Proskauer Rose LLP - The Inside View

In and out of the courtroom, Proskauer’s commercial and litigation prowess scores big in the employment, investments and sports sectors.

“People come to Proskauer to do something meaningful, and we’re in the business to make sure our people can do just that.” For managing partner Steve Ellis, this is the firm’s “special sauce.” So, what are the ingredients to said sauce? According to Ellis, it’s a combination of “a vibrant culture and challenging work.” And challenging work you will find: “Clients come to us for reputational and industry-defining matters.” Speak to any of Proskauer’s eager juniors and you’ll hear much the same about the firm’s impressive roster of clients and the opportunity to work on exciting matters full of that special sauce.

Case in point,Proskauer is recognized as top tier in the Chambers USA guide for areas such as labor & employment, healthcare, commercial litigation, and sports law. “People say this is BigLaw, it’s going to suck blah blah blah. My experience at Proskauer is not that at all. People don’t take themselves too seriously and that’s what drew me in,” one associate noted. Another told us, “All the matters are high-profile, high-stakes.” In fact, “One of the best things about the firm is we are involved with the biggest stories of the day. It’s innovating the industry.”

The Work

Across Proskauer’s seven offices, the New York office takes the lion’s share of juniors, followed by Boston and LA. Chicago, New Orleans, DC, and Boca Raton host the rest. As a summer, associates have full access to a free-market work system. “You spend ten weeks doing as many assignments and projects across as many different practice areas as you can,” though it's key to note that there are also work coordinators in place to ensure summers have access to the work they're interested in. Upon completing their summer, associates are able to gain "direct entry" into their desired department; those looking to join the corporate department, however, are entered into a practice within the department. Examples include (but are not limited to) private equity/M&A, bankruptcy, private credit, capital markets, healthcare, and sports. Generally, associates are able to pick their preferences of which departments they want, and sources assured us, “No one gets less than their second choices!”As a fully-fledged associate, juniors gain their work through a mix of informal and formal methods: “There is a coordinator who will look for your work interests, but this method becomes less necessary as you become more known in the firm.”

As mentioned earlier, juniors in the corporate department join specific practices under the corporate canopy. Matters here cover everything from private investment funds to sports law – the latter of which involves "M&A for sports teams and leagues, finance work, debt finance, and refinancing." Over on the funds side, sources described working on fund formations where they gained experience "liaising with the fund and the investors, as well as reviewing the agreements that come through."

“The partners will ask you questions because you know the most about it.”

Smaller clients present the opportunity for juniors to grab the matter by the horns and keep partners up to date: “The partners will ask you questions because you know the most about it.” Responsibility is there for the taking as “partners welcome it because it lightens the burden on them.” Legal research and doc review can be typical of a junior's day-to-day, but “I’ve seen an increase in responsibility early on.”

Corporate clients: Blackstone, Warner Bros., Morgan Stanley. Advised hospitality company Accor in a joint venture which combined 17 hotel brands in over 30 countries.

The litigation department features a broadness of opportunities; “There’s such a nice mix of work here,” sources were happy to report. For instance, associates could find themselves simultaneously working on “a real estate matter while representing a sports league, as well as other IP and antitrust work.” Indeed, Proskauer has built up an impressive track record of success both inside and outside of the courtroom. Associates found that “there’s a symbiosis between the transactional and litigation departments” as the firm offers its full range of talents to its clients. “There isn’t a typical matter that a junior is staffed on, because of the breadth of work. You get to try a lot of litigation matters that you might not have the opportunity to do at more specialized firms,” a source proclaimed.

Responsibilities can begin with “a fair amount of doc review, and a blend of administrative tasks,” but rest assured, “there are plenty of opportunities to work your way up pretty quickly, so that you’re drafting substantive documents” like motions and official regulatory correspondence. “What’s great about Proskauer is that even the typically ‘boring’ tasks are enjoyable because of the people,” an associate told us.

Litigation clients: Major League Soccer, Mr. Chow, Miramax. Represented Gilead Sciences against numerous state and federal product liability actions in relation to the pharmaceutics company's HIV prevention and treatment drugs.


“We’re one of the best in the country but without any white glove pretence.”

