Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP - The Inside View

Is the Hunt-on for expertise in bankruptcy and cybersecurity? Look no further than this Texan-Virginian that “ticks all the boxes every step of the way!”

Are those distant wedding bells we hear? Not quite, although this 2018 marriage between the East’s Hunton & Williams and the South’s Andrews Kurth Kenyon was delightful enough to bring tears to our eyes. The combination of a strong Southern energy practice with a booming cybersecurity offering in the East made for a beautiful union, and all these years later, the firm is simultaneously “open, friendly, and human,” while still being “on the cutting edge of current events.” This high praise is certainly reflected in the firm’s host of Chambers USA and Chambers Global rankings; Hunton is at the top of its game nationwide in capital markets, climate change, energy, environment, privacy & data security, and product liability work.

Don’t just take our word for it though – our associate sources assured us every day at Hunton was the honeymoon phase. “I can genuinely say I’m so happy now,” one associate gushed. “There’s nothing I’ve regretted by choosing Hunton.” Another agreed, highlighting the working environment at Hunton as one of the firm’s green flags: “I just hit it off really easily with the attorneys I met, and saw myself being able to work BigLaw hours around this group of people.” Better still, Hunton’s Virginian roots have proven popular with the local associates. One interviewee shared: “I’d heard of Hunton growing up and knew about their great reputation – there are only a few name brand firms in Richmond!” That’s not to discount the firm’s nationwide presence; Hunton has 15 offices spread across the States, though the majority of juniors are based in Richmond, Houston, and New York, with the rest dotted between Dallas, DC, and Miami.

Strategy & Future

Hunton’s been working on broadening its understanding of global markets, as evidenced by the recent addition of partners Nelson Ahn and Edward Kim to its New York and Atlanta offices respectively, both of whom have significant experience in the South Korean legal market. In keeping with the international theme, Hunton’s London office recently welcomed Maurice Kenton as head of the international arbitration practice.

Back on home turf, the firm added Carl von Mertz to head its US oil & gas practice in Houston, and Travis Hill, former CEO of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, as counsel for the firm’s global economic development, commerce & government relations group.

The Work

From day dot, summer associates at Hunton explore different practice areas before selecting a practice to join. It’s like “sorority recruitment,” one source summarized. Stellar summers receive offers from the groups they rotated with, but there’s also scope to jump ship to another practice you’re interested in if they have space. “I really appreciate that they don’t hide things from you when you’re a summer, only for you to get hit like a ton of bricks when you join,” a cybersecurity associate commented. “We’re one of the busiest groups in the firm, and I got to see that first-hand as a summer.”

“They’re not just selecting player one or two – we’re people to them!”

The practice groups on our list with the most juniors were corporate, litigation, and capital finance & real estate, with the rest spread across energy & infrastructure, tax, and labor & employment. Work allocation varies from group to group, but it’s generally a mix of hallway chats and centralized staffing. “It’s not like the mothership beams down to give you an assignment and you must take it!” an interviewee told us to our relief. “The partners do an excellent job exposing everyone to the right clients and amount of work,” another praised. “They know our strengths, so the minute they hear what the client needs, they know who they’re staffing and why. They’re not just selecting player one or two – we’re people to them!”

The firm’s corporate practice is predominantly made up of M&A, structured finance, financial institutions, regulatory, capital markets, and global tech, outsourcing, and restructuring. The latter group works on a bunch of fintech and artificial intelligence matters, data breaches and privacy policies, cybersecurity preparedness, and lobbying, as well as ‘tabletops’ (for the uninitiated: these are simulations of what would happen if a company was under a cyberattack).

“Fortune 25 and 50 companies? We’re working with them.”

“We’re at the forefront of the practice,” a tech associate proudly relayed. “We’re not just nationally known – we’re known to be good internationally.” The firm’s client base speaks to these claims: corporate clients include tech and energy companies, hedge funds, insurance companies, banks, consulting firms, television producers, and luxury retailers. “Fortune 25 and 50 companies? We’re working with them – and that’s not a normal thing you can say as an associate who’s just starting out,” one newbie proclaimed. Across the board, what stood out to our associate sources was: “You’re going to work with clients whose names you recognize from your everyday life. You read about something on the news, and it happens to be a case you’re working on!”

