White & Case LLP - The Inside View

Want the benefits of international work with a generalist approach? Touch base with White & Case.

White & Case has had quite the journey since opening in NYC over a century ago - no, literally - W&C’s network has traveled the world (and the seven seas), with offices across America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. For many juniors at the firm, the word ‘global’ was an essential element of the decision-making processes during applications: “I wanted a global firm because I wanted to embody how to be a globally minded lawyer” stated one newbie. Another highlighted that “it's a global firm which means the clients and counterparts are going to be from all over the world, so that creates better work for a new lawyer.” Moreover, multi-lingual associates were keen to “practice my language on a global scale, that was the biggest appeal.” 

“I wanted a global firm because I wanted to embody how to be a globally minded lawyer.” 

Keeping it global - our colleagues at Chambers Global dish out top marks internationally for W&C’s capital market, dispute resolution, projects & energy, banking and finance, corporate, international arbitration and international trade. Stateside, White & Case’s offices cover Chicago, Miami, LA, Silicon Valley, New York and DC. Our very own Chambers USA team hand out recognition for litigation, banking and finance, bankruptcy and restructuring, environment and white-collar investigations work in New York and DC. But that’s just the highlights, if you want to see more, check out the ‘Firms Ranking’ tab above! 

Strategy & Future 

Associates highlighted that the focus at W&C is developing its US roots. The firm also recently elected 14 new partners in the US alone, in finance, international arbitration, capital markets, IP, commercial litigation, tax, projects and M&A, and we heard that growth was key for the firm in 2023. W&C has also brought on a number of notable laterals and is focusing on strategic practice area expansion.

The Work 

In Houston and New York, newbies join either a corporate or litigation pool system for their first year and are assigned a 'major and minor' practice area, while juniors in other offices will get direct entry into a practice. This system allows new associates to get their hands on all different areas of their chosen group: “I really benefitted from the pool system because I didn’t come from a family of lawyers and my perception of the work wasn’t right. I needed to try all aspects of the practice group,” stated one corporate pool associate. Adding to this, an associate in the litigation pool praised the process for allowing “organic growth as an associate.” Before finishing their first year, juniors choose their top two preferences for practice areas to join in their second year.

The litigation department covers antitrust, bankruptcy, general commercial litigation, trade, and white-collar investigations. The majority of associates we spoke to worked from a general litigation work pool. One of the litigations group highlights was the global team meetings where ‘game balls’ are given out to show recognition of someone who has worked hard and to let them know their work is appreciated. - It’s good to keep your eye on the ball! 

“I had been led to believe that my first year I would not have much responsibility, but they were wrong.” 

A popular area of work was antitrust. Clients in this group were said to be anything from retail companies, pharma companies and financial institutions. Associates praised the cross-office collaboration with other teams across the US, “but our work tends to not be international.” New York and DC were highlighted as the biggest hub for antitrust work. Sources enjoyed managing their own work coordination, allowing them to get to their hands on “substantive work rather than just admin tasks.” Examples of this were document review, reviewing protocol documents and doing legal research for cases. One noted the group exceeding expectations: “I had been led to believe that my first year I would not have much responsibility, but they were wrong.” 

Litigation clients: Johnson & Johnson, Boy Scouts of America, Zoom Communications. The firm represented Lycamobile USA in its dispute of wireless network services with T-Mobile. 

“The partners are so smart, so we get all different kinds of work in!” 

On the other side of the coin, W&C’s transactional work comprises of capital markets, debt finance, EIPAF (energy, infrastructure, project and asset finance), financial restructuring & insolvency, and M&A/corporate. The department has a wide range of clients, with large financial institutions and private companies being the most common. Associates in the EIPAF group mentioned that the work mainly covers renewable energy. “The matters are leanly staffed so you do work closely with mid-levels and seniors which is great for my development” commented one energy associate. They continued: “As a result, I end up with greater responsibility of tasks such as drafting security documents instead of tedious admin!” Over in capital markets, juniors can get their hands on work in derivatives, securitization, CLOs and high yield bonds. Associates appreciated the breadth of the work available: “the partners are so smart, so we get all different kinds of work in!” Day to day life for a transactional associate could involve due diligence, drafting ancillary documents and working directly with clients through emails and calls. Both areas were highlighted to have a lot of international elements to it. In capital markets, “I haven’t done a single thing that isn’t involved in multiple countries!” A project associate also confirmed this: “I have done lots of work in Latin America which is a great area for renewables.”

Corporate clients: CVC Capital Partners, Elevance Health, Glaxo Group Limited.The firm represented Saudi Aramco (an energy and chemical company) on its entry into a purchase agreement with US-based Valvoline (auto service provider). 

Career Development 

“There is no shortage of opportunity to learn at White & Case!” 

There is no shortage of opportunity to learn at White & Case!” beamed one junior. When a newbie joins the firm, they must attend the firm’s ‘Foundational Milestone Program’ where they receive training on the basics of onboarding, practical skills, and learning sessions (essentially, setting expectations around BigLaw work). Newbies are also connected to a mentor at the firm. “When you are paired, it is a mix of formal and informal discussions. If I am honest, I spent most of the time with my mentor just picking their brains!” said one mentee.  

