Jones Day - The Inside View

Juniors aren't tethered to a single practice group at this prestigious global outfit.

Law’s an ever-increasing global profession and few firms are as global as Jones Day, a name that has become synonymous with BigLaw.  The Jones Day brand currently spans 42 offices worldwide and is made up of over 2,500 practicing lawyers. The firm is so global in fact that its motto is ‘one firm worldwide.’ Marketing spin or a reality? “I wondered how that would play out when I interviewed,” one associate told us. “But it’s proven true. I’m not sure I’ve been staffed on a single case that has been made up of a team from just one location.” Another added: “Working across offices is seamless.I’ve been amazed how much you can get done through a screen.”  Jones Day’s network of offices is recognized by Chambers Globalwho hand out an eyewatering 114 rankings to the firm on the global stage.

“I’m not sure I’ve been staffed on a single case that has been made up of a team from just one location.”

The firm also shines on US soil where its 18 offices cover all the major US legal hotspots. Chambers USAhand outs just under 100 rankings to the firm – far too many to list here. If you’re interested, check out the full list on the 'rankings' tab. “Jones Day really has a reputation of excellent work and being movers and shakers in the legal field,” one confident junior declared.

>> TOP READ: Becoming a Lawyer in Financial Markets – The View from Jones Day

Despite the turbulence of the past 18 months, 48 lawyers were prompted to partnership in January 2022. “It’s a financially strong firm,” one junior found, adding that “its ability to keep attorneys during economic hardship is appealing to me.” Several other associates flagged this during our research, pointing to the fact that there were no associate lay-offs post-2008 being a factor pulling getting them through the door.

The Work



The firm hires into all of its US offices. New York takes the most, followed by Chicago, Cleveland, and DC. The rest take a fairly even scattering of associates each. What’s novel about the route into Jones Day life is the New Lawyers Group (NLG). This program allows juniors to source work from any practice area they choose. Are there any real boundaries? “I don’t think so!” one source answered confidently. “Everyone who has asked for projects has been able to get them.” This might mean straddling matters in IP, M&A, and commercial litigation all in a week. “The work is novel and interesting,” another source reckoned. “I never know what I’m going to be working on and I get regular exposure to both transactional and litigation-oriented work.”

"The extremely hands-off approach works for me."

Those in the NLG spend a year sourcing work from as wide a pool as they see fit before declaring a practice group as they enter year two. “What’s great,” said one associate, “is that even though you might not join a group, the attorneys will always invest in you and take time to train you regardless.” We’re told that even after the formal choice, there’s a fluidity about practice and staffing. On the note of assignments, sources pointed to a hybrid model,whereby there is a coordinator who “watches workflows and makes sure people aren’t getting overworked and have assignments,” as well as the opportunity to “go out and hunt for work.” Most liked this dynamic. “The extremely hands-off approach works for me,” one source found. “But for people who are a little slow off the mark, the firm provides options.”

The broad business and tort litigation (BTL) group “takes on just about anything,” including commercial litigation, antitrust work, white-collar and criminal investigations, as well as securities litigation. Some juniors found work in a particular stream, such as an encompassing white-collar defense case. For example, one source told us: “I got plugged into the project during my second week and that’s just spun out into lots of assignments.” Managing document flow and drafting memos were common tasks. Other sources had “taken the lead on first drafts of discovery motions and pleadings,” and were kept busy “responding to opposing counsel and filing certain time-sensitive matters.” Naturally role and scope will be determined by case specifics but generally our interviewees found that “you are quickly involved” and were “very pleasantly surprised about how steep the learning curve is,” speaking to a ‘take as much as you can chew’ dynamic. “You’ll get the work if you’re capable,” one source reiterated, adding that “it’s good doing serious work at younger levels.”

BTL clients: Experian Information Solutions, Sirius XM Radio, Sanofi-Aventis. Represented Walmart in all facets of opioid litigation nationwide, with plaintiffs alleging that damages exceeded hundreds of billions of dollars.

Jones Day’s IP team spans patent litigation, patent prosecution, plus trademark, copyright, and trade secrets work. Our survey data shows associates in the group are overwhelmingly happy, with good levels of responsibility on interesting work. The data also shows that juniors have a good level of partner contact. “There are four places you can practice IP work,” one junior explained. “At the federal level, the patent office, the ITC, or federal circuit. Jones Day has given me the opportunity to practice in all four of those courts.” Another added: “You get a high level of responsibility early in your practices as there are few associates and several partners. The one-on-one time with partners is amazing.” Sources said by showing your ability, “you can move from analyzing patent references and infringement contentions to taking depositions, preparing experts, and even giving oral arguments at hearings. I’ve done all those things in the past two years.”

IP clients: Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Qualcomm. Represented R.J Reynolds against Philip Morris International and Altria in a patent dispute over alternative cigarettes at the ITC.

Over 350 financial markets lawyers in five continents advise on cross-border financial transactions, regulatory matters, and investigations, as well as potentially litigious issues. The newly formed umbrella brought the firm’s capital markets, banking and finance, and finance litigation groups together in 2020. Sources had worked on fund formations, real estate investment trusts, agreements for co-investment deals, joint venture negotiation, IPOs, and debt and equity offerings. “Capital markets work has been one of the firm’s real engines in recent years,” one source highlighted, adding that “it’sgiven me the opportunity to have substantive experiences and significant client contact early on in my career.”

Financial markets clients: JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Ferro Corporation. Advised Cleveland-Cliffs in connection with a $1.5 billion incremental increase to its existing credit facility with Bank of America.

Career Development



In ‘normal’ times, all new associates head to DC for the firm’s annual training program. “For obvious reasons, it didn’t happen, sadly, but we got supplemented by remote trainings on things like writing, managing conflicts, and administrative work,” one source said. When progressing, things “are a little more informal and less structured,” with sources speaking to a “learning by doing” environment. The firm also offers formal mentorship. “I’ve got a mentor that I can turn to with questions, but also the informal mentorship with people you work well with is invaluable,” one source added.

“What drew me was the amount of people starting as summers who made partnership.”

Our data shows that the majority of associates surveyed felt that partnership was achievable. “I’ve been told that the firm hires with the intent for associates to make partner," one associate stated, adding that "they want you to succeed.” Longevity also seems to be key here. “What drew me was the amount of people starting as summers who made partnership,” one source said. And despite the white-hot lateral market, for one source: “There is no amount of money or benefits that would realistically be offered to me that would be worth leaving the firm.” Another sung a similar tune, noting that “I really enjoy it here and I don't see leaving at all unless I don't make partner. Because there are so many offices, if I were to move, I would move to a location I could transfer to.”

Hours & Compensation



“I’ve been pretty happy with the hours,” one source told us. “It’s pretty humane for BigLaw as I don’t often go above 50-hour weeks.” Our data shows that the average number of hours worked by Jones Day associates surveyed was 51.3 hours, marginally under the market average. Overall, the majority of respondents considered the hours and workload to be reasonable at the firm. “It’s all pretty manageable,” one insider reflected. “Naturallythere are some busy weeks, but the firm recognizes that life exists outside of work.”

“It’s pretty humane for BigLaw as I don’t often go about 50-hour weeks.”

Jones Day doesn't give bonuses to associates. Instead, everything is included in a compensation package.  “The black box payment structure allows the firm to value associates in a more well-rounded way, with less of a focus on hour requirements,” a junior told us. Those performing the best were rumored to be paid above market. However, the system also attracted criticism, with one source reporting being “paid under market since joining the firm in 2020,” and bemoaning the lack of any COVID bonuses. Many agreed that more transparency would be beneficial.

Pro Bono



Associates overwhelmingly believed both that the firm is committed to pro bono, and that the pro bono work on offer is both meaningful and engaging. Juniors also felt they had genuine autonomy over the volume of pro bono they could take on. “The firm is pretty focused on it,” one source emphasized. “There’s no limitation in terms of hours counting toward the billable target - I billed 450 hours my first year!” Another source suggested this exemplified the “firm putting its money where its mouth is - it’s a big plus.” The firm has two offices in Texas solely dedicated to processing asylum claims for women and children. In New York, the firm partners with several famous organizations such as Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and Her Justice. One source in Chicago had worked on a constitutional policing reform initiative with the state police board. “Especially with the policing issues in America, it was exciting to be contributing in a small way to making things better,” they shared.

Pro bono hours

  • For all (US) offices: 123,308
  • Average per (US) attorney: undisclosed

Culture



In a firm so sprawling, is it possible to pin down a unifying culture? Judging by our research, with descriptors like “collegial,” “friendly, “collaborative,” “genuine,” and “without cutthroats,” appearing time and time again, the answer appears to be yes. At the firmwide level, seamless collaboration helped foster a sense of belonging. “The firm’s culture is focused on professional excellence and collaboration,” one source told us. In the bigger offices “you find people you work well with and ultimately hang out with.” Other offices cater to different dynamics, like in Cleveland:“People don’t sit in practice groups here.It’s randomly assigned, which is awesome and allows you to get to know everyone.” Results from our survey paint a rosy picture, with sources overwhelmingly finding associate camaraderie to be strong.

“Everyone I’ve interacted with is extremely helpful and polite. I’ve always been viewed as a colleague rather than simply a junior associate.”

On the work side, being able to rub shoulders with some intellectual heavyweights sweetened the deal. “I know it sounds like I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid,” juniors joked, “but there are some really impressive individuals at the firm – some that have served in the upper echelons of government. However, they are still so down-to-earth and approachable.” Another added: “Everyone I’ve interacted with is extremely helpful and polite. I’ve always been viewed as a colleague rather than simply a junior associate.”

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion



Praise emerged across our research for localized affinity groups and initiatives – such as helping to get people’s pronouns into email signatures. “Specific office events are good and well-attended,” one source suggested. “But it’s hard to get cohesion nationally. There’s emphasis but we could be doing more.Sources were quick to praise diverse staffing on teams, particularly when it came to gender parity. “I do a ton of work on diverse teams, which is awesome,” one source reflected. “I recently worked on a case of 12 lawyers where only three were men.” Another weighed in: “My practice group is led by mostly women with children and to me that was a huge selling point in lateraling to Jones Day. It’s a firm that appears to really promote women, and where having a child does not appear in any way to affect partnership prospects.”

Their comments are backed up by the statistics where Jones Day ranks among the highest 10% of firms in our guide for its representation of women at partnership. Comments on ethnic minority figures were less positive, with one source noting the “obvious” lack of representation at partnership level and another insider highlighting that “most Black employees in my office are support staff.” Ultimately, like the industry as a whole, sources agreed that “there’s still a long way to go firmwide.”

TOP READ: Mentorship and Sponsorship: ensuring diverse talent can succeed with Jones Day>>

Strategy & Future



Among the associate ranks, sources found that “Jones Day has a demonstrated history of investing in its associates' long-term development." One elaborated: "I knew that I would be able to develop the skills necessary to succeed in this industry, rather than being overloaded with work and burnt out within two or three years.” And more broadly, weathering past downturns also prompted sources to feel confident about the firm’s future. “I knew that Jones Day was one of the few firms that stuck by its associates in the 2008 recession. I figured that another recession was bound to happen at some point, and that I would be glad for the job security associates at Jones Day enjoy.” This chimes with our survey research, which again showed associates to overwhelmingly be confident in the firm’s trajectory.

Get Hired



The first stage: recruitment on and off campus 

OCI applicants interviewed: 2,122  

Interviewees outside OCI: 135 

Jones Day recruits on campus at about 45 law schools and 24 job fairs. The number of students seen varies depending on the size of the law school. “We cast a wide net to various law schools to capture the best and brightest students and find our future leaders from all regions and all backgrounds,” explains hiring partner Sharyl Reisman. 

The interviews are conducted by teams of partners and associates from across the US offices. “There are no mandatory topics or questions, and questions are not based upon a particular formula,” Reisman explains. Rather, the firm is looking to gain an understanding of candidates, as well as “indications of leadership and commitment.” Reisman continues: “We use our interviews to try to identify those things, get a sense of the student’s passion and commitment to various activities, causes and organizations, and to really get a sense of the person as a person.” 

Top tips at this stage: 

“I always recommend that students try to learn as much about us – our culture, our programs, our structure, and specifically, why we are different. The Jones Day Careers website is a great start and rich with information.” – hiring partner, Sharyl Reisman

Callbacks 

Applicants invited to second stage interview:  664 

Successful candidates are invited to callbacks, which consist of individual interviews with a mix of partners and associates (usually four to six lawyers). The interviews generally last 20-30 minutes. At this stage, interviewers are looking to see whether candidates “share our commitment to our clients and client service,” as well as commitment to the firm and its culture. “Our questions combined with what we can see of the candidate's past experience are intended to elicit this information,” says Reisman. Naturally, the firm is also curious as to what it is about Jones Day that has attracted the candidate: “The answer is pretty revealing with respect to what the student has done to research the firm.” 

Top tips at this stage: 

“A candidate catches my attention during the callback interview when she demonstrates by her questions and comments that she has read (or listened to videos/podcasts) about what makes Jones Day different. If she articulates two or three of these differentiators, I’m inclined to think she has researched and understands our culture and is sincere in her interest in Jones Day.” – hiring partner Sharyl Reisman.  

