Greenberg Traurig, PA - The Inside View

A state-of-the-art real estate practice with global reach is just the tip of the Greenberg for this multifaceted firm.

Temperatures aren't the only thing soaring in Miami - so is its legal scene! For many associates thinking of practicing in The Magic City, Greenberg Traurig was a name they were familiar with: “They have a big presence nationally, but also particularly in Miami, and I wanted something dynamic in the area.” Not only that, but GT is well-known for its real estate prowess too: “it's our bread and butter.”

“If you want a lot of responsibility early on, then you’ve come to the right place."

But you’d be remiss to assume that the firm is a one-trick pony. in fact, our sister guide, Chambers USA, has recognized GT in numerous regions for a variety of practice areas. This includes strong performance in real estate, corporate/M&A, litigation, labor & employment, bankruptcy/restructuring, environment, tax, construction, immigration,banking & finance,insurance,life sciences,privacy & data security,andretail across 34 offices stateside. GT’s also got a further eight international offices in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia. That’s quite the haul for the firm, and associates attribute GT’s success to its “approach to law being a little different – it’s less hierarchical, and it boasts a more entrepreneurial approach.” This sentiment was echoed often and because of it, our sources felt as though “development is fast here, we’re trained to view things differently.” Or as one newbie quipped: “If you want a lot of responsibility early on, then you’ve come to the right place."

Strategy & Future



Diane Ibrahim, Senior Vice President and Managing Shareholder,  tells us about GT’s ever-expanding international presence: “We’re continuing to grow, but we do not grow for growth's sake, we grow organically as it makes sense for the firm's business. Our focus on hiring attorneys has always been to address client needs with talented and dedicated professionals.” In addition to general growth, Ibrahim speaks to the firm’s awareness of the increasing presence of AI. “It’s touching virtually all professions, markets and sectors,” she explains. “We've set AI policies and provide training on AI's use, risks and benefits to all of our attorneys, recognizing that it's not a substitute for human judgment.” Despite Ibrahim’s enthusiasm to keep pace with developments in technology, she’s also keen to emphasize being cautious while AI is still in its infancy: “We pride ourselves on fostering digital proficiency among our attorneys and staff while making sure that everything's being used in the proper manner, no matter its source and application.”

Mostly, Ibrahim discusses the firm’s commitment to retaining its reputation for a strong culture. “Our collaborative culture is our number-one distinguishing factor,” she states emphatically. “We’re one family - 47 offices -  but one firm united.” The firm’s work in generating ‘lifers’ and ensuring that Greenberg is “a career, not just a job” is clear, and it’s paid off in Ibrahim’s case. “I’ve been here 18 years, and there’s a reason I’ve stayed for my whole career,” she affirms. “We’re not sitting on high telling people what to do. Leadership is really here to serve the other attorneys and other professionals at the firm.”

The Work



While real estate is the firm’s cornerstone practice, it was the all-encompassing corporategroup that featured the most associates on our list, with real estate and litigationcoming in close behind. The rest of the list was filled out by an array of associate cohorts in groups like bankruptcy, tax, IP, and labor & employment spread across the country in offices like Miami, Northern Virginia, Sacramento and Phoenix. Generally speaking, each associate works with a partner, which Greenberg calls ‘shareholders’, as one source explained: “GT has a unique model – here, everyone who is billing time is tied to someone who is financially responsible for you.” This means a shareholder is usually directly involved in providing you with work and keeping an eye on your workload, fostering an environment in which “no one is overburdened. We’re all on one ship rising and sinking together.”

“It’s just huge, the list of things we get to do. We’ve gotten to do everything – and more!”

For the firm’s famed real estate practice, one that boasts over 40 years of experience, associates felt like they had hit the jackpot. “We do a lot of acquisition and deposition, and lender-side work as well – firms don’t usually do both, so I feel lucky to have that opportunity,” one source told us. This idea of the real estate practice providing a wide variety of experience was shared by all the associates we spoke with. One interviewee happily announced that “it’s just huge, the list of things we get to do. We’ve gotten to do everything – and more!” To elaborate on that, typical junior tasks and matters might include working with the property to do title and survey, working on acquisitions, investments, financing, licensing, deposition recording, diligence, investing and finance docs, and purchase and sale agreements – whew! There’s no doubt that GT is an “all-purpose real estate group nationally,” as we heard that regardless of your office, you’ll be working on deals all over: “Our office is small, but we get exposure to all the different jurisdictions,” a Philadelphia junior confirmed.

