Jones Day - The Inside View

Worldwide working on the biggest deals in Big Law? That’s all in a (Jones) Day’s work!

Centuries ago, Jules Verne penned the idea of getting ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’. In the modern day, it takes about three days in a passenger plane. But if you’re Jones Day, it can take mere seconds. As Sharyl Reisman, firmwide hiring partner, tells us, “I can pick up the phone and call anybody across the globe and ask them to assist on a project, and universally the answer will be ‘Yes, how can I help?’” With 18 offices in the US and a further 22 worldwide, Jones Day is simply a giant in terms of geography and scope of practice. This is evidenced by over a whopping 100 ranked departments in Chambers USA, and in Chambers Global. Amongst some of the top marks is the firm’s international arbitration, labor and employment, intellectual property, banking and finance, and product liability practices.

“The majority of people I spoke to had been here their entire career.”

The sheer scale of the work and global footprint clearly swayed a lot of associate’s decisions in joining the firm. Particularly given the firm’s motto is ‘One Firm Worldwide’. One associate even admitted that “when I was a law student I was like yeah, whatever, every law firm says ‘we have offices everywhere and all work together’. But I was really shocked when I came here. I’ve got friends in other offices, the London office, some that I’ve met in person and others that I haven’t – I love the motto!” On top of this, many juniors were drawn to the opportunity for a lengthy career at JD, something many got a sense of when interviewing with the firm. One junior shared that: “the majority of people I spoke to had been here their entire career, more so than at any other firm I interviewed with.”

Strategy & Future

Sharyl Reisman, firmwide hiring partner, tell us that the firm’s strategy is “to grow in the way that meets our clients’ needs.” Part of this involves,“ESG. You name the practice and it’s impacted by ESG.” Reisman shares that “we have also regionalized some of our partners in charge, to ensure the regions are functioning together.” Reisman references the partner in charge of Australia, adding to the partner in charge of Europe. Speaking of the ‘One Firm Worldwide’ ideology,Reisman reflects that this structure means that the firm is able to “staff every deal, matter, case, pre-litigation dispute, with the best people to service the client on that matter, whether by geography, by subject matter, by market, or by relationships. There is no impediment or obstacle for us to make sure we have the right people on that project.”

The Work

It’s safe to say Jones Day’s practice covers just about everything you can think of, with a huge 20 different groups on our list. Just over a quarter of the associates on our list worked in business and tort litigation, or BATL (pronounced “Battle”) as associates explained. The next most popular groups were corporate and financial markets. Moreover, associates were dotted all over the 18 US offices, though the largest groups were found in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland and Washington DC.

The vast majority of juniors join the firm’s ‘New Lawyers Group’ when they first start at the firm, which gives them the opportunity to “explore our interests and decide what we want to do” during their first year. One junior likened this experience to “a beer or wine tasting or something like that. You have the chance to try different samples of different practice groups and take on more or less of that and find groups and niches that work well with your interests.” We heard that work allocation during this first year is “very structured, very deliberate, to get your feet wet and not overwhelm you with too many projects.” But that after this year, one junior told us it becomes “a free market system, but there’s plenty of work to go around, it’s about lifting your hands up and they’ll give you something.” Another source told us that “as you get more senior a lot is getting repeat work from seniors and partners that you previously worked with, and even seeking out partners that you’ve heard great things about or want to work with.”

“I’m constantly surprised by the things that I’m allowed to do…”

Juniors in business and tort litigation (BATL) told us that their work is very varied because as an associate in the group, “you know litigation and you know the court system, so you can be asked to do almost anything within the commercial disputes space.” We heard about juniors having the chance to work on cases with Experian, a credit reporting agency, where “they have special cases that they give just to junior associates where you run your own case, where individual plaintiffs are suing Experian for inaccurate reporting.” Commenting on this, one newbie reflected that “those cases are awesome because the single associate who’s on that case runs the entire thing!” But overall, the level of responsibility given to associates in this group generally “depends on the teams that you’re on and what you’re capable of, and what the partners think you’re capable of.” As such, sources we spoke to emphasized that the firm is very much “the kind of place where if you raise your hand and say you’re interested in something, you very likely will get the opportunity.” Another insider shared that assignments for juniors “usually start with a research question,” leading to “the opportunity to draft something for a motion or brief.” Doing good work can take you far in this practice group, as one interviewee shared that “if you’re a junior associate and you know how to handle things, you’re going to get more responsibilities.” These extra responsibilities were a nice surprise for some, as another source reflected “I’m constantly surprised by the things that I’m allowed to do. I didn’t think I’d get a deposition as an associate at all!”

Litigation clients: Sirius XM Holdings, Chevron USA, Joseph Percoco. Represented Wells Fargo in a putative class action lawsuit filed by ERISA plan trustees alleging breaches of fiduciary duty in failing to oversee servicers for RMBS trusts.

A corporate junior described the group as “the quarterbacks of large deals,” explaining that “you get to interact with a lot of lawyers from a lot of different specialties and you also get a wide range of documents and projects to work on.” Sources told us about working across a variety of different industries, as their work included “aerospace related deals, consumer products of course, healthcare and software deals.” Responsibilities can be quite similar across different cases, including things like handling disclosure schedules, drafting consent, and drafting ancillary agreements.  Though, one interviewee explained that “because the industries are so different, it feels like you learn a lot with each deal.” One source told us that their favorite type of matter to work on was within the consumer products space: “I personally love it when the target company is creating something that I actually know!”

Corporate clients: Meridian Bioscience, KKR, Cibus Global. Represented Hard Rock International in the acquisition of The Mirage Las Vegas Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from MGM Resorts International.

Career Development

Opportunities for career development at the firm got a thumbs up from associates. One junior told us that the “main goal is for associates to come here and stay here, learn here, grow here, and ultimately become partner.” Another interviewee told us that “it feels like they’re developing every class to be the next wave of leaders and the next wave of partners,” and this was backed up by the fact that “the partners each year tend to be people who have been at the firm since they were summer associates.” Associates spoke about their time in the New Lawyers Group year as one of the main career development opportunities at the firm, as juniors have this year to explore different practice areas, rather than having to choose one before they start at the firm. There are also mentorship systems at the firm, but as one insider put it: “where most people find the most value is the mentorships that they form more organically when working with people.”

Hours & Compensation

Billable hours: 2,000 target

The billable target was said to be “less of a strict requirement, given that we don’t follow the lockstep bonus structure.” Indeed, Jones Day does not follow a lockstep compensation model, so does not offer separate bonuses based on the hours billed by any particular attorney. Instead, compensation at the firm is decided on a discretionary basis. While associates told us that “more transparency would always be helpful” regarding the decisions made around compensation, they appreciated that “there is the potential to make more than your colleagues at other firms.” Another junior highlighted that it is “a good system in terms of the fact that the economy hasn’t been super good for deal work in the last few years, so not having your bonus tied to meeting a specific hour count has shifted the focus, so you can really concentrate on what you’re doing in that moment.” Insiders felt that their hour target was achievable but shared that “because our compensation is not tied to a bonus, I don’t have much anxiety about hitting that at my firm as other firms would.”

Working hours were said to be generally pretty typical, though we heard work patterns can get a little unpredictable. As one junior litigator explained, “one day in the week you may have to work twelve hours but another you may have to work three and then just monitor things.” An associate in financial markets felt similarly about the flux of work: “in summer I was probably billing over 100 hours for the summer months, but in Q4 I was billing over 200 hours each month, because everyone is trying to close a deal by the end of the year.” Despite this, we heard that partners are generally respectful of associates’ time, and “if someone needs something by tomorrow morning, they will get you that expectation.”

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

On diversity at the firm, juniors told us that “they emphasize it well and a lot of it is just having role models in the senior ranks who people can identify with.” The firm also has seven different affinity group and recently created a Jewish Cultural affinity group. Associates told us that they appreciated this because “it was interesting to see how quickly they responded – they saw that we needed a space to talk and created that.” The women’s group was also spoken of very highly, as they “put on a bunch of different programming speaking to the mission of supporting women in BigLaw, but are also open to men and allies across the firm for them to participate and also get a perspective on what it is like to be a woman in BigLaw.” Members of these affinity groups sound like they’re well-supported too, with one example being the women’s committee recently adding breast pumps in the office, so “now we have a room for women to breastfeed in.”


“There are people who I’d say I’m good friends with who I’ve never met in person, and now we chat and text outside of work as well.”

Speaking of inclusivity, “everyone is a team player. No matter what kind of matter you’re on, if you reach out to anyone, they’re always more than happy to speak, to answer questions and assist in whatever way possible,” surmised one associate on the firm culture. On top of this, the firm’s cross office work meant that some associates had made connections with others across the JD network: “I work with people in other offices across the firm. There are people who I’d say I’m good friends with who I’ve never met in person, and now we chat and text outside of work as well.” Something that stood out to one junior was the fact that “partners always ask if you’re available first, it’s not a given that you’re automatically roped into a deal.” This was something echoed by another associate, who explained that: “associates respect the partners and they’re all brilliant but they’re not intimidating, they’re very approachable.”

In terms of socializing, we heard that the firm has “monthly office-wide events, but each practice group will always be organizing their own things like a specific holiday party or happy hours, or even closing dinners amongst a specific deal team that completed a deal.” An associate in Pittsburgh also mentioned that at the end of 2023, the office “did a partnership with United Way and we did partner games. Associates came by to watch and partners volunteered to participate in different competitions and events. It was something where you could donate to that, and different partners also raised money.”

Pro Bono

Almost all of our interviewees mentioned the Laredo Project, when we asked about pro bono. “It’s a huge project on the border in Texas, where they help asylum seekers present their cases to immigration court,” explained one junior. Interviewees were happy to tell us that the firm also regularly works with organizations including Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), working to protect children entering the US immigration system as unaccompanied minors, and Her Justice, who help women in the areas of family, matrimonial and immigration law. All pro bono hours at Jones Day count as billable, which was seen as a helpful incentive to get involved. But others noted the breadth of experience it can help associates gain. “There’s a big push for especially young associates to get involved in pro bono,” shared one source. They added that it is “a good way to get hands-on working in terms of drafting, working with complex forms and processes, and the client engagement process, which is something you often don’t get until you’re more senior in your role.”

Pro bono hours

  • For all US attorneys: 146,449
  • Average per US attorney: undisclosed


Get Hired 

The first stage: recruitment on and off campus   

OCI applicants interviewed:  1,529    

Jones Day recruits on campus at about 47 law schools and 20 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.   


Applicants invited to second stage interview:  360 

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:  156 

Acceptances: 62  

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

Firm profile
Jones Day is a global law firm with 2,400 lawyers in 40 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/private equity, business & tort litigation, global disputes, government regulation, real estate, energy, health care & life sciences, cybersecurity, issues and appeals, bankruptcy/restructuring, labor and employment, securities litigation, financial markets, antitrust, tax and intellectual property.

Law Schools attending for OCIs in 2024:
Benjamin N. Cardozo, Boston College, Boston University, Case Western, Chicago, Cleveland State University, Columbia, Duke, Emory, Florida, Fordham, George Washington, Georgetown, Georgia, Georgia State, Harvard, Houston, Howard, Illinois, Miami, Michigan, Minnesota, New York University, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Pennsylvania, Penn State University Park, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Santa Clara, SMU, Stanford, Texas, Texas A&M, UC Berkeley, UC Law San Francisco, UC Irvine, UCLA, University of Southern California, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Yale

Recruitment outside of OCIs in 2024:
Bay Area Diversity Career Fair, Boston College / Boston University Job Fair (NY), Boston Lawyers Group Diversity Job Fair, Cook County Bar Assn. Minority Law Student Job Fair, Cornell / NY Job Fair, Emory in NY Interview Program, 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, Southeastern IP Job Fair, Southeastern Law School Consortium, Vanderbilt Walk Around Job Fair (Chicago), Vanderbilt in Chicago Job Fair, Vanderbilt in Texas Job Fair.

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 more than 2,400 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:

This Firm's Rankings in
USA Guide, 2023

Ranked Departments

    • Antitrust (Band 2)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 3)
    • Construction (Band 2)
    • Healthcare (Band 2)
    • Insurance: Policyholder (Band 3)
    • 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)
    • Intellectual Property: Litigation (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 2)
    • Real Estate (Band 2)
    • Tax (Band 2)
    • Antitrust (Band 2)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 4)
    • Corporate/M&A & Private Equity (Band 4)
    • Healthcare (Band 2)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 3)
    • 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 2)
    • 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)
    • Labor & Employment: Transactional (Band 1)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: Highly Regarded (Band 2)
    • Litigation: Securities (Band 4)
    • 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 2)
    • 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 5)
    • Healthcare (Band 5)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 2)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 3)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 2)
    • 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 4)
    • Derivatives (Band 4)
    • 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 5)
    • Private Equity: Buyouts: Mid-Market (Band 3)
    • Product Liability & Mass Torts: The Elite (Band 2)
    • Product Liability: Tobacco (Band 1)
    • 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)