Summer program 

Offers: 423 

Acceptances:153 

The summer program at Jones Day ties into its famed New Lawyers Group: “Summer associates don’t rotate through practices; instead there are a variety of assignments available, and students can steer themselves to the areas they want to try.” There is usually a work assigner to offer assignments across the practices. The tasks summers get involved in allow them to hone their research and writing skills, while practical trainings cover things like how to take a deposition or how to prepare documents for transactions. Each summer associate is also assigned a partner and an associate mentor. 

Top tips for this stage: 

“Get yourself exposed to as much of the firm as you can and get involved in as much as you can. Don’t treat it as an eight or ten-week program, but as a process of getting to know the people and place.” – hiring partner Sharyl Reisman

Jones Day

51 Louisiana Ave., N.W.,
Washington, DC,
D.C. 20001-2113
Website www.jonesday.com

  • Head office: Washington
  • Number of domestic offices: 18
  • Number of international offices: 24
  • Partners (US): 604
  • Associates (US): 722
  • Contacts 
  • Main recruitment contact: Firmwide Director of Recruiting, Shari J. Friedman (212 326 3949, sfriedman@jonesday.com)
  • Firmwide Hiring Partner: Sharyl A. Reisman (212 326 3405, sreisman@jonesday.com)
  • Firmwide Diversity Manager: Jennifer Shumaker (202 879 5430, jshumaker@jonesday.com)
  • Recruitment details 
  • Entry-level associates starting in 2022 (US): 152
  • Clerking policy: Yes
  • Summers joining/anticipated 2022: 196 (1Ls: 35; 2Ls: 158; Post 3Ls: 3; SEOs: 17)
  • Summers joining/anticipated 2022 split by office: Atlanta: 14; Boston: 11; Chicago: 25; Cleveland: 24; Columbus: 9; Dallas: 10; Detroit: 4; Houston: 11; Irvine: 5; Los Ángeles: 8; Miami: 3; Minneapolis: 6; New York: 21; Pittsburgh: 10; San Diego: 7; San Francisco: 6; Silicon Valley: 5; Washington 18

Firm profile
Jones Day is a global law firm with more than 2,500 lawyers in 42 offices across five continents. The Firm is distinguished by: a singular tradition of client service; the mutual commitment to, and the seamless collaboration of, a true partnership; formidable legal talent across multiple disciplines and jurisdictions; and shared professional values that focus on client needs.

Main areas of work
Jones Day’s practices cover the spectrum of transactional, litigation, regulatory and tax matters. Core practice areas include corporate/M&A, litigation/trial practice, government regulation, real estate, energy, healthcare, cybersecurity, issues and appeals, banking/fi-nance, bankruptcy/restructuring, labor and employment, securities litigation, financial institutions, antitrust, tax and intellectual property.

Recruitment
Law Schools attending for OCIs in 2021:
Benjamin N. Cardozo, Boston College, Boston University, Case Western, Chicago, Cleveland – Marshall, Columbia, Duke, Emory, Florida, Fordham, George Washington, Georgetown, Georgia, Georgia State, Harvard, Houston, Howard, Illinois, Iowa, Miami, Michigan, Minnesota, New York University, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Pennsylvania, Penn State University Park, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Santa Clara, SMU, Stanford, Texas, UC Berkeley, UC Hastings, UC Irvine, UCLA, University of Southern California, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Wayne State, Yale

Recruitment outside of OCIs in 2021:
Bay Area Diversity Career Fair, Boston College / Boston University Job Fair (NY), Boston Lawyers Group Diversity Job Fair, BYU Early Interview Program (Dallas), Columbia Overseas-Trained LL.M. Student Interview Program (January, 2022), U Conn. Off-Campus Interview Program (Boston), Cook County Bar Assn. Minority Law Student Job Fair, Cornell / NY Job Fair, Emory in NY Interview Program, George Washington Regional Interview Program (NY), Harvard BLSA 1L Job Fair (December), International Student Interview Program (NYU) (January, 2022), Lavender Law Career Fair, Loyola Patent Interview Program, Midwest-California-Georgia Consortium (Chicago), Minnesota Minority Recruitment Conference, New York Interview Program, Notre Dame in Dallas Interview Program, Penn Regional Interview Program (California), Penn Regional Interview Program (Chicago), Penn Regional Interview Program (Texas), Southeastern IP Job Fair, Southeastern Minority Job Fair, The Law Consortium Regional Interview Program (Chicago), UTexas On Tour NY Job Fair, Vanderbilt Walk Around Job Fair (Chicago), Vanderbilt Walk Around Job Fair (Dallas)

