Lateral Look: Simpson Thacher

New York giant Simpson Thacher delivers elite corporate work worldwide without the ego.

Simpson Thacher Lateral Profile 2023

In the world of Big Apple BigLaw, Simpson Thacher stands out for its mega clients and hefty transactional weight. STB has been awarded ‘elite’ status by Chambers USA for its corporate/M&A work, and this reputation was certainly attractive to associates. “In terms of high-level corporate work, Simpson would be at the top,” one interviewee explained. “We have continued to advise on some of the market’s largest transactions and disputes,” Executive Committee Chair Alden Millard tells us, reflecting on the past year. “For instance, in the highly publicized Twitter-Elon Musk transaction, we represented Twitter’s board on both corporate and litigation matters. We were also counsel on Change Healthcare’s widely reported nearly $14 billion merger with UnitedHealth Group.”

STB is no one-trick pony and can handle a variety of complex litigious matters, too. Strengths on this side of the coin include securities litigationinsurance cases, and corporate crime and investigations – all of which come with top-tier nationwide approval in Chambers USA

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…

“Truly high caliber corporate work, excellent training opportunities, mentorship, and the down-to-earth, kind, intelligent people there.”

“Good reputation; prestigious; interesting work and clientele; relationship with people; pay and benefits; rotation program.”

“I chose STB because I wanted a strong corporate practice in DC. There aren't many firms in DC with the corporate strength of NY firms, but I believe Simpson is one of them. I was particularly interested in the more SEC-facing corporate groups like our capital markets and registered funds groups.”


International & Secondment Opportunities

Client secondments: The firm offers associates the opportunity to be seconded to clients on a case-by-case basis.

Overseas career development opportunities (view from the firm): Simpson attorneys share knowledge across practice and regions.  International office placements/rotations are considered on a case-by-case basis based on the business needs of clients and the firm. 


 Career Development & the Path to Partnership



3.6 : 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 multi-day conferences at the first, third, and fifth years to mark key career transition points, internal and external coaching programs, practice group and firm-wide programs, and online training. Simpson also offers Development Mentor Program and a NY Corporate Advisor Program. Incoming associates are assigned partner and associate mentors and lawyers at all levels actively participate in mentoring efforts.


 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 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


 Is Simpson Thacher 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 first thing the Managing Partner said to me when welcoming me to the firm, before getting into work expectations, confidentiality rules, etc., was that "here, we are nice". It has been an effective effort of 'top-down' culture setting, because we do have a very cordial/friendly/collaborative/fun work environment."

“Emphasis on training. Welcome environment for intellectual-types.”

“The partners were as friendly and social as the associates and I could tell that there was a strong sense of comradery within each practice group.”


 Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing





reported strong performance in inclusivity training

of partners are women

of associates identify as ethnically diverse


The view from the firm: The firm launched a Diversity Sponsorship Pilot Program to invest in the long-term careers of diverse 4th year associates. The Program has been designed to include specific action plans for participants to develop their skills and build connections with senior diverse attorneys over the course of 16 months. Launched this past summer, the Pilot Women’s Leadership Cohort Program ran from May 2022 through January 2023 and was designed for our 4-6th year female associates. The Firm retained gender equity and parity leader Susan Dunlap, from the Women’s Leadership Forum, to provide support and expertise to the women participating in the Program. Both Programs align with our strategic plan to retain, develop, and advance the careers of female lawyers.


 Pro Bono




average pro bono
per US attorney    

    agreed the firm is committed to pro bono


Pro bono highlights: American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Mississippi and Southern Poverty Law Center (civil/voting rights); Legal Aid of Louisville, Legal Aid Society of New York, Legal Aid DC, the Promise of Justice Initiative, the Innocence Project, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office (criminal justice and conviction relief)



Learn more about opportunities at the firm

Recruitment contacts:

New York: Catherine Sparks

Lateral Recruiting Manager

Email Address:


Houston: Jessica Jones

Manager, Legal Recruiting & Associate Life

Email Address:


London: Natalie Koenig

Senior Recruitment Manager

Email Address:


Los Angeles: Sonja Kehnt

Senior Manager, HR & Legal Recruiting

Email Address:


Palo Alto: Lauren Adriani

Director of Legal Talent – Regional Strategy

Email Address:


Washington, D.C.: Lindsay Rance

Manager, Legal Recruiting & Associate Life

Email Address: