Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP - The Inside View

Focused on private capital, Schulte sure knows an investment when it sees one.

The fun(ds work) is never-ending at Schulte Roth & Zabel (pronounced Schult-ee). Focused on private capital, it’s a New Yorker that knows a thing or two about private equity, hedge funds, and everything investment related. Take it from our sister guide, Chambers USA, which decorates the firm with a tidy 15 rankings, including top-tier nationwide recognition for its hedge funds and investment funds (regulatory & compliance) prowess, as well as its New York shareholder activism expertise.

“If you’re looking for private funds or financial services work, there isn’t a better place.”

Associates told us that they were drawn to Schulte at least in part by its focus on private capital because it means that “the whole firm feels in-sync with the way that it supports each other’s work and feels like it works as one unit as opposed to a selection of groups.” We heard from one source that their interview with the firm sealed the deal for them: “It made me want to close out of that internet browser and go and learn everything about hedge funds and finance.” Ultimately, “if you’re looking for private funds or financial service work, there isn’t a better place in terms of the quality of the work you’ll be doing, and the quality of the people you’re with,” an associate gushed.

All of the juniors on our list (bar two who were in London) joined the firm’s New York office. Schulte’s also got a second US base in DC.

Strategy & Future

Co-managing partner Marc Elovitz shares that Schulte plans to continue with its uninterrupted focus on private capital, adding that the firm has benefitted from the fact that “private capital, which is our firm focus, has expanded dramatically in economies across the world.” He adds, “There’s been a tremendous boom in terms of finance and capital. We and our clients are at the cutting edge of that, which has been great for us as we move forward with our area of focus.”

With regards to the associate experience, he also explains that the firm “know that law students and associates care about being at the leading edge of practice and having careers that are not rigid in terms of the way things have always been done, so we look to innovation as a way of attracting and retaining the best talent.”

The Work

Given Schulte’s focus on private capital, it comes as no surprise that investment management was home to the largest group of junior associates at the firm. The next largest groups of juniors were found in litigation, M&A & securities, and finance & derivatives, with a handful of juniors found in other practice areas too. We heard that in both investment management and litigation, work is allocated to associates by assigning partners, which one junior told us is at least in part “to make sure that everyone gets to work with everyone.” A litigator explained that “sometimes it’s done organically, you might get pulled into a matter, but there’s always that option to reach out to the assigning partner so it’s helpful.”

“…a lot of clients come to us specifically for regulatory advice.”

Associates working in investment management told us that their work comes from a mixture of private equity clients and hedge fund clients, with one explaining that they’re “usually working with the investment manager, who runs the fund, and then you work with the investors.” Another source added that the group “do a lot of the formation side for our clients, and we’ll service the regulatory side of that as well,” because “a lot of clients come to us specifically for regulatory advice.” Juniors here also get stuck into creating a lot of compliance manuals, where you’re “working closely with clients to build out something that will work for them and is compliant with the Advisors Act.”

When we asked juniors about their typical responsibilities, we heard that “you always get integrated by updating documents.” Tasks then move towards helping revise documents and turning comments, “and then as you get more comfortable with the material, you understand the differences between offshore and onshore funds, partnerships and corporations, and a few months later you get to take the first stab at drafting documents.” One junior shared that this development of responsibilities had helped them to build confidence as they “got to ask questions on more lower-stakes – but still important! –  assignments before I got a high-stakes assignment.” Source shared that “whatever you can handle, they’re willing to give you.” We also heard that the work in this group was interesting and ever-changing, as “even though the work is the same structure where you have an offering memorandum and a limited document, the same documents, it changes based on strategies and risk factors, they change every month based on what’s happening in the world.”

Investment management clients: Vestal Point Capital, Bayview Asset Management, Tudor Investment Corporation. Advised SurgoCap Partners in connection with the largest female-led hedge fund launch in the industry’s history.

Junior in the firm’s litigation practice shared that the group “do a lot of SEC enforcement matters which involve from exams to enforcement, to sometimes federal actions,” as well as shareholder activism work, which one source described as “a big part of our practice group. Those usually happen to be expedited matters which makes them fun in a painful kind of way because everything’s happening on a very short schedule, but it’s exciting!” Pursuant to the private capital focus of this firm, we heard that litigation clients were “all sort of in the financial world.”

We heard from a source that their responsibilities had exceeded their expectations: “As a junior at Schulte, it feels like you not only do the junior associate tasks like document review, drafting discovery requests, research, writing – there’s all of that – but I feel like I’ve gotten to draft letters and briefs and sit in client meetings, have client meetings by myself, and go to court conferences,” so it’s definitely “not just doc review all day!” Another agreed that whilst that had initially gained experience doing “classic junior assignments” like research and doc review,they had also been able to work as a “primary drafter on a breach, a primary drafter on a complaint, being second chair during a deposition and helping the deposition, and helping draft requests, too.”

Litigation clients: Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Financial Services, Tulsa Race Massacre Victims, Empery Asset Management. Represented TrackThings in two federal patent litigations against Amazon regarding its mesh wifi subsidiary, eero.

Career Development and Culture

Juniors shared that career development at the firm comes from both formal and organic opportunities, with one explaining that “we have formal mentors we can talk to, but I think maybe the more valuable mentoring comes from the people I’m working with on a daily basis who show interest in helping me learn and develop over time.” We heard that the firm “care that people aren’t doing the same thing again and again and again,” and that litigators are given a checklist of skills at the beginning of the year, with partners checking that they are getting the experience and opportunities they need. One source told us that they were “not afraid to barge into a partner’s office and say ‘Hey, can I have some feedback on this thing’,” and another was pleased to tell us that “just this morning I got a 1:1 call with a client. I’m building the skills to do the senior litigation work and what a partner needs to do, so you’re getting the skills and being trusted with what it means to be a partner.”

Describing how the culture at Schulte is created, one junior shared, “It’s not just one person who embodies Schulte, we’re all good eggs here – it’s everyone here that brings a little bit to the table.” We heard about the supportive culture of the firm, which was described as a place where “everyone’s interested in helping each other and helping everyone develop in their career path, and helping them achieve what they want to achieve.” Interviewees also shared that friendships were common across the firm, with one explaining that they “didn’t come into this job expecting real friendships in this BigLaw experience, but here it really is the case the juniors spanning different years are actually friends with each other, and that makes the BigLaw experience easier."

“I never thought I’d see a 60-year-old male partner sing Adele, and now I’m better for it.”

Regarding social events, the firm holds a few lunch events during the week “to socialize with your peers or people in your practice group.” Other social events have also included a casino night, a Halloween party and a mini golf event, as well as a karaoke event which one source told us was “so much fun. I never thought I’d see a 60-year-old male partner sing Adele, and now I’m better for it!” We also heard that the firm “want to make sure that you get to interact with your peers, especially in other practice groups,” so try their hardest to ensure that associates aren’t missing out on firm events due to heavy workloads.

Hours & Compensation

Billable hours: 2,000 target

Associates have 250 creditable hours built into their 2,000 hours target for various non-billable activities. 200 are set aside for things such as pro bono and recruitment, and 50 are reserved for DEI. Juniors were happy to share the firm matches the market for salaries, and that “every time there’s been a salary raise, we have matched that so far.”

As is typical in BigLaw, work at the firm “really comes in waves,” with one junior telling us that they usually start work at 9am but “I could end at five or I could end at midnight.” A source shared that “I think my worst day was 16 hours or something insane, but it really fluctuates. We’re required to bill seven hours a day to be in good standing.” We also heard that the work can balance itself out though, with a junior explaining that “after the busy period, sometimes I can barely work at all the next month and it’s just a couple of hours a day.” Swings and roundabouts!

Pro Bono

Interviewees told us that the people in charge of pro bono at Schulte “do a really good job of advertising opportunities and then not only advertising opportunities, but also following up if you say you’re interested.” Our sources sang nothing but praises for the firm’s pro bono special counsel, Sarah Solfanelli: “If you mention a pro bono opportunity at a happy hour, Sarah will email you the next day which I think is amazing!” Associates can count up to 200 hours of pro bono work towards their billables, but we were told that the firm are also “pretty generous with extensions. They’ll always let you finish what you started.” Opportunities included working with Sanctuary for Families to help victims of domestic violence, and a junior also told us about being able to work with an organization that helps to match patients to fertility clinics with funding available. Almost all respondents to our survey felt that their pro bono work was meaningful and engaging, and one interviewee explained that pro bono work is “viewed as any other assignment, and so every Friday when I send my staffing partner what I’m expecting to do every week, the pro bono assignments are in there as much as any other assignments. The fact that I need to put in the hours there is respected, and it’s treated as any other billable work.”

Pro bono hours

  • For all (US) attorneys: 25,216
  • Average per (US) attorney: 66

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Regarding diversity, equity and inclusion, one interviewee said, “I think they’re trying to beef up the more senior people in terms of diversity just because it makes the junior people want to stay, but our junior class is fairly diverse right now.” We also heard that “the recruiting department is very open to suggestions from anyone who has them about DEI efforts. It’s clear that we are making an effort now to recruit properly this way.” There are a number of affinity groups at the firm, with one junior keen to talk about the “weekly breakfasts and events every couple of months” held by the women’s affinity group, and another sharing that they had been invited to the LGBTQ affinity group’s events, which are often open to non-affinity group members, too. Affinity group activities are included within the 50 creditable hours counting towards an associate’s bonus target, “so they’re at a minimum incentivizing going to these events if you have time.” In fact, just as we were speaking to one of our interviewees, an email pinged through about a dumpling making class hosted by one of the affinity groups!

Get Hired   

The first stage: recruitment on and off campus  

Schulte’s summer program is designed for law students who have completed one to two years of law school and are looking for a program that provides a unique perspective on the dynamic intersection of law, finance and dealmaking. They seek to hire candidates with outstanding academic and non-academic achievements as well as excellent interpersonal and communication skills who share their values in fostering a diverse and inclusive professional environment.  Law students who are engaged, curious and enthusiastic that are looking to make a lasting impact at the precipice of their legal careers are highly encouraged to apply!   

The firm conducts OCI screening interviews with many of the T14 law schools.   

All interviews are conducted virtually and designed to evaluate each candidate’s ability to communicate their experiences and career aspirations.  During these interviews, interviewers will make a preliminary assessment of each candidate’s likelihood to succeed and potential to align with the firm's mission.   

If Schulte does not participate in OCI at your law school, or you are interested in applying early, Schulte will begin accepting direct applications in June. To apply, please submit your resume and transcript to  

Top tips for this stage:  

“It's so important to clearly convey your reasons for wanting to join our firm. Why us over one of our competitors? Even at this initial stage, we want to get a strong sense of your motivations.” – A second-year associate  

“This is a great opportunity to let the interviewer know about any of our firm's on-campus programs or networking receptions that you attended throughout the year.” Hiring sources at the firm  


Interviews are held remotely with post-offer opportunities to visit the New York office and meet lawyers in-person.  For callback interviews, you’ll be meeting with four attorneys back-to-back for 20 minutes each, followed by a brief wrap-up conversation with a member of our recruiting team.  The whole process takes about two hours.  Candidates typically meet with two partners and two associates.  

As callbacks are a chance for deeper probing. Interviewers “ask questions that allow the student to demonstrate their analytical and problem-solving skills,” according to hiring sources at the firm. Alongside this, interviewers also focus “on assessing whether the candidate would succeed in our firm’s dynamic, inclusive and entrepreneurial environment.” Sources told us that “it’s very much a friendly interview – they want to know if you are a friendly down-to-earth person as well as whether you can express yourself in a professional manner.”   

Top tips for this stage:  

“At this point they want to know if they will enjoy spending time with you for 10 to 12 hours a day!” A third-year associate  

“Most importantly, be yourself and be respectful of everyone you meet in the process.” – Hiring sources at the firm   

Summer program  

Held in the New York office, Schulte’s ten-week summer program got a lot of praise from associates we spoke to. “It was a lot of fun!” chirped one. “There were several opportunities to network with attorneys from different practice areas every week.”  Social events are dotted throughout to give participants a chance to unwind, alongside lunches and networking events organized by the firm’s practice groups and affinity groups.   

Still, there’s plenty of work to do. Summer associates will spend two assigning periods rotating through the various practice groups in the corporate department with the opportunity to request work in some of our smaller non-transactional practices.  The program includes intensive mock negotiation and trial advocacy programs as well as highly specialized trainings on topics ranging from legal writing to managing your personal finances to the business of law. Practice group training sessions are also hosted to provide summer associates with industry-specific knowledge and expertise to help properly jumpstart their legal careers.  

Of course, summer associates are not in it alone!  Each summer associate will be matched with a junior associate mentor, a mid-level associate mentor, and a partner adviser who are all on standby to help summers navigate the program and the firm.  Schulte tells us almost all summers return as first-year associates and are placed into practice groups based on individual preference and the needs of the firm.  

Notable summer events: Broadway shows including Hamilton, Beyoncé and Ariana Grande concerts, baseball games at Citi Field or Yankee Stadium, Roller skating at Rockefeller Center, Shakespeare in the Park, and Pizza-making classed with the Institute of Culinary Education.   