Summer associate profile
Jones Day provides unlimited opportunities for talented lawyers, not only within the Firm but in boardrooms and courtrooms worldwide. Participation as a summer associate is the best entryway to these opportunities. Our dedication to training and the relatively small size of the summer/new lawyer programs enable us to staff matters leanly, providing summer associates and junior lawyers with substantive and meaningful experiences on cutting-edge legal matters. Because of the Firm’s structure and supportive and collaborative environment, summer associates and junior lawyers also have vast resources at their disposal, not least of which is the Firm's deep and well-regarded bench of 2,500+ practitioners across the globe. In addition, summer associates join in pro bono projects and community service work with organizations both inside and outside the law to address pressing social issues, including social and racial injustice, human trafficking, asylum, clemency, domestic violence and veterans’ affairs, to name a few.

Social media:
Recruitment website: www.jonesday.com/careers
Email: recruiting@jonesday.com
Facebook: @JonesDayLawFirm
LinkedIn: jones-day
Twitter: @JonesDay
YouTube: Jones Day

This Firm's Rankings in
USA Guide, 2022

Ranked Departments

    • Antitrust (Band 2)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 3)
    • Construction (Band 2)
    • Healthcare (Band 2)
    • Insurance: Policyholder (Band 2)
    • Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation (Band 4)
    • Intellectual Property: Patent Prosecution (Band 1)
    • Labor & Employment: The Elite (Band 3)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: The Elite (Band 3)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 4)
    • Antitrust (Band 4)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 3)
    • Construction (Band 3)
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Band 4)
    • Healthcare (Band 5)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 1)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: The Elite (Band 4)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 3)
    • Tax (Band 3)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: Highly Regarded (Band 3)
    • Corporate/M&A & Private Equity (Band 4)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 3)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 1)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 5)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 2)
    • Litigation: Securities (Band 2)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 1)
    • Real Estate (Band 2)
    • Tax (Band 2)
    • Antitrust (Band 2)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 4)
    • Corporate/M&A & Private Equity (Band 3)
    • Healthcare (Band 2)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 2)
    • Labor & Employment: The Elite (Band 2)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 2)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 2)
    • Real Estate (Band 2)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 3)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 3)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 1)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring: The Elite (Band 4)
    • Corporate/M&A: The Elite (Band 4)
    • Insurance: Dispute Resolution: Policyholder (Band 3)
    • Intellectual Property: Patent (Band 3)
    • Labor & Employment: The Elite (Band 2)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: Highly Regarded (Band 2)
    • Litigation: Securities (Band 5)
    • Tax (Band 4)
    • Antitrust (Band 1)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 1)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 1)
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Band 2)
    • Healthcare (Band 1)
    • Insurance: Policyholder (Band 1)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 1)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 4)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 1)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 1)
    • Real Estate (Band 3)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 1)
    • Construction (Band 3)
    • Insurance (Band 2)
    • Corporate/M&A & Private Equity (Band 2)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 1)
    • Antitrust (Band 2)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 2)
    • Corporate/M&A: The Elite (Band 4)
    • Healthcare (Band 5)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 2)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 3)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 2)
    • Real Estate (Band 3)
    • Antitrust (Band 2)
    • Antitrust: Cartel (Band 3)
    • Appellate Law (Band 2)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 5)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring: The Elite (Band 3)
    • Capital Markets: Investment Grade Debt: Issuer Counsel (Band 4)
    • Construction (Band 2)
    • Corporate Crime & Investigations: The Elite (Band 4)
    • Corporate/M&A: The Elite (Band 3)
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Band 4)
    • Energy: Electricity (Regulatory & Litigation) (Band 4)
    • Energy: Oil & Gas (Transactional) (Band 4)
    • Financial Services Regulation: Broker Dealer (Compliance & Enforcement) (Band 4)
    • Healthcare: The Elite (Band 3)
    • Insurance: Dispute Resolution: Policyholder (Band 3)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 2)
    • International Arbitration: Highly Regarded (Band 1)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 1)
    • Life Sciences (Band 4)
    • Political Law (Band 4)
    • Private Equity: Buyouts: Mid-Market (Band 3)
    • Product Liability & Mass Torts: The Elite (Band 3)
    • Product Liability: Consumer Class Actions (Band 2)
    • Projects: PPP (Band 4)
    • Real Estate (Band 4)
    • Retail: Corporate & Transactional (Band 1)
    • Securities: Regulation: Enforcement (Band 4)
    • Tax: Controversy (Band 5)
    • Tax: Corporate & Finance (Band 4)