Lateral Look: Morgan Lewis

Variety is the spice of life at full-service Philly native Morgan Lewis, which offers summer associates a spread of global practices.

Morgan Lewis Lateral Profile 2023

This Philadelphian native does not disappoint when it comes to big clients with big matters, and the firm’s rankings from Chambers USA provide a nice snapshot of the variety on offer. It gets top national accolades in capital markets (securitization), corporate crime and investigations, corporate/M&A, nuclear energy, international trade (sanctions), investment funds, labor and employment, retail, and tax. Labor and employment is something of a standout area, with additional top regional rankings in DC, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

The firm also bags top region-level rankings in environment in California, immigration in DC, antitrust and hedge funds in Massachusetts, life sciences in New Jersey, bankruptcy in New York, healthcare in Texas, and white-collar crime in Washington. This gives you an impression not only of the spread of practices, but of the firm’s geographical reach too. Incoming associates are housed across 13 of the firm’s 18 US offices, with Philadelphia, New York, DC, Boston, and San Francisco taking in the bulk. The firm has 13 offices overseas.

View the firm’s Chambers USA rankings

Read the firm’s Inside View feature on junior associate life

Why did you join your firm? Associates say…

“I chose Morgan Lewis because of the people. To me, work in BigLaw is what it is – it’s the people that differentiate the firms. And at Morgan Lewis, the people are the best in the industry – the most incredible teachers and mentors as well as kind and wonderful friends, all which creates an extremely tight-knit community vibe.”

“It’s incredible. It has great leadership, robust practices, tons of opportunities to do meaningful work, and a great support system to keep growing.”

“Not only is Morgan Lewis an elite firm in terms of its clientele, legal work, and revenue, but the firm also genuinely cares about “soft” metrics such as diversity, pro bono, and a congenial firm culture. Morgan Lewis truly walks the walk.”


 Career Development & the Path to Partnership



1.4 : 1


partners made in 2022

associate : partner gearing

of junior associates intend to make partner




felt partnership was achievable for attorneys with children agreed partners
are nurturing
future leaders


The view from the firm: At Morgan Lewis, we offer robust, level-specific professional skills training, and trainings on business development and business basics. We also gather our attorneys at certain points in their careers to attend in-person, multi-day academies where they have opportunities to participate in in-depth training and connect with their colleagues across the firm. To further support our attorneys, we have an in-house attorney coach associates can use as a resource to discuss career goals, performance feedback, and much more with. Morgan Lewis is an accredited CLE provider in multiple jurisdictions and has a dedicated team that provides the guidance and support quality CLE programming for both internal and external clients, as well as helps our attorneys track and fulfil their CLE requirements. The firm also offers a variety of resources to support mentorship such as targeted training and resources for mentors and mentees alike, organized connection opportunities, and a regular budgets associates can use to invite their mentors to coffees, lunches, etc. Our practice groups and lawyer networks also have targeted mentorship opportunities, as well as formal diversity sponsorship programs. 



Hours & Compensation


no requirement



billable hours

average number of vacation days associates took in one year

average number of hours associates worked in one week




agreed they have a good work-life balance

said the benefits package makes the workload worthwhile

found the bonus allocation fair and transparent




1st year: $215,000

2nd year: $225,000

3rd year: $250,000

4th year: $295,000

5th year: $345,000

6th year: $370,000

7th year: $400,000

8th year: $415,000


The view from the firm: Our firm has long appreciated the benefits of flexibility while also recognizing the value of being together in the office. We adopted a hybrid approach which encourages our lawyers come into the office two to three days a week, with Wednesdays being “all-in” days. In that same spirit, the well-being of our employees is top of mind. The firm’s MLWell program collates resources to help support employee physical, intellectual, community, emotional, and occupational well-being.

Historically, our pay and bonus structure has been lockstep and in line with the current market. To receive a bonus associates should meet the firm’s performance and hours expectations, and pro bono commitment for the year. There is no cap on pro bono hours that can receive credit toward total billable hours. In addition, we offer up to 50 D&I billable hours credit for efforts that further the firm’s proactive efforts to champion diversity and inclusion. For those who take an extended leave of absence, a ramp-up ramp/down benefit is in place to provide billable hours credit preparing for and returning from a leave to help ease the transition of ramping down and back up.


 Is Morgan Lewis the right firm for you?





were happy in their current role

agreed the work is interesting

agreed they have a good level of responsibility

The view from the firm: At Morgan Lewis, we hire the majority of our entry level talent through our firm’s robust summer associate program. We also continuously seek high quality, lateral talent across all our practices and offices.


We asked survey respondents what stands out about the firm’s culture?

“All of the attorneys want to work together - there is no awkwardness or coldness, and there’s a strong sense of acceptance of every individual as they are. Everyone takes their work seriously and engages with it meaningfully, while still reflecting on the importance of taking time for yourself.”

“Morgan Lewis has a very team-oriented culture; it’s not “my client”, it’s “our client.” This type of attitude permeates throughout the firm.”

“Unlike other BigLaw firms, Morgan Lewis is not a sink-or-swim culture. People here take it as more than a place to work; it’s really about collaboration and community. Once you’re a part of the firm, you’re treated as a member of the family, and you really get as much back from the firm as you put in.”


 Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing






reported strong performance in inclusivity training


of partners are women

of associates identify as ethnically diverse


The view from the firm: We recently launched a formal DEI Billable Hour Credit Program that reinforces our longtime commitment to DEI. All lawyers are permitted to record up to 50 hours billable time annually on an FTE basis on approved activities which contribute to our culture of DEI. These include areas like our diversity recruiting efforts, leadership and active engagement of a Lawyer Network or Mobilizing for Equality working group, and partnering with clients on activities organized through our client teams.

Together with the leaders of our nine affinity networks, we developed and implemented a two-pronged programming approach to celebrate, educate, and cultivate DEI at the firm. We want our affinity networks to serve as a “safe” environment and educate our broader population who are interested in learning and participating in allyship.

We also host DEI workshops for our diverse associates and our Hispanic/Latino Lawyer Network is hosting a series of business development training opportunities for associates in collaboration with the firm’s business development team. The series is designed to highlight best practices and get associates thinking more about incorporating valuable business development skills into their everyday routine.


Pro Bono




average pro bono
per US attorney    

    agreed the firm is committed to pro bono


Pro bono highlights: Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice and the Civil Rights & Restorative Justice Project (racial justice); National Center for Domestic Violence; Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition


 Sustainability & CSR

The view from the firm: Our lawyers and professional staff lead our firmwide sustainability initiatives and serve as ambassadors for the cause. Our global ML Sustainability Working Group meets regularly to assess local internal sustainability practices, exchange knowledge, innovate ways to engage in environmentally friendly practices, institute accountability, and propel our campaigns forward.

We are a member of the Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy initiative, a law firm–led effort that matches nonprofits and startups working in the field of environmental sustainability with law firms providing pro bono legal services. We have committed to providing pro bono legal services for ongoing and new environmentally related matters valued at $500,000 or more over a two-year period. Most recently, Morgan Lewis collaborated with the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) to undertake an Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) research project in the EU and UK. On their behalf, Morgan Lewis responded to ESG and capital markets-related questions in the EU. Morgan Lewis also advised on some related French Supreme Court decisions and on next envisaged steps.



Learn more about opportunities at the firm

Recruitment contact: Hillary Maropis, Director, Attorney Recruiting