Real estate clients: Adler Group, Swire Properties, Invesco Advisers. Representing the Related Group in over 50 projects in the US and Latin America valued at more than $8 billion.

“A lot of my work is quarterbacking deal teams,” one associate said of the corporate group. “I’ll be working with them and the client and getting through it all. I think that’s the best way to learn.” There is a huge ensemble of corporate sectors that GT works in, with sources highlighting M&A, private equity, capital markets, funds and derivatives work – and you won’t be limited to just one. As one interviewee pointed out, “I work on the finance side of whatever corporate deals are going on at the time,” and you can try your hand at whatever you like if you’re keen to do so. In terms of the tasks, juniors mentioned running black lines, sending emails to clients and counsel, proofing credit agreements, working on legal opinions, raising capital, note-taking, and De-SPAC transactions, as well as being tasked with taking the first pass at drafting resolutions.

Corporate clients: Recognize Partners, Palm Beach Capital Partners, Element Solutions. Represented US Data Mining Group in its merger with Hut 8 Mining Corp. in a deal worth approximately $990 million.

“This is a crash course in litigation – I’m in the courtroom every day.”

Not to be outdone, the litigation department similarly runs the gamut of existing litigation work, as one source put it: “Whatever the clients need, we can do. We’re a full-service practice,” and you won’t be pigeon-holed either, as another commented that “anything I want to work on, it’s available here. Here at GT, we do a little of everything.” You may be asking yourself: what might an associate want to work on? Well, we spoke with sources who had participated in criminal court investigations, white-collar work, securities, antitrust, IP and more. As for day-to-day activities, you’ll be expected to “learn the ropes, meaning a lot of case law research, doc review and drafting,” but you’ll get your fair share of field days in as well. Of this, a junior enthused that they had “participated in three trials already! It’s why I wanted to do litigation work, and this is a crash course in litigation – I’m in the courtroom every day.”

Litigation clients: Goldman Sachs, Moderna, Novartis. Represented Samsung in multiple putative class actions alleging false advertising and product defects involving a number of electronics and home appliances.

Career Development



When it comes to making partner, the firm is very transparent with associates: “I’ve heard it said that they don’t want to hire anyone they don’t see making partner eventually.” Case in point: around 75% of the associates we surveyed indicated having their sights on partnership at GT in particular. Each associate has a partner mentor which sources praised as a great avenue for guidance, as one interviewee shared, “I’m candid with them and go to them for advice often.” Every office also has a career development liaison, a shareholder who oversees mentoring and associate development. Juniors also mentioned other opportunities the firm provides that are beneficial for relationship-building: “Every few years, they do associate conferences where they group corresponding years together, and you get mentor-like figures to work with.” GT is also focused on other ways to develop associates, as sources told us about “a skills checklist in all the performance reviews to help you plan your own career goals. I’ve also been given the opportunity to do some programming based on client development where you learn how to speak to clients.”

Culture



“There’s a natural experience of bonding with coworkers – no awkward icebreakers, just genuine connections!”

“We care about putting out a good work product, and we care about each other,” summed up one associate on their colleagues. This was echoed by other sources who spoke highly of the fact that “there’s a natural experience of bonding with coworkers – no awkward icebreakers, just genuine connections!” Praise for the development of natural friendships within the firm was a common theme amongst interviewees, as one gushed, “I’ve been really happy with my team! There’s a stigma around BigLaw being challenging and hard, but it’s important to know that people at GT support each other.”

As for events, we heard the firm hosts the occasional shindig: “There are happy hours, frequent lunches, and birthday celebrations that are all pretty regular, as well as the bigger events around Christmas or St. Patrick’s Day.” Our sources were also quick to note that any “office-level associate events being planned are paid for by the firm.” Score!

Hours & Compensation



Billable hours: variable – 1,950 is typically average but expectations can vary

Greenberg Traurig recognizes that different practice groups and offices will have varied workloads, and the firm’s compensation structure and policy on billable targets reflect that. An associate in New York explained: “Generally for us, it’s about 2,000 hours but we have a black box system, so it’s not set in stone. In some ways, that’s good because associates are less competitive with each other, so we can focus on doing good work for people we like without issue.” However, associates can also fill up their time will non-billable activities: up to 50 hours of DEI, 25 hours on community and civic activities (such as volunteering), and 100 hours of pro bono. The hybrid working policy is also both office- and practice-dependent, with some of our interviewees typically working from the office three to four days per week. Most sources we spoke to commented that “the pay is pretty good” for their respective areas but if you did have concerns, there are opportunities for you to “advocate for yourself to discuss pay with your manager.”

Pro Bono



At GT, at least 25 hours of pro bono are required – an encouragement to find time for pro bono among their busy schedules, which many of our sources appreciated. “I like that it’s a requirement, as I wouldn’t have done it otherwise,” a source divulged, “and I’m glad I’m doing it because it makes a difference to people’s lives.” After those mandated hours, up to 100 hours of pro bono work is billable.

Pro bono is also well and widely advertised firm-wide, as one junior explained that “there are a lot of opportunities to do pro bono – most of them are sent in a weekly email from our pro bono chair.” Available matters tend to center around veterans’ rights or refugee applications in the wake of the war in Ukraine. Though, if you’ve got something else in mind and want to find your own cases, you’re in luck: “If something has hit us closer to home, like a hurricane in Miami or even something internationally, you can bring it in, and they’ll be happy to consider it.”

Pro bono hours

  • For all (US) attorneys: 42,108
  • Average per (US) attorney: undisclosed

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion



“The firm is very focused on hiring and retaining women,” one associate told us before going on to discuss the Women’s Initiative at the firm, a kind of affinity group for female lawyers at all levels of Greenberg Traurig. There’s also a DEI department with other specific affinity groups but if you feel as though you’re not represented in the groups on offer, “there’s strong encouragement to start groups like these so everyone is seen and heard. There’s an aim to continue to grow and prove that diversity can be part of your work life.”

“It’s part of our ethos, and it’s not just being done because it’s the cool thing to do.”

Juniors praised that the firm is represented by different groups at all levels. “It’s built into the culture,” one source let us know. “I work with a lot of non-white women, which I think is really important for a difference in perspective.” Another added: “It’s part of our ethos, and it’s not just being done because it’s the cool thing to do.” The firm also sends five volunteer attorneys to the Lavender Law Conference hosted annually by the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association, with one source noting that “the firm attends the conference every year, and they will happily send me if I ask!”

 

Get Hired



The first stage: recruitment on and off campus

OCI applicants interviewed: 873

Greenberg Traurig interviews at schools that are nationally ranked or well represented with alumni in the current attorney population. It also attends job fairs and hires judicial clerks. In 2023 it interviewed at 59 law schools. 

If students do not make the interview schedule because their school uses a random lottery system, “we encourage students to contact the recruiting manager for the office in which they are interested,” says co-president and global chair of professional development and integration Brad D. Kaufman. OCIs are conducted by shareholders (this is what Greenberg calls attorneys at a level similar to partner) and sometimes another attorney. Interviewers look for top academic performance, and a balance of interests in and out of law school. Kaufman adds: “We look at why the candidate is interested in our firm and ask them about practice area interests, because that will determine who the candidate should meet if there is a callback interview.”

Top tips for this stage: 

“Share something you’re passionate about, whether that’s at law school or an extracurricular activity. We really want to find that extra interesting reason for what drives someone.” – a first-year junior associate

“It is critical that they show that they know the firm, the local office and the attorneys who are interviewing them. Today, this is easier than ever.” – co-president and global chair of professional development and integration Brad D. Kaufman

Callbacks

Candidates meet shareholders and associates throughout the callback. Each interview is 20 to 30 minutes long. Kaufman tells us: “We focus on whether the candidate can thrive in our firm culture,” so candidates should expect questions about working in smaller teams and showing initiative. 

Top tips for this stage:

“People who do well are people who are comfortable and capable of cracking a joke.” – a first-year junior associate 

“Make sure to read the biographies of the attorneys who will be interviewing you and try and show genuine interest in their practice.” – co-president and global chair of professional development and integration Brad D. Kaufman 

Summer program

Offers: N/A

Summer associates’ projects are usually assigned by an associate. These projects are based on the firm’s needs, so summers will likely get exposure to different areas of law. The exception is patent prosecution as the firm hires summers directly into this group. Kaufman says: “You should have a few projects on your plate at any given time, but do not volunteer for every project so it spreads you thin and affects the quality of your work.” Associates are given a shareholder and an associate mentor to help navigate the program. 

“They do the great activities – baseball games, cocktail events – where you meet all the practice groups,” a first-year associate recalled. “That’s really fun and can be just as grueling as the work!”

The firm makes offers to specific practice areas. 

Top tips for this stage: 

“Take the time to learn from key professional staff, including legal assistants/secretaries, as they are often critical to the workflows of the practices.” – co-president and global chair of professional development and integration Brad D. Kaufman

And finally…. 

Kaufman adds: “We value diversity and individuality, so be yourself!” 

 

Greenberg Traurig, PA

333 SE 2nd Avenue,
Suite 4400,
Miami,
FL 33131
Website www.gtlaw.com

Main areas of work
Banking and financial services; blockchain; corporate; cybersecurity and privacy; emerging technology; energy and natural resources; entertainment and media; environmental; food, beverage and agribusiness; franchise and distribution; gaming; government contracts; government law and policy; health care and FDA practice; hospitality; immigration and compliance; infrastructure; insurance; intellectual property and technology; international trade; labor and employment; Latin American practice; life sciences and medical technology; litigation; marketing, advertising, sweepstakes and promotions law; pharmaceutical, medical device and health care; private wealth services; public finance; real estate; regulatory and compliance; restructuring and bankruptcy; retail; tax; technology, telecommunications; transportation and automotive.

Firm profile
Greenberg Traurig, LLP has more than 2750 attorneys in 47 locations in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia. The firm is a 2022 BTI “Highly Recommended Law Firm” for superior client service and is consistently among the top firms on the Am Law Global 100 and NLJ 500. Greenberg Traurig is Mansfield Rule 6.0 Certified Plus by The Diversity Lab. The firm is recognized for powering its U.S. offices with 100% renewable energy as certified by the Center for Resource Solutions Green-e® Energy program and is a member of the U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program. The firm is known for its philanthropic giving, innovation, diversity, and pro bono. Web: www.gtlaw.com.

Recruitment
HISTORIC LIST OF OCI Law Schools:
Law schools and programs at: Boston College; Boston U.; Brooklyn Law School; Chicago-Kent College of Law; Columbia Law School; Cornell Law School; Duke Law School; Emory Law School; Florida International University College of Law; Fordham Law School; George Washington University Law School; Georgetown University Law Center; Harvard Law School; Howard University; Indiana University Walkaround Program; Loyola Law School, Los Angeles; New York University School of Law; Northeastern University; Northwestern University Law School; Notre Dame Law School; Stanford; University of California, Davis School of Law; University of California, Los Angeles - School of Law; University of Chicago Law School; University of Florida - Levin College of Law; University of Georgia; University of Miami School of Law; University of Michigan Law School; University of Pacific, McGeorge; University of Pennsylvania Law School; University of Southern California - Gould School of Law; University of Virginia; Vanderbilt Law School Walkaround Program; Yale Law School

HISTORIC LIST OF Recruitment outside OCIs: Job Fairs: Boston Lawyers Group (BLG); Boston Fair for Law Students of Color”; Cook County Minority Job Fair; IP Job Fair; Lavender Law Fair; Midwest-California Consortium; SELSC; Northeast BLSA
Resume Collects: Law schools and programs at: Cornell; Duke; Emory; Florida International University; Fordham; Florida State University; George Washington University; Georgetown University; Harvard; New York University; Northwestern University; Pepperdine; St. Thomas; Stanford; Stetson; Thurgood Marshall; University of California, Berkeley; University of Chicago; University of Florida; University of Miami; University of Michigan; University of Pennsylvania; University of Texas; University of Virginia; Yale

Summer associate program profile:
Greenberg Traurig (GT) provides summer associates with a wide-range of professional opportunities to learn about our clients, our attorneys, our staff, our firm and our culture. We offer practical experience to help our summer associates gain an accurate view of what the practice will be like as an associate within the firm. Summer associates are assigned a variety of legal work to understand the options of the type of law they plan to practice. In each office, Shareholders are designated to assist the incomers in navigating the process, learning about legal work at a law firm and exploring what is offered. Summer associates are encouraged to ask attorneys questions because intellectual curiosity is highly valued at GT.

The firm’s Professional Development department organizes additional firmwide learning opportunities that enhance the learning experience for the summer associates. The topics include timekeeping and billing, legal research and innovative, research, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, and pro bono. There are also opportunities to speak with firm leadership and practice group leaders to provide a review of some of what the summers may be seeing in their work assignments and an understanding of the law firm culture. In addition to providing summer associates a realistic glimpse of their future as attorneys, we also offer variety of dynamic networking events and community outreach programs. The goal for summer associates is to make their experience at GT a successful one.