What to say about the culture of a globally renowned firm? One common thread across our American insiders was that “Proskauer has high expectations, but everyone is very kind.” Harking back to Steve Ellis’ special sauce, mixing these two elements of prestigious work and an airy culture is something our interviewees appreciated: “We’re one of the best in the country but without any white glove pretence,” one associate shared. “I never feel like I need to hold my breath and enter work mode.” In fact, “the firm is protective of its culture – anytime you send an email there is appreciation from the other side. It’s the little things that go a long way.”

Now that people are back in the office on a hybrid model – three days a week – firm events are on the rise. It doesn’t take much for this firm to put on a do: “We host viewing parties for sporting events and hold sweepstakes,” alongside the usual Christmas and summer parties. Ellis told us: “I challenged every office to develop an eight-week plan for return to office events and talks with engaging speakers – we even had an astronaut!” Those who didn’t describe themselves as party people were pleased to find: “There isn’t pressure to do things outside of work. That helps to prevent burnout as you can have your own life outside of work.”

Hours and Compensation

Billable hours: no requirement

Work/life balance is certainly on the firm’s mind: “If someone asks you to do something that might infringe on your life, like working on the weekend for example, they always apologize.” As you might expect in a full-service firm, “the hours ebb and flow.”  Associates were, however, glad for the firm’s flexible approach: “I’m a nine-to-seven person, logging back in if needed, but there are early birds that prefer clocking in before that and leaving earlier.” Of course, matters can pop up last minute: “It’s not common but when it happens there’s no predicting it. You’re representing sophisticated clients with sophisticated needs and those times could last days, weeks, or months.” Juniors were quick to point out, “It’s enjoyable in the end. Everyone is appreciative of the work you put in. Going through it as a team is the shining light.”

“The department is a family. Everyone knows and understands your goals.”

Although there isn’t a billing target, sources reported aiming for "around 1,800 hours, which is easy to hit.” To aid juniors with workload management, certain departments have monthly workflow surveys which associates can fill out. “They ask questions like, ‘Do you find your workflow manageable?’,‘Do you need to reduce or increase it?’, and at the end of each there is the option to talk to someone in HR.” Ellis believes that “those days of working 24 hours straight are behind us. We work hard, but that’s just a part of the equation. It’s important for our young lawyers to be in a place where they can leave their mark, not just putting in time, checking in and out.”

Career Development

Proskauer’s focus is on “what we call ‘the associate experience,’” according to Ellis. “That includes: a workplace that provides you with training; offers high-end work; and an inclusive culture where you can be yourself.” New joiners head straightto a two-week Proskauer Institute training bootcamp in New York (the opportunity is also open to junior laterals). Upon joining the firm, associates are paired with an associate adviser which then transitions into a partner mentor as the newbie gains seniority. There are also ongoing reviews with formal feedback to add to the arsenal of formal training. But “those formal mechanisms don’t feel necessary,” a litigation junior suggested. “The department is a family. Everyone knows and understands your goals.” Third, fourth, and fifth-year associates are also invited to a class-level training retreat where everyone meets in New York for a few days of essential skills training and networking.

In terms of partnership prospects, formal discussions are had with associates after their sixth year. Prior to this, mid-level associates are able to attend panels where partners and members of the professional development team pull back the curtain on what the process may entail. Whether our interviewees felt making partner was achievable depended on the practice area and office. “The primary exit is going in-house, because clients really get to know you and that makes the transition easier,” one source shared. The firm does understand that partnership doesn’t align with everyone’s interests: “Proskauer is supportive of any of your goals, partnership might come up but it’s really about providing a toolbox for associates to succeed anywhere.”

“Working for people that are clearly in need of help is incredibly rewarding. It's fantastic that the firm encourages that.”

Pro Bono

Juniors are automatically staffed on their first pro bono matter, meaning newbies can easily fill their time initially. “You're never hounded for doing too much pro bono and not enough client billable work. You can literally do hundreds of hours!" Our interviewees got involved in matters such as asylum and immigration issues, legal research to do with voter protection, and regulatory advice for individuals seeking abortion treatment. “Working for people that are clearly in need of help is incredibly rewarding. It’s fantastic that the firm encourages that,” sources said.