Corporate clients: Google, Tiffany & Co., Paramount Global. Represented Paragon Medical in its $1.9 billion sale to AMETEK, a designer and manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices.

Associates in the firm’s litigation practice work in various areas across securities, energy, insurance, products & mass torts, corporate & securities, or antitrust & consumer protection. A source in the corporate & securities division told us they work on a lot of “big securities class actions against directors or officers – a lot of disclosure-related stuff,” and, ultimately, “if the deal explodes, we’re doing M&A.” There is also investigatory work to be done for “accounting firms when they’re being sued as part of some conspiracy or crisis.” Cross-team collaboration is a key aspect of the firm’s litigation work, as associates explained, “We also support the M&A team quite a bit, specifically in the accounting field. We’ll perform the regulatory diligence on that and advise them on how to litigate.” And while the corporate associates are busy working on deals in the newspapers, “we do stuff that ends up on TV – it’s really cool,” a starry-eyed litigator divulged.

Litigation clients: ExxonMobil Corporation, US Chamber of Commerce, the Commonwealth of Virginia. Defended East Penn Manufacturing Co. against a wage-hour enforcement action brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act by the US Department of Labor.

Over in real estate territory, both the work and the client base are equally diverse. “Lenders, borrowers, developers, buyers, sellers – you name it, we do it!” Our source continued: “If you were somewhere that solely represented one sort of client, that could get monotonous. Given the breadth of matters we do up here, no two days are the same.” Junior associates in the practice tend to work on title and survey reviews, diligence projects, consent forms, and ancillary documents for larger deals. As juniors progress, they’re able to work on drafts of loan agreements and terms of purchase and sale agreements too.

Real estate clients: Chatham Lodging Trust, Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, Raith Capital Partners. Represented Healthcare Realty Trust Incorporated in a public REIT merger worth over $19 billion.

Hours & Compensation

Billable hours: 2,000 target

Our associate sources didn’t bat an eye at the billable hour requirement. “I like having the concrete number, and it’s what the average billable requirement at most firms is,” one associate unpacked. Our sources’ nonchalant takes on the hours requirement may also have something to do with the fact that up to 100 hours of pro bono, 25 hours of DEI efforts, and another 25 for community service also count towards the target. In further good news: bonuses at Hunton are lockstep, and the firm “matched the new scale, which is obviously very exciting for everyone,” a Richmond-based associate enthused.

“It doesn’t feel like you need to be up at 4am to catch eight minutes of work…”

Workloads are largely practice-dependent, but for many of our interviewees, “it’s pretty steady.” According to our survey results, associates reported working an average of 44.9 hours per week, which is below our reported market average of 48.1, though we heard from interviewees that that can hit 60+ when matters heat up. Regardless, we heard the hours were generally close to “the average American workday,” especially that firm policy encourages associates to be in office from Monday to Thursday. One source was happy to report: “It doesn’t feel like you need to be up at 4am to catch eight minutes of work to get your bonus. We all work hard, but people still go home and watch Netflix – it’s not unbearable!”

Pro Bono

“Pro bono is one of the firm’s strongest aspects,” an associate praised. “We have a really good infrastructure built to ensure that you can work on the pro bono you want and get advice when you need it.” And that’s not just lip service – associates are encouraged to work on their “passion projects,” and although there’s a 100-hour cap on billable pro bono hours, “you can get approval for that to be more if you’re working on something big.” It’s clear the firm wants it’s associates as involved as possible: “There’s 100% participation rate – and that’s not just people billing an hour each year.”

A 100% participation rate is pretty impressive. What are the pro bono opportunities catching our sources’ attention, you ask? “Immigration, human rights, and housing rights are big in New York,” one source listed, “and Hunton has a close relationship with the Coast Guard and Air Force veterans.” Over in Richmond, “there’s definitely more of an emphasis on being involved with the community, so there seems to be a focus on education law and youth work.” Houstonian associates work closely with the Houston Volunteer Lawyers, and there’s a similar focus on veterans’ matters and asylum work there. “I love that there’s a medium for everyone to get involved,” a source raved.

Pro bono hours

  • For all US attorneys: 50,247
  • Average per US attorney: 66

Career Development

Hunton is “110% invested in developing its associates,” an associate explained. While associates are assigned a formal mentor upon joining the firm, interviewees said the most valuable mentorship at Hunton comes organically. For some, “it was obvious who would naturally be my mentor in my practice,” while others have “lots of mentors from doing pro bono or meeting people during events.” Hand in hand with mentorship comes training, which Hunton hosts a plethora of, from seminars on ‘How to be an attorney’ to mock trials for litigators.

“…when someone makes partner, it always makes sense.”

The consensus that that “the firm is very transparent” about the path to partnership, encouraging associates to look at “long-term horizons” through specific programming related to the partner track. One source explained: “You see firsthand who gets promoted, and it’s the hard-working individuals who put their whole heart and soul into their career. Here, it’s always about what the person brings to the firm, so when someone makes partner, it always makes sense.”


You’ll often hear the phrase “BigLaw with a mid-size firm feel” and wonder what that actually means. One interviewee unpacked it for us: “We’re the type of firm that likes to have a lot of events, but you’re not just a number. Partners here like to know the associates they’re working with.” Deep-diving into the events a little more, sources explained the New York office has a particularly lively social scene, but “the summer program is where we shine. We had bottomless tacos and margaritas on a cruise around New York,” an associate described, while team events in the office include “sushi and giant cookies.” (How do we sign up?!)

Meanwhile, just south of the Big Apple in the more intimate Richmond office, an associate explained: “It’s not like people are doing keg stands on the ninth floor, and there aren’t constant happy hours. It’s a more mature friendliness.” This includes a Thanksgiving event at a local brewery and cookouts at people’s houses. Even further south in Houston, “there’s a Model UN event where people represent a country, and a chili cook-off in the transactional practices!”

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

You’ve probably heard of various firm diversity retreats, but this associate was keen to lay claim to the fact that “Hunton was one of the first firms to host one.” It’s a biannual opportunity for diverse attorneys all over the country to meet at an office in the US and “share experiences at the firm. It was a great opportunity for professional development – they had so many receptions and fun speakers without it being too long or overbearing. It felt affirming to have so man of us in the same room. I felt seen!” one interviewee shared.

In terms of diversity within the attorney ranks, as with many BigLaw firms, there’s always room for improvement. “I do feel like the firm could do a better job of hiring diverse associates to make it more representative of the cities we live in,” a source admitted. It’s something the firm is well aware of: Hunton has a talent development committee focused on the retention and promotion of diverse lawyers that provides a number of programs and fellowships - namely the 1L Diversity Champions Program and the Pathfinders Fellowship - including sponsorship and participation in the National Association of Women Lawyers.

Get Hired

The first stage: recruitment on and off campus

OCI applicants interviewed: undisclosed

Interviewees outside OCI: undisclosed

Hunton Andrews Kurth currently conducts OCIs at 33 law schools, including top institutions and other regional schools. The firm also participates in job fairs including the Lavender Law Career Fair, Mid-Atlantic Black Law Students Association Job Fair, Northeast Black Law Students Association Job Fair, Sunbelt Minority Recruiting Program and the Southeastern Minority Job Fair. Beyond these, Hunton AK currently hosts 1L Diversity Champion programs in five offices, which all 1L law students can apply for during the fall directly through Hunton AK’s careers website or through the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s website. The firm also has a Pathfinders Fellowship program which aims to attract outstanding first-generation law students to the private practice of law while helping these students be successful in law school through both work and mentorship experiences afforded by the program. Recipients receive up to a total of $25,000 payable after acceptance of a 2L offer, after acceptance of an entry-level offer and upon joining the firm full-time.

OCIs are typically 20 minutes long and with two attorneys (mostly senior attorneys, including senior associates.) Diversity of interviewers is also a focus for the firm to “better reflect the changing demographics of our law student body and the future of the practice,” according to firm-wide hiring partner Rudene Mercer Haynes.

Interviewers at this stage ask behavioral questions to “see how well the law students can think on their feet.” Here, the conclusions are less important than the analytical reasoning used to reach them. The firm is also looking for evidence of “resilience, passion and grit.” Hunton AK tends to focus on candidates’ successes, whether those are academic, professional or personal: “We want to recruit individuals who desire excellence in their professional pursuits, and our interviewing process is intended to glean as much as we can about the candidates’ potential for success by examining their academic records and personal and professional accomplishments.”

Top tips for this stage:

“It is impressive when candidates have done some research on the firm and the practices in which we specialize and can articulate, authentically and persuasively, a link between our firm’s strengths and their career aspirations. We are also impressed by those who ask thoughtful questions. The interview process is an opportunity to run intel on prospective employers, so using that time wisely reflects positively on a candidate.” – firm-wide hiring partner Rudene Mercer Haynes


Applicants invited to second-stage interview: undisclosed

At the callback stage, interviewers are typically members of the specific office’s recruiting committee and, where possible, from the practice area the candidate is interested in. “Typically, although it varies from office to office, each callback interviewee is scheduled for at least four and no more than six 30-minute interviews.” Offices generally provide lunch with a junior to mid-level associate, where “the callback interviewee gets the perspective of someone closer in their perspective who can answer questions about transitioning from the law school to law firm experience, finding housing and local cultural opportunities.” The questions at this stage are similar, though the candidate has the opportunity to “meet a wider range of individuals and get a better feel for the firm’s culture. It is also an opportunity to assess the candidates’ general preferences regarding their future practice.” The firmoffers both virtual and in-person options for callbacks.

Top tips for this stage:

“The thing that drew me here at the beginning is the people. They’re extremely intelligent, quick on their feet and good-quality attorneys, but they’re also humble people from humble backgrounds and they’re easy to be around. It helps a lot in stressful situations and speaks to the teamwork aspects of the firm: whether it’s a team of two or twenty, the base-level teamwork is pretty special.”  a junior associate

“I would reiterate researching the firm and the practices/industries in which an individual office specializes. I would also recommend showing a familiarity with or having a nexus to the city in which the candidate is looking to summer.” – firm-wide hiring partner Rudene Mercer Haynes

Summer program

Offers: undisclosed

Acceptances: undisclosed

Summer associates “are active members of legal teams working on important projects and attending client conferences, depositions, trials, hearings and closings.” The matters they’re staffed on reflect the interests of each summer associate, and some offices do practice group rotations. Summers get matched to mentors and attend a “wide variety of social events to allow our summers to get to know our lawyers on a more personal basis.” There are also trainings, guidance on judicial clerkships and pro bono opportunities. The firm strives to recruit the “brightest and best summer associates — most of whom, we are happy to report, return as junior associates after graduation.” At the conclusion of the summer program, 2L summers who receive offers to join as entry-level associates receive an offer for a specific team and practice group based on their interests and team hiring needs “One of our partners penned five 'Tips for Having a Successful Summer' which are posted on our intranet’s summer associate orientation page.” How very helpful! The five tips are:

1) Be diligent – do your very best work

2) Be professional – use your very best judgment

3) Be client service-oriented – the legal industry is a service industry

4) Be thoughtful in your communications – choose your mode of communication wisely

5) Be entrepreneurial – take every opportunity to get to know the firm, the lawyers and to be exposed to work that interests you.

Top tips for this stage:

“The summer program did nothing but reinforce my opinion that I’d picked a good place. When I got an offer at the end of summer I was excited to accept it.” – a junior associate

“If you are looking for a career that offers challenging work in a collegial setting, alongside lawyers who are supportive and eager to see you succeed, please let us know.” – firm-wide hiring partner Rudene Mercer Haynes


Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

2200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW,
Washington, DC,

Main areas of work
Hunton Andrews Kurth handles transactional, litigation and regulatory matters, with significant experience in retail and consumer products, energy, financial services, real estate, and privacy and cybersecurity.

