Proskauer Rose LLP - The Inside View

Everything’s coming up Roses at this New York-founded firm with expertise in all things employment, sports, and healthcare.

Let’s not beat around the bush: in the big, bold, BigLaw garden, Proskauer truly stands out as a Rose. The firm harbors a whole host of prestigious clients with household names, including Sony Music Entertainment and iHeartMedia, as well as the likes of the NBA (National Basketball Association) and the NFL (National Football League). Among our associate sources, the firm was a crowd favorite, too, with insiders noting: “I wanted to work with people who were really smart and at the top of their game.” This glowing stature is reflected in our sister guide, Chambers USA, where Proskauer is awarded top medals for its nationwide employee benefits & executive compensation, healthcare, labor & employment, and sportslaw expertise. The firm’s banking & finance and private equity: fund formation expertise in Massachusetts, and general commercial litigation know-how in New York also score big.

“Proskauer was noticeably different.”

Proskauer boasts a number of offices across the US, with the most associates on our list based in New York, followed by Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boca Raton, and New Orleans. The firm also has a further five international bases in Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Sao Paulo. Across its far-reaching network, it was the community feeling at Proskauer that stood out to associates. “A lot of BigLaw firms are hard to differentiate – the answer you always hear is ‘the culture and the people’ and you kind of roll your eyes a little bit. Proskauer was noticeably different,” one associate confessed. This difference might have something to do with what firm chairman emeritus Steve Ellis calls Proskauer’s “special sauce,” which combines elements of growth, strategy, culture, and – most importantly – excitement. Ellis adds: “Whether you’re here for your entire career or just a chapter, you’ll always be part of this community.”

Strategy & Future

On the firm’s current market presence, Ellis states emphatically: “Proskauer is a firm that has significant momentum right now. We have an energized focus on private capital, and we’re continuously building on that. Private capital intersects some of our other main sectors: health, media, entertainment, life sciences. When you consistently reinforce that commitment to growth and momentum, culture, and strategy, the trajectory of the firm is pretty infectious.”

Proskauer has seen significant growth in the last few years, specifically with private equity and private credit expansion in Paris, and Ellis highlights what the firm is looking towards in the next few years. “We’ve brought in five new first chair trial partners and built out teams across several other practices and offices. Our recent additions in Paris, London, New York, Boston, Chicago, and DC target the idea of meeting our clients where they’re going, and that intersection of private capital and trial work,” Ellis reflects on the firm’s growth. 

The Work

Proskauer covers a few different bases in terms of practice areas, but associates predominantly work in the firm’s corporate and litigation departments. Juniors who summered here highlighted the flexible nature of the program, as the firm encourages its summers to experience as much as possible before picking a preferred practice area. “It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure! I got to pick the work that I wanted to do and work with the people I wanted to work with,” one former summer described. At the end of the summer, corporate associates typically gain “direct entry” to their top ranked practice group, while junior litigators start as generalists. Upon joining the firm, work is mainly assigned through a centralized staffing system, which most associates preferred: “Whether the market’s fast or slow, it feels fairer.” That said, “there is some flexibility to say ‘Hey, I was talking to someone about that one deal, and I want to be on it.’ Another insider agreed, adding: “If there’s a partner I like working with, I can express that, but centralized staffing provides the right type of scaffolding to ensure that nobody is falling through the cracks.”

The corporate group is split between several practices, the biggest of which are private investment funds, private credit, and private equity transactions/M&A, and sports. Associates explained the group’s main work sources can be “categorized in three different buckets: private equity work, hedge funds work, and secondary deals,” with “private equity being the bread and butter.” As for clientele in the funds group, “it’s anything from the big, giant names – investors, banks, fund managers – to tiny one-man shops and family companies,” whereas the M&A work can be comprised of “more traditional M&A deals, like private equity sponsorships or buying companies” or “more restructuring or distress M&A depending on where the market’s at.”

The level of responsibility associates get here varies depending on the nature of the deal. “It’s funny because you say document review and it sounds like a boring job,” an associate teased, “but in private equity, it’s pretty important.” Another interviewee laughed, “There are days where you’re just doing signature packets, but there are good opportunities to advance, learn, and do more complicated stuff.” This complicated stuff includes taking the first crack at drafting, the #1 favorite task among our associate sources – “you get to really dive into the transaction – it feels like you’re doing real lawyering.” It’s rewarding work, as we were told by one junior: “When you draft something or close a deal and you’ve successfully quarterbacked a situation by solving something really complex, you realize that you’re learning stuff here that’s capable of actually moving the ball.”

Corporate clients: Hulu, Morgan Stanley, National Basketball Association. Represented the Women’s Tennis Association in its $150 million partnership with CVC Capital Partners.

“This is practical education you just don’t get in law school.”

In the firm’s litigation department work varies massively. “One thing that all of us do is a lot of bankruptcy work,” one New York interviewee explained, “but that’s really a function of the current times.” Other realms of opportunity in the group include (but definitely aren’t limited to) patent, product liability, antitrust, and appellate matters. “I found myself hitting the ground running and being given substantive, comprehensive tasks,” one junior stated. “I was able to take the first go at writing drafts, and I’ve even been able to take the lead when drafting discovery responses and analyzing client files.” And much the same as the corporate group, the firm’s litigators sang nothing but praises for the levels of responsibility entrusted upon them: “We’re learning how to draft, write, and understand the difference between motions. This is practical education you just don’t get in law school.”

Litigation clients: Walt Disney Company, Los Angeles Lakers, Netflix. Acted as lead counsel to Miramax in its litigation against director Quentin Tarantino. The lawsuit alleged that Tarantino’s offering of NFTs connected with Miramax film Pulp Fiction were an intellectual property infringement and a breach of contract.