Top tips for this stage:  

“We offer summer associates opportunities to make substantive contributions to our work, and we expect them to demonstrate a professional commitment to their assignments over the course of the summer. They are part of our team in every sense.” – Hiring sources at the firm   

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

919 Third Avenue,
New York,
NY 10022

Main areas of work

 The firm’s practices include: antitrust; bank regulatory; bankruptcy & creditors’ rights litigation; blockchain technology & digital assets; broker-dealer regulatory & enforcement; business reorganization; complex commercial litigation; cybersecurity & data privacy; distressed debt & claims trading; distressed investing; education law; employment & employee benefits; energy; environmental; estate planning; estate & trust administration; environmental, social and governance (ESG); family law; finance & derivatives; financial institutions; hedge funds; insurance; intellectual property, sourcing & technology; investment management; litigation; litigation finance; mergers & acquisitions; nonprofits; philanthropic planning; PIPEs; private credit, distressed investing & direct lending; private equity; real estate; real estate capital markets & REITs; real estate litigation; regulated funds; regulatory & compliance; securities & capital markets; securities enforcement; securities litigation; securitization; shareholder activism; structured finance & derivatives; tax; trading agreements; and white collar defense & government investigations.

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP ( is a full-service law firm with offices in New York, Washington, DC and London. As one of the leading law firms serving the financial services industry, the firm advises clients on investment management, corporate and transactional matters, and provides counsel on securities regulatory compliance, enforcement and investigative issues.

Firm profile

 Schulte Roth & Zabel is a premier law firm serving the financial services industry from strategically located offices in New York, Washington, DC and London. We take a multidisciplinary approach in our work with a large and impressive array of global and forward-thinking institutional, entrepreneurial and individual clients, from advising clients on investment management, corporate and transactional matters, to providing counsel on regulatory, compliance, enforcement and investigative issues.


Law schools attending for OCIs: 
Cardozo, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Emory, Fordham, George Washington, Georgetown, Harvard, Howard, Michigan, NYU, Penn, Rutgers, Texas, Tulane, UVA, Washington and Lee, William and Mary.

Recruitment outside OCIs: Harvard BLSA Career Fair, Lavender Law, Midwest-California-Georgia-Consortium, National Law School Consortium, NEBLSA Job Fair, resume collections from Brooklyn, Boston College, Berkeley NYLS, Syracuse, UCLA/USC New York Walk-Around, interview write-in candidates from many additional law schools.

Summer associate profile: SRZ seeks to hire candidates with outstanding academic and non-academic achievements, strong interpersonal skills and those who share our values in fostering a diverse and inclusive culture. SRZ recruits candidates who are enthusiastic, collaborative, entrepreneurial and eager to develop a deep understanding of our clients and their businesses.

Summer program components: Our summer associate program allows students to receive substantive assignments from practice groups of their choice during two assigning periods. Summer associates have interaction with our clients, attend meetings and depositions and work on complex projects. Training and feedback are emphasized through regular departmental training sessions, a writing seminar, a corporate negotiation workshop, a trial advocacy program, and a pro bono week. These experiences are all designed to allow students to explore various areas of interest, get immersed in the firm culture and gain first-hand knowledge of what they will see as a junior associate. In addition to our top-notch training programs and hands-on work experience, we offer fun and exciting social activities that allow summer associates to spend time with their associate and partner mentors, develop relationships with our attorneys and get to know everyone outside of the office.

Social media

Recruitment website:
Twitter: @SRZLawFirm
Linkedin: Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

This Firm's Rankings in
USA Guide, 2023

Ranked Departments

    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 5)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring: The Elite (Band 6)
    • Corporate/M&A: Highly Regarded (Band 5)
    • Corporate/M&A: Shareholder Activism (Band 1)
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Band 3)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: Highly Regarded (Band 5)
    • Real Estate: Mainly Corporate & Finance (Band 4)
    • Tax (Band 3)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring: The Elite (Band 5)
    • Capital Markets: Securitization: ABS (Band 3)
    • Capital Markets: Securitization: CLOs (Band 2)
    • Financial Services Regulation: Broker Dealer (Compliance & Enforcement) (Band 4)
    • Hedge Funds (Band 1)
    • Investment Funds: Regulatory & Compliance (Band 1)
    • Private Equity: Fund Formation (Band 4)

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