Firm profile
Hunton Andrews Kurth blends more than a century of legal experience with a broad view of current business realities and a forward-looking perspective on emerging issues to provide advice that will carry its clients well into the 21st century. The firm is regularly named by legal and business publications as a top firm for client service and a great place to work.

Law Schools attending for OCIs in 2024:

• Brooklyn Law School
• Columbia University
• Cornell University
• Duke University
• Fordham University
• George Mason University
• George Washington University
• Georgetown University
• Harvard University
• Howard University
• New York University
• Southern Methodist University
• South Texas College of Law
• The College of William and Mary
• University of California, Berkeley
• University of California, Los Angeles
• University of Chicago 
• University of Houston
• University of Michigan
• University of North Carolina
• University of Pennsylvania
• University of Richmond
• University of Southern California
• University of Texas
• University of Virginia
• Vanderbilt University
• Washington and Lee University
• Washington University in St. Louis
• Yale University

Recruitment outside OCIs:
Hunton Andrews Kurth recruits at several diversity-related job fairs each year. Candidates also may apply via the firm’s website.

Summer associate profile:
Hunton Andrews Kurth seeks high performing, team-oriented and problem-solving law students. In addition to strong academic credentials and excellent communication skills, applicants should have a solid record of success and leadership. Prior work/professional experience and advanced degrees also are valued.

Summer program components:
Hunton Andrews Kurth’s Summer Program is a 10-week immersion in the real-world practice of law. Customized for each summer associate, it generally includes leadership, business development and client service training; career mentoring; client interaction; practical experience; pro bono opportunities; judicial clerkship counselling; and work projects in practice areas of interest.

Social media:
Recruitment website:
X: @HuntonAK
Linkedin: hunton-andrews-kurth

This Firm's Rankings in
USA Guide, 2023

Ranked Departments

    • Environment (Band 3)
    • Labor & Employment: Highly Regarded (Band 2)
    • Environment (Band 1)
    • Immigration (Band 3)
    • Insurance: Policyholder (Band 2)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 4)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: Highly Regarded (Band 3)
    • Technology & Outsourcing (Band 3)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 2)
    • Insurance: Dispute Resolution (Band 2)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: The Elite (Band 2)
    • Corporate/M&A & Private Equity (Band 5)
    • Insurance (Band 1)
    • Real Estate: Mainly Corporate & Finance (Band 5)
    • Real Estate: Mainly Dirt (Band 5)
    • Environment (Band 3)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 5)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 3)
    • Capital Markets: Debt & Equity (Band 3)
    • Corporate/M&A: The Elite (Band 4)
    • Energy: State Regulatory & Litigation (Electricity) (Band 2)
    • Environment (Band 4)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 4)
    • Real Estate (Band 2)
    • Tax (Band 2)
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Band 2)
    • Capital Markets: Investment Grade Debt: Issuer Counsel (Band 4)
    • Capital Markets: Securitization: MSR (Band 1)
    • Capital Markets: Securitization: RMBS (Band 1)
    • Climate Change (Band 1)
    • Energy: Electricity (Finance) (Band 1)
    • Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory & Litigation) (Band 5)
    • Energy: Oil & Gas (Transactional) (Band 4)
    • Environment (Band 1)
    • Occupational Safety and Health (Band 3)
    • Outsourcing (Band 3)
    • Privacy & Data Security: The Elite (Band 1)
    • Product Liability: Toxic Torts (Band 1)
    • Projects: Power (Band 3)
    • Projects: PPP (Band 2)
    • Projects: Renewables & Alternative Energy (Band 2)
    • Public Finance (Band 2)
    • Real Estate (Band 5)
    • REITs (Band 3)
    • Retail (Band 3)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 1)
    • Environment (Band 1)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 1)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 1)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 2)
    • Product Liability & Toxic Torts (Band 3)
    • Real Estate (Band 3)
    • Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (Band 1)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 1)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 1)
    • Real Estate (Band 1)

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