to help with goal setting, professional challenges, and career development; office-based formal mentoring programs, including mentor circles; new/lateral associate integration programs and on-boarding, including creating resources for navigating the firm’s Free Market System, and providing support through frequent, small-group new associate meetings; over 290+ internal CLE programs each year in collaboration with local training partners; off-site, multi-day New Lawyer and Mid-Level Academies; and frequent check-ins and coaching for new parents and associates on flex time.


Hours & compensation


10 53
average number of vacation days associates took in one year average number of hours associates worked in one week





agreed they had a good work-life balance

said the benefits package makes the workload worthwhile

said the bonus amount was fair



1st year: $205,000
2nd year: $215,000


The view from the firm: We offer compensation and bonuses on a lock-step structure that is competitive with the market. Our flex-time policy allows reduced work schedules with appropriate compensation and we offer up to 18 weeks paid family leave for birth/non-birth parents following birth of baby, including surrogacy, adoption, or foster care. Birthing parents are also eligible for paid Pregnancy Disability Leave, which may include time prior to and following delivery of a baby. Following return from family leave, we offer an automatic 75% schedule, with no adjustment to compensation, for period of 3 months. We have a flexible remote work policy and attorneys have unlimited vacation days. On top of that, we invest in our attorneys' wellness, with a dedicated Wellness team, wraparound mental health services, and concierge medical services. Attorneys target around 1,950 billable plus pro bono hours per year.


Is Gibson Dunn the right firm for you?





said they’d chosen the right firm

were happy in their current role

felt comfortable being themselves

The view from the firm: We hire laterally to fill active practice group needs and to make opportunistic investments in people we believe will be successful long-term. We look for attorneys who have distinguished themselves through their substantive practice (with relevant and top-notch experience) and through their citizenship, whether that’s involvement in enhancing their prior firm’s culture and inclusivity, or helping their community at large. We hire laterally at all levels and in all practices, as appropriate.  Above all, we look for attorneys who are willing to embrace agency in their career path and demonstrate professionalism in their work.

What stands out about the firm's culture?

“The entrepreneurial spirit fostered by the free market system.”

"Associate are treated like adults, meaning there is nobody looking over your shoulder to make sure you're getting things done, or that you're in the office a certain amount of time."

"Everyone that I met seemed like someone I would still want to get a drink with after a long day at the office."

"Gibson seems to put a premium on hiring smart, warm people."


Diversity, inclusion and wellbeing






reported strong performance in inclusivity training

reported strong mentoring from diverse role models

of partners are women

of associates identify as ethnically diverse


The view from the firm: Gibson Dunn is deeply committed to the promotion of diversity and inclusion. We intend to be a leader among our peers in our efforts to have a truly integrated workplace. We are proud of our diverse leadership led by our first female Chair and Managing Partner Barbara Becker who has assembled a diverse leadership team.  Currently, we have 42% diversity on the Executive Committee, 40% on the Management Committee, 54% of the Partners-in-Charge of our offices and 40% practice groups heads.  We are likewise proud of our diverse workforce and consistently work to recruit and support a new and diverse generation of lawyers through training, frequent internal programs, and our Racial Justice initiatives.  


Pro bono




average pro bono
per US attorney    

    strongly agreed the firm
is committed to pro bono


The view from the firm: Gibson Dunn is committed to pro bono and provides one-to-one billable credit, with no cap.  The pro bono practice is headed by New York-based Partner & Pro Bono Chair, as well as the Firm’s global Pro Bono Committee.  The firm’s extensive pro bono efforts, which regularly exceed 100 hours per lawyer, focus on issues including racial justice, immigration, criminal justice reform, small business assistance, LGBTQ rights, veterans advocacy, international human rights, and constitutional rights. In 2021, Gibson Dunn immediately leapt into action in response to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, assisting hundreds of clients seeking safety in the United States.


Sustainability and CSR

The view from the firm: Gibson Dunn is committed to advancing environmental, social and governance issues.  We have an internal ESG Committee that works to promote green initiatives in all offices.  Our incredible pro bono platform provides opportunities for lawyers to work on exciting and innovative matters to advance human rights, environmental protection, diversity and equal access to justice.  We provide financial support to charitable and law-related organizations advancing important and relevant issues in these areas.  We also work with our vendors and suppliers to advance sustainability and diversity, and are active members of the Law Firm Sustainability Network and the Legal Sustainability Alliance.



See opportunities at the firm here>>

Applicants should apply through the website portal or contact the Recruiting Professional in their Gibson Dunn office here >>