Pro bono hours 

  • For all (US) attorneys: 39,078
  • Average per (US) attorney: 58.9

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Following the murder of George Floyd, the firm introduced the 'Collaboration for Change' initiative, which focuses on key goals such as: raising the collective consciousness; committing to D&I, retention, promotion and training; and collaborating with racial justice and community organizations. “We try to use our influence to change the industry, as well as raise awareness internally,” Ellis proclaimed. Juniors appreciated that “there are a consistent number of events that allow people to feel themselves” hosted by the many affinity groups. For example, “We recently hosted a National Coming Out Day event in the office. The LGBTQ+, Women’s Alliance and Black Lawyers’ affinity groups are all super active.” One junior felt that “the firm breaks down walls by getting the little things right. It shows that diverse employees are important to the citizenship of the firm.”

Moreover, to support diverse recruitment, the firm has a Silver Scholar Program which is awarded to 1Ls and 2Ls. Silver Scholars receive a place on the firm's summer program, are eligible for a cash award of up to $30,000, as well as the opportunity to split their summer with one of the firm's key clients. Proskauer has also partnered with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF) to form a fellowship that allows one associate to work directly with the LDF.

Strategy and Future

Looking ahead, Ellis tells us, "As a firm, we tend to be anticipatory rather than reactionary. We’ve seen a great benefit in our geo-agnostic approach. We are dealing with clients across offices, from LA to London, utilizing the talent we have spread across the globe.” Associates said that there are also associate-based town halls "where the firm is very transparent about what industries it wants to focus on and where it wants the work to come in.” Another source noted: “We’ve been pretty busy in the last year, so personnel-wise the firm is growing.” As Ellis points out, “Every law firm is in the talent business. It’s that balance of doing complex interesting work combined with having a vibrant culture which really appeals to talent.”

Get Hired

The first stage: recruitment on and off campus

OCI applicants interviewed: undisclosed

Interviewees outside OCI: undisclosed

Proskauer Rose traditionally recruits from a wide range of OCIs and job fairs, though write-in applications from outside the net are also accepted. While the firm does recruit from a wide range of schools, most of our summer class is drawn from schools that are ranked in the US News top 20.

The firm interviews between 20 and 100 students per school, where interviews are usually conducted by partners on the hiring committee and, whenever possible, alumni of the law school. Interviewees should expect questions that go beyond the resume. Our goal is to determine whether the person has characteristics and traits that have proven to be successful at the firm.

Top tips for this stage:

Let your personality show. On-campus interviews tend to be only 20 minutes long, so candidates who do well are those who convey a sense of who they are and why they are considering joining Proskauer. 


Applicants invited to second stage interview: undisclosed

If you make it back through to the callback phase, expect to do a deeper dive into what was initially discussed at OCI. Interviews are conducted by a combination of members of the hiring committee, partners, associates, and a member of the recruitment department. If a candidate has expressed an interest in a specific department or practice area, we try and gauge the depth of her or his interest and learn about experiences she or he have had that might be helpful to the practice.

Top tips for this stage:

We recommend using the same approach for callbacks as we do for OCI interviews. Candidates should make sure they have done research on the firm and are prepared with thoughtful questions.

Summer program

Offers: undisclosed

Acceptances: 73 anticipated

Proskauer’s summer associates can work in a number of departments and gain exposure through assignments, workshops and shadowing without the constraint of a formal rotation process. Work is distributed either by the legal recruiting department.

Top tips for this stage:

Treat the program like a real job (because it is). Be enthusiastic, on time and participate in the various aspects of the program. While the work is important, so are the other components. Participate in social events, be a good firm citizen and take every opportunity to get to know your colleagues.

And finally…

Don’t wait until July/August to start getting to know firms. Your research should start in the spring semester of your 1L year. At the beginning of your job search, determine what firm characteristics are most important to you (e.g., practice, location, prestige, culture) and keep that in mind throughout the process, which we fully understand can be hectic and stressful.

Proskauer Rose LLP

Eleven Times Square,
(Eighth Avenue & 41st Street),
New York,
NY 10036

Main areas of work

 Private equity; corporate finance and securities; mergers and acquisitions; capital markets; litigation, trials and dispute resolution; white collar defense and investigations; intellectual property; labor and employment; employee benefits and executive compensation; real estate; privacy and cybersecurity; bankruptcy and restructuring; and wealth management. The firm also has significant industry-focused experience across many fields, including asset management; health care; financial institutions; technology, media and telecommunications; private equity real estate; life sciences; sports; and media and entertainment.

