Lateral Look: Mayer Brown

Chicago’s Mayer Brown is a global brand with a triple thread of leading finance, corporate and litigation practices.

Mayer Brown Lateral Profile 2023

There can be many reasons for joining a law firm. You might choose Mayer Brown, for instance, because you grew up in Chicago and like the firm’s “Midwestern feel” and brand of camaraderie. Or, as this associate explained, you might be “drawn by the intellectual curiosity of the firm’s attorneys and how they support research, thought leadership, and new areas of law.” 

An examination of Chambers USA reveals that Mayer Brown’s strong suits on a nationwide scale are techprojectsprivacyconsumer finance regulationtax, and capital markets work. MB’s global reach extends across the Americas, Asia, and Europe, but in the US most of the associates in our sample were in the ChicagoNew YorkDC, and Charlotte offices.

View the firm’s Chambers USA rankings

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

Associates say…

“Great reputation, global platform with mid-size office, culture and people, great pay, substantial responsibility as associate.”

“Excellent reputation for associate development and great culture and environment.”

“I choose Mayer Brown because the firm works in a multitude of fields, and I thought it would be a great experience to work on a wide breath of projects.”


Strategic Recruitment Focuses 2023


Banking & finance careers

Finance clients: HSBC Ventures USA; BNP Paribas Securities Corp.; BMO Harris Bank

Recent highlight: Represented Morgan Stanley as the tax equity investor in a battery storage system project in Riverside, California. 


Tech & life sciences careers

Tech & life sciences clients: Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation; General Motors Company; Groupon

Recent highlight: Represented General Motors in its joint venture with LG Energy Solutions to build a $2.3 billion electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Tennessee.


M&A & capital markets careers

Capital markets clients: Barclays; JP Morgan; Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp

Recent highlight: Represented clean energy FinTech company Solar Mosaic in two asset-backed security deals.


Funds careers

Funds clients: Tiedemann Advisors; Fiera Capital; Pagaya Investments


Disputes & corporate investigations careers

Disputes clients: Simmons Bank; Meta; AT&T

Recent highlight: Representing 3M Company in over 2,500 suits that have been filed by a mix of individuals, water suppliers, and strands of state and local governments.


Projects & infrastructure careers

Projects & infrastructure clients: Alabama Department of Transportation; Citigroup Capital Markets; State of Illinois

Recent highlight: Representing Gateway Program Development Corporation on a multi-billion dollar investment program to update rail infrastructure along the 'Northeast Corridor'.


 International & Secondment Opportunities

Common secondment destinations: All Mayer Brown overseas offices (including London; Hong Kong; Singapore; Tokyo; China; Dubai)

Overseas career development opportunities (view from the firm): Mayer Brown supports the career development of our associates by providing long and short term secondments to domestic and overseas offices.

Short Term Secondments: Short Term Secondees (STS) are seconded to one of the firm’s overseas offices or to a client in a country other than their home country for a specific period of time to conduct business on behalf of the firm, with the intention of returning to their home country upon completion of that secondment. This program will usually be applied to lawyers and staff.

Long Term Secondments: Long Term Secondees (LTS) are seconded to one of the firm’s overseas offices or to a client in a country other than their home country for a specific period of time to conduct business on behalf of the firm, with the intention of returning to their home country upon completion of that secondment.


 Career Development & the Path to Partnership



1.1 : 1


partners 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: The firm offers:

  • Associate development programs focusing on communication, relationship building, and management skills targeted at appropriate levels under the firm’s global associate competencies. 
  • Career development coaching for those seeking further career development support and/or on a partnership track. Six complimentary sessions per year available to all US associates with one of the firm's external professional coaching providers.
  • Group coaching for mid-level & junior associates providing career development support and the opportunity to connect with peers across offices and practice groups.
  • An internal career development advisor with 1:1 coaching. Common topics include firm integration and advancement, career transitions, internal and external networking, and business development.


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: $215,000

3rd year: $225,000

4th year: $250,000

5th year: $295,000

6th year: $345,000

7th year: $370,000

8th year: $400,000

9th year: $415,000


The view from the firm: The firm has several policies in place surrounding flexible working and wellness, including:

  • Alternative Work Schedules Policy: The alternative work schedule policy is designed to strike an appropriate balance between the needs of attorneys and the business and economic needs of the firm, while ensuring that the firm continues to meet the demands and expectations of clients. Compensation for associates and counsel working on alternative schedules will be established in the same manner as that for attorneys working a traditional full-time schedule but will be adjusted on a pro rata basis to reflect the percentage of hours agreed upon for the alternative work schedule in the upcoming year.

  • Flexible working policy: The firm offers a flexible work schedule with a 3:2 approach taken for most US offices.

  • Quality of life policies: Mayer Brown announced that it has signed on to the American Bar Association (ABA)’s Well-Being Pledge to support efforts to improve general wellness, including the reduction substance abuse and mental illness in the legal profession. The firm is committed to fostering a healthy work environment, and it has implemented a well-being initiative that incorporates educational programs to raise awareness and provide resources to all lawyers and staff.


 Is Mayer Brown the right firm for you?




were happy in their current role

     agreed the work is interesting

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

“The approachability of associates, counsel and partners and the flexibility with respect to projects and workload.”

“The firm has a reputation that it lives up to of being less toxic or hierarchical.”

“Transparency and candidness in communications; efforts to promote diversity (acknowledging that they are still long ways to improve this at the firm).”


 Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing





reported strong performance in inclusivity training

of partners are women

of associates identify as ethnically diverse



Pro Bono




average pro bono
per US attorney    

    agreed the firm is committed to pro bono


The view from the firm: The firm has a long standing initiative to have every lawyer perform at least 20 hours of pro bono. Pro bono is a critical component of the legal profession, and each year, Mayer Brown devotes tens of thousands of hours to providing legal services for the poor and disadvantaged and the organizations that serve them, and to protecting civil liberties and human rights. As a result of this work, the firm's pro bono program has received significant recognition and numerous awards.

Pro bono highlights: Project Equity (firm initiative); Asian University for Women (asylum); Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights/ACLU of North Carolina



Learn more about opportunities at the firm

Recruitment contact: Ashley Hamilton, (attorney recruitment)

Nancy Gray, (partner recruitment)