Lateral Look: Willkie Farr

Where there’s a Will-kie there’s a way! Associates were drawn to this New Yorker’s emphasis on “thoughtful training” and potential to make them a Willkie lifer.

Willkie Farr Lateral Profile 2023

For our associate sources, Willkie provided them with a place to land where they “wouldn’t get lost in the shuffle of BigLaw in New York.” Yes, Willkie was felt to offer big brand recognition (perfect for those resumes) in a firm that didn’t have the “ginormous” proportions that some of its competitors possess in Manhattan.

Associates were particularly happy about how the firm’s cross-border work could give them a glimpse into the “the peculiarities of local law in a European country,” but closer to home Willkie excels in many areas. On the nationwide front, Chambers USA regards Willkie’s private equityinvestment fundsregistered fundsderivatives, and insurance expertise to be up there with the best the country can offer. The firm’s strongest collection of accolades is attributed to its work in New York, but Willkie is making waves in California for its tech transactions know-how and in DC for areas like general commercial litigation and telecoms sector work.

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…

“The firm's culture and mentorship, the white collar practice/partners, the prestige.”

“I chose Willkie because of its incredible transactional practice and its commitment to creating a respectful and supportive work culture. I felt like Willkie was a place that would invest in me both as a person and as an employee.”

“Financial security. Considered other firms ranked "higher" up by different legal outlets, but Willkie conveyed a message of financial prudency. We may not have our own offices until we are 3rd years and beyond, but we never need to think twice about whether the firm will match a bonus or do right by associates/staff during difficult financial times.”


 Career Development & the Path to Partnership



1.9 : 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



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 Willkie 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 people really cared about who they worked with. They wanted Willkie to be a place where people felt comfortable and were generally nice people that weren't out to get or compete against each other.”

“Everyone here is not just polite, but friendly and show real interest in getting to know you as a person. The compensation structure and lack of billable hour requirement demonstrate the firm's commitment to a positive culture.”

“Diversity of partnership (lots of women, but not many BIPOC) and diversity of associates.”


 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


Pro bono highlights: TLDEF, ACLU, Education Counsel (LGBTQ+ rights, healthcare); NVLSP, City Bar Justice Center (veterans assistance); Immigration Equality (asylum); Lawrence Friedman and Robert F. Williams (voting rights)



Learn more about opportunities at the firm

Recruitment contact: Susan Harlow ( for Partners and Counsel candidates

Lesley Stumphauzer ( for New York and DC associates

Tiffany Piccirilli ( for Chicago and Houston associates

Brittany Olson ( for CA associates