Firm profile

 We are 725+ lawyers serving clients from 12 offices located in the leading financial and business centers in North and South America, Europe and Asia. The world’s leading organizations, companies and corporations choose us to be their representatives in their most critical situations. We work with alternative capital providers, major sports leagues, Fortune 500 companies, entertainment industry legends, many of the world’s most successful asset managers and other industry-redefining companies.


Law schools attending for OCIs in 2022: Boston College, Boston University, Brooklyn, Cardozo, Columbia, Cornell, DePaul, Duke, Emory, Fordham, George Washington University, Georgetown, Harvard, Hofstra, Howard, Indiana University (Maurer), Louisiana State, Loyola - Chicago, Loyola - New Orleans, New York University, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Stanford, Suffolk, Tulane, University of California (Berkeley, Los Angeles), University of Chicago, University of Connecticut, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, University of Texas, University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Washington University in St Louis, Yale. If we do not visit your law school, or you are unable to participate in one of the many career fairs in which we participate, please submit your cover letter, resume and transcript directly to the recruiting mailbox of the office in which you are interested.

Summer associate profile:
We look for well-rounded students who have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership, community service, intellectual curiosity, maturity and strong motivation to succeed. Our environment is challenging, rewarding, entrepreneurial and inclusive. Associates receive early exposure to high levels of responsibility, so the people who thrive here are those who can engage with clients, have a sense of humor, and some worldliness.

Summer program components: Our summer program is designed to replicate, as closely as possible, the experience of being a lawyer at Proskauer. You will work on challenging matters alongside some of the top lawyers in the field while building relationships with your colleagues. You might find yourself attending a deposition, courtroom argument or administrative hearing. Or being at the table in a labor arbitration. You might help in the formation of companies or be part of a team handling a merger or acquisition. Every day of your time with us represents part of your training – as you work with experienced professionals on client matters and gain their real-time feedback and direction. You will also have the chance to up your game in key areas through partner-led, interactive training workshops throughout your summer. You will have many opportunities to join in social, cultural and recreational activities to get better acquainted with your fellow summers and lawyers at Proskauer.

Social media

Recruitment website:
Twitter: @proskauer
Facebook: proskauerlife
Instagram: @proskauer_rose
Linkedin: proskauer-rose-llp

This Firm's Rankings in
USA Guide, 2023

Ranked Departments

    • Banking & Finance (Band 3)
    • Labor & Employment: The Elite (Band 3)
    • Life Sciences (Band 4)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: The Elite (Band 4)
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Band 2)
    • Tax (Band 4)
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Band 2)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 3)
    • Insurance: Dispute Resolution: Policyholder (Band 2)
    • Labor & Employment: The Elite (Band 5)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 3)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 1)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 4)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 4)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 1)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 3)
    • Private Equity: Fund Formation (Band 1)
    • Real Estate (Band 3)
    • Tax (Band 2)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 4)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring: The Elite (Band 3)
    • Corporate/M&A: Highly Regarded (Band 3)
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Band 1)
    • Environment: Mainly Transactional (Band 3)
    • Healthcare (Band 1)
    • Insurance: Dispute Resolution: Policyholder (Band 2)
    • Labor & Employment: The Elite (Band 1)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: Highly Regarded (Band 1)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations: The Elite (Band 4)
    • Media & Entertainment: Corporate (Band 3)
    • Media & Entertainment: Litigation (Band 4)
    • Outsourcing (Band 3)
    • Real Estate: Mainly Corporate & Finance (Band 4)
    • Real Estate: Mainly Dirt (Band 4)
    • Tax (Band 3)
    • Technology (Band 3)
    • Advertising: Litigation (Band 2)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 3)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring: The Elite (Band 3)
    • Corporate/M&A: Highly Regarded (Band 3)
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Band 1)
    • ERISA Litigation (Band 2)
    • Healthcare: Highly Regarded (Band 1)
    • Hedge Funds (Band 4)
    • Insurance: Dispute Resolution: Policyholder (Band 3)
    • Investment Funds: Investor Representation (Band 2)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 1)
    • Leisure & Hospitality (Band 4)
    • Private Equity: Fund Formation (Band 2)
    • Real Estate (Band 4)
    • Registered Funds (Band 3)
    • REITs (Band 4)
    • Sports Law (Band 1)
    • Tax: Corporate & Finance (Band 4)

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