An important goal of the program is to help summer associates with the transition from law student to practicing lawyers and future leaders by including them on client matters. We look for attorneys who have an entrepreneurial spirit, initiative, willingness to assume responsibility, and leadership skills. Components of the program include: corporate deal simulation; exposure to innovative technology; conflict resolution training; litigation training, such as oral advocacy presentation; visit to appeals court and Q&A session with a judge; and firsthand exposure to in-house counsel and their interaction with law firms. We are proud that several firm leaders started their careers as a summer associate at the firm.

Social media:
Recruitment website: www.gtlaw.com/careers/
LinkedIn: greenberg-traurig-llp
Instagram: @gt_law
Twitter: @GT_Law
Facebook: GreenbergTraurigLLP

This Firm's Rankings in
USA Guide, 2023

Ranked Departments

    • Corporate/M&A (Band 1)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 3)
    • Real Estate (Band 3)
    • Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets (Band 3)
    • Labor & Employment: Highly Regarded (Band 1)
    • Private Equity: Buyouts (Band 5)
    • Tax (Band 4)
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Band 3)
    • Real Estate (Band 3)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 1)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 4)
    • Environment (Band 3)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 3)
    • Real Estate (Band 3)
    • Corporate/M&A & Private Equity (Band 4)
    • Immigration (Band 1)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 5)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 1)
    • Construction (Band 3)
    • Environment (Band 1)
    • Healthcare (Band 4)
    • Insurance: Transactional & Regulatory (Band 1)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 2)
    • Litigation: Appellate (Band 1)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: The Elite (Band 2)
    • Litigation: Product Liability (Band 2)
    • Litigation: Securities (Band 1)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 1)
    • Tax (Band 1)
    • Real Estate (Band 1)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 3)
    • Corporate/M&A & Private Equity (Band 1)
    • Real Estate (Band 1)
    • Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (Band 1)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 3)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 2)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 4)
    • Immigration (Band 3)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 4)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 4)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 2)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 3)
    • Corporate/M&A & Private Equity (Band 4)
    • Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets (Band 2)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 3)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 3)
    • Real Estate (Band 2)
    • Energy & Natural Resources (Band 2)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 4)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 3)
    • Life Sciences (Band 2)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 3)
    • Public Finance (Band 2)
    • Real Estate (Band 4)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 3)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 2)
    • Corporate/Commercial (Band 1)
    • Gaming & Licensing (Band 2)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 2)
    • Real Estate (Band 1)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 3)
    • Construction (Band 1)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 2)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 2)
    • Life Sciences (Band 1)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 1)
    • Real Estate (Band 3)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Highly Regarded (Band 1)
    • Corporate/M&A: Highly Regarded (Band 5)
    • Energy: State Regulatory & Wholesale Electric Market (Band 3)
    • Environment (Band 3)
    • Healthcare (Band 2)
    • Intellectual Property: Patent (Band 5)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: Highly Regarded (Band 4)
    • Real Estate: Mainly Corporate & Finance (Band 5)
    • Real Estate: Mainly Dirt (Band 1)
    • Environment (Band 2)
    • Immigration (Band 1)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 4)
    • Real Estate (Band 4)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 5)
    • Corporate/M&A: Highly Regarded (Band 2)
    • Healthcare (Band 3)
    • Insurance: Regulatory (Band 1)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 5)
    • Litigation: Appellate (Band 3)
    • Real Estate (Band 2)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring: The Elite (Band 5)
    • Corporate/M&A: Highly Regarded (Band 3)
    • Energy Transition (Band 2)
    • Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory & Litigation) (Band 4)
    • Environment (Band 3)
    • Food & Beverages: Regulatory & Litigation (Band 3)
    • Franchising (Band 3)
    • Gaming & Licensing (Band 2)
    • Healthcare: Highly Regarded (Band 2)
    • Immigration (Band 3)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 3)
    • Leisure & Hospitality (Band 2)
    • Life Sciences (Band 5)
    • Native American Law (Band 2)
    • Privacy & Data Security: Highly Regarded (Band 1)
    • Product Liability & Mass Torts: The Elite (Band 3)
    • Projects: Power & Renewables: Transactional (Band 3)
    • Projects: Renewables & Alternative Energy (Band 5)
    • Public Finance (Band 2)
    • Real Estate (Band 1)
    • REITs (Band 5)
    • Retail (Band 1)
    • SPACs (Band 3)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 3)