Career Development

Proskauer certainly doesn’t leave its newbies out in the cold: “They throw a million mentors at us when we first start!” an insider jested. Mentorship begets mentorship; “The people who are drawn to the firm are people who really enjoy mentorship – both being a mentee and a mentor – and like the teaching aspect of the practice of law,” one junior divulged. As such, associates are able to pick up a whole host of informal mentors: “It’s a bit of a blurred line – frankly, my formal mentors are already kind of my informal mentors, too!”

In addition to comprehensive mentoring, Ellis shares: “We’ve recently a professional development platform called ProYou – an intuitive hub focused on providing resources for associates to collaborate, excel, and thrive,” particularly in a world of hybrid working. There are also mandatory annual training programs for first and second years, such as Proskauer Institute, so watch out for those!

“There are a number of partners sitting doors down who have been at Proskauer since they were summers.”

A strong mix of both lateral and homegrown talent at Proskauer encourages young hopefuls to cast their sights towards the path to partnership.  “There are a number of partners sitting doors down who have been at Proskauer since they were summers,” one insider awed, “but there’s room for laterals to jump in, too. They’ve really been ingrained in the firm and are already instrumental to the culture of our team.”

Culture, Hours & Compensation

Billable hours: no requirement

Proskauer has no billable hour requirement, which sources appreciated because “as a junior, billable hours and workflows aren’t really in your control,” one associate pointed out of the ‘ramp up’ period all juniors are familiar with. “The only thing you can try to do is be helpful and make yourself available to assist with matters. Having no billable requirement takes some of the stress out of that.”

According to our survey results, Proskauer associates reported an average working week of 46.7 hours (just below the market average of 48), with slow weeks coming in at 30 hours and busier weeks as high as 80. Evening and weekend work sometimes come with the BigLaw territory, though our insiders made clear to note that there’s no pressure to do so: “Sometimes it’s just the case that you need to get your work done. I work nights and weekends, but that’s only because I choose to.” That said, between the busier weeks, our sources still had time to dip their toes into the firm’s social scene. Whether it’s bowling, lunches, or associate happy hours, there’s no shortage of ways to get involved in (and have some fun doing) valuable networking. For example, “if there’s a big sports event, the firm will organize something,” one associate detailed. “For last year’s March Madness kickoff, they set up all the TVs in a conference room so we could all watch the basketball games together. There are a lot of sports fans as Proskauer, as you could imagine!”

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

“One of the first workshops we have when joining the firm is about diversity,” one associate indicated of the importance of DEI at the firm. Several of our interviewees also sang nothing but praises for the firm’s new DEI director, Mark Bunbury.  “He’s one of the coolest people I know,” one interviewee gushed. “He’s a great resource for any questions you have or any introductions you want to make.”

The firm hosts a number of affinity groups, including the Proskauer Women’s Alliance and the Diverse Lawyer Mentoring Circle Program, which provide opportunities to attend conferences and talks from diverse speakers, and celebrate cultural holidays. All diverse juniors who opt-in are entered into the aforementioned Diverse Lawyer Mentoring Circle Program where they’re paired with a partner from a similar background to help them navigate the profession.

Pro Bono

Upon joining the firm, associates are staffed on a pro bono matter to get started with, demonstrating the firm’s commitment to pro bono. What’s more, there’s no cap on how many pro bono hours associates can count towards their billable target, and the firm encourages each associate to log at least 50 hours a year. It’s clear, then, that “the firm takes pro bono very seriously,” with one interviewee relaying that emails about opportunities are sent out regularly by the full-time pro bono partner: “They never put the onus on us to find a pro bono project – they make it really accessible.”

“I’d been at the firm for all of five months, and I was sitting in a courtroom with a partner and a senior associate trying a case for a three-day bench trial!”

As for the types of opportunities available to associates, “it’s really whatever you want! The offerings are diverse.” Options include work centered around immigration and asylum seekers, reproductive rights, criminal justice reform, first amendment protections, counselling smaller businesses and non-profit organizations, and many more. As such, juniors are provided several opportunities to gain mid- to senior-level experience on matters early on. “I’d been at the firm for all of five months, and I was sitting in a courtroom with a partner and a senior associate trying a case for a three-day bench trial!” one associate reminisced. A highlight for man of our associate sources was the Election Protection Program hotline run by lawyers every electoral season. “We were put on a hotline where voters could call to ask questions on and around election day,” one junior recalled. “We made sure people know how to vote and had access to that, which was really rewarding.”

Pro bono hours

  • For all US attorneys: 42,691
  • Average per US attorney: 63.15

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. Additionally, the firm encourages students to apply directly through its website beginning June 1. While the firm does recruit from a wide range of schools, most of the summer class is drawn from schools that are ranked in the US News top 20.

Interviewees should expect questions that go beyond the resume. The 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. Screening 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 during your screening interview. Interviews are conducted by a combination of members of the hiring committee, partners, and associates. If a candidate has expressed an interest in a specific department or practice area, the firm tries to gauge the depth of their interest and learn about experiences they have had that might be helpful to the practice.

Top tips for this stage:

The recommendation is to use the same approach for callbacks as for screening interviews. Candidates should make sure they have done research on the firm and are prepared with thoughtful questions.

Summer program

Offers: undisclosed

Acceptances:  undisclosed

Proskauer’s summer associates can work with 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 or a work coordinator.

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 June 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 can understandably 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 800+ 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 2024: 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 visit the Careers page on our website to apply.

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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