Lateral Look: Kramer Levin

Kramer’s aggressive expansion approach hasn’t stopped it from Levin la vida loca: “It understands the importance of work-life balance.”

Kramer Levin Lateral Profile 2023

The firm’s litigious reputation is already well established and Chambers USA gives it top marks for general commercial litigation, immigration, elite white-collar crime & government investigations, advertising, and corporate crime & investigations practices. 

However, the firm’s expansion and expertise aren’t purely litigious. On its list of 28 second- and third-year juniors, over 40% were laterals. Of those, none were in litigation, while every one of its six corporate attorneys were laterals, as were the majority of IP and real estate hires – suggesting a firm looking to meet higher demand in its transactional practices.

View the firm’s Chambers USA rankings

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

Associates say…

“I chose Kramer Levin because of its strong litigation practice, particularly in white collar matters, unique commitment to pro bono and history serving the LGBT community, and its friendly and informal culture.”

“It offers BigLaw feels in a close-knit environment, comprised of wonderful folks and great work!”

“Kramer Levin differentiated itself from the other BigLaw firm I was considering through its unlimited pro bono billing policy. Additionally, the junior associates I met with seemed genuinely happy with their experience at the firm due to their work life balance.”


Career Development & the Path to Partnership



2 : 1


partner made in 2022

associate : partner gearing

of associates intend to make partner




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


The view from the firm: 

Encouraging our attorneys to have choices that work for their practices is key to our career development.  We have the following policies in place to support their development:

  •        Attorneys have an annual allowance of $1,250 that can be used for:
    •        CLE programs
    •        Professional membership and bar association dues
    •        Professional development activities and/or events

To support attorney BD efforts, the firm provides a client-relationship spending account for special counsel and all associates in their second year and above. The allowance is for self-directed business development activities, which may be used to entertain both current and potential clients.

Becoming a more diverse and inclusive workplace is a strategic priority, and the firm values every voice and perspective to move forward together.

Every attorney is assigned a Career Advisor Partner that will provide mentorship and guidance in their career.

The development process cannot take place in a vacuum. Feedback is an essential component of development and career satisfaction. Accordingly, we provide formal, constructive evaluations as well as informal feedback after assignments.


Hours & Compensation





billable hours

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

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: The firm awards discretionary associate bonuses in amounts determined annually. Eligibility to receive an annual bonus will be based on (i) the achievement of a Bonus Hours Threshold and (ii) an assessment of merit.

Pro bono and community service are integral to Kramer Levin’s practice and culture. All time spent on pro bono matters involving legal work will be counted toward bonus eligible time.  We encourage our lawyers to pursue the pro bono work most meaningful to them — and their passions have fostered broad involvement in such areas as political asylum, LGBT rights, domestic violence, housing and homelessness, criminal trials and appeals, service to nonprofit groups and microentrepreneurs, and more. 

The firm’s hybrid work environment has created an opportunity for our firm to reimagine what I possible for our firm: safeguarding the parts of our culture that have anchored us through the years, incorporating more inclusive practice and being even more intentional about how we work together.


Is Kramer the right firm for you?




were happy in their current role

     agreed the work is interesting

The view from the firm: At Kramer Levin, we regularly seek out and hire qualified lateral attorneys. Whether in response to the needs of existing practice groups or in creating new practice groups to further the firm’s expansion plans, experienced lawyers are welcome to join us in what we consider to be a collegial, unpretentious environment.
As a new associate, you will be encouraged to become as well-rounded as possible in your chosen field. Partners will work with you to provide a wide variety of assignments.

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

“It has a boutique feel despite its size, there is little sense of hierarchy, and partners and associates at all levels are eager to get to know you.”

“There's a small-firm culture here. Nothing is too extravagant and I can joke with the managing partner in the hallway.”

“When I met with the people, I felt comfortable and like I could sit with them for hours in the grind. All of that is true and more. Plus, one benefit of Kramer Levin's unwavering and genuine commitment to pro bono is that there are tons of people who genuinely care about the world around them.”

“There is no requirement to stay late in the office. The firm understands the importance of a good work life balance. Many people go home at a reasonable hour to be with family and then will log back on later in the evening.”


Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing





reported strong performance in inclusivity training

of partners are women

identify as ethnically diverse

 Pro Bono




average pro bono
per US attorney    

    agreed the firm is committed to pro bono


Pro bono highlights: Racial Justice Initiative; Pro Bono Clinics; Brooklyn Legal Services (immigration)



Learn more about opportunities at the firm

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