As time goes on, emails are sent around every Monday with further learning opportunities, which sources noted that “the expectation is on you to explore what's available.” Examples of this was further training on things like emotional intelligence and how to be a better writer, as well as the First Year Instruction (FYI) program that aims to help juniors ease into their second year. If you have an interest into a specific industry, you can sign up and attend regular group meetings to discuss themes of the industry and keep on top of events. On top of this, a good few of our interviewees raved about the firm’s general email chat: “The firm is so big, so sometimes it is hard to find the answers, so this helps me find the answer easily!” 

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 

Interviewees felt the firm’s efforts at hiring a diverse class of associates are reflected in the new cohorts joining the firm: “the recruitment efforts are great, particularly when it comes to underrepresented backgrounds.” Some associates felt like was down to the firms “international nature.” However, some were not as sure about the firms' efforts in retaining the new talent: “There are some structural issues with the work distribution, as some diverse associates fall of the train soon as they are less supported,” stated one associate. However, sources noted that “the female diversity at the top has definitely been improving and there are groups you can join to network with them.” The firm has affinity networks such as the Women’s Network, Black Affinity Network, Beyond Barriers for disabled and neurodivergent attorneys, and Spectrum LGBTQ+ Affinity Network. W&C also allows 50 hours of diversity activities to go towards associate’s billable target.  


“To us, there is no such thing as second best, we strive for excellence here.” 

Good things come in threes, and the three words associates used to describe firm culture were “friendly”, “international” and “intelligent.” Overall, sources praised the collegiality of the firm, with some noting that “everyone here is looking to work together and be successful.” According to newbies, “it's a really inviting and king environment. People understand that we are human and not everyone will get it right.” Others appreciated White & Case breaking out of the ‘Big Law’ mould: “The culture of Big Law is engrained but I can really see the people breaking these boundaries and showing each other grace and respect.” 

Associates admitted that while they all work hard, they are able to play hard too. The firm is said to always host World Cup events and soccer tournaments, if you get a kick out of competition! Informal events with the affinity groups as well were highlight as a “great way to get together for something good, the partners go to them too!” However, in some offices outside of NY, associates claim they have felt the effects of the hybrid work policy. “I do find folks aren't in the office as much so the social side can be dead.” The hybrid work policy is a 3-day minimum requirement. “Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are anchor days for everyone, which means Monday and Friday are naturally dead, but it can vary,” highlighted one associate.

Hours & Compensation 

Billable hours: 2,000 for bonus eligibility 

According to our survey, W&C juniors reported working anywhere from 30 to 80 hours a week, averaging out to around 47 hours a week. We received mixed comments on this, on the one hand, one associate assured us that “I think the target is achievable and I am on track. The work I have been doing is sustainable” whereas others had some concerns: “I feel like I have no control over my work. Things are getting dicey and if you don’t get off to a good start, you are demotivated.” On average, sources reported a start time at around 10am, and a finish time between 7 and 8pm. “Other things do come in where I work later but I have a hard stop at midnight” one night owl added. Despite this, work-life balance was generally viewed favorably, as one interviewee confessed that “I still get to experience New York with no compromise of my time.” 

We learned that first years are not held to a billing target, so will get the bonus no matter how many hours they bill. However, this process isn’t totally disregarded by the firm. One insider told us that “the firm think it's important to keep a track habit before second year begins.” There is also a super bonus available for those who go above and beyond the target.

Pro Bono 

“It is such an important part of our culture because the partners are so involved too.” 

Speaking of going above and beyond, sources highlighted the firm’s pro bono practice: “Regardless of the situation, we constantly strive for excellence in our pro bono and there is a lot of respect around it” said one junior. In fact, our survey showed that the nearly all respondents felt that the firm is committed to pro bono. Associates can get their hands on local and international human rights work, immigration, prisoner rights and local racial justice work. There was also some start up work too. It is no surprise the associates described this side of the work as “incredibly rewarding.” They also praised how embedded pro bono is in the firm’s culture: “It is such an important part of our culture because the partners are so involved too” confirmed one source. Another stated that “the firm really put all their resources behind it.” Up to 200 hours of pro bono work goes towards the billing hours target.

Pro bono hours  

  • For all (US) attorneys: 65,665 
  • Average per (US) attorney: 59   

Get Hired 

The first stage: recruitment on and off campus  

White & Case participates in a number OCIs and resume collects at over 30 law schools and job fairs across the US and Canada but the majority of candidates apply directly through the firm’s careers site. For OCI, interviews are primarily conducted by partners or alumni of the school and the questions are usually competency-based but also conversational. For direct applicants, candidates are invited to complete a video interview and answer a common set of questions through a digital platform which serves as a screen interview. “The landscape has changed over the years and our recruitment process continues to evolve to reflect market standards and allow us to expand the universe of qualified candidates. Nearly all of our screen interviews are being conducted on a virtual platform instead of in person. That said, what we hope to achieve during interviews has not changed. We want to assess the tangible qualities of our candidates – their intellect and problem-solving skills as well as their ability to work in teams and to function at a high level in diverse and dynamic environments. We also want to convey the ethos of our firm and principles to which we are committed, including, of course, the development of our talent. So, the interview process – the questions interviewers ask and our interactions with candidates are aimed at achieving those objectives,” notes Joseph Brazil, US Hiring Partner.  

Top tips for this stage:  

“We want to meet people who show genuine enthusiasm and interest in us. Come prepared, with a game-plan for what you want to convey about yourself and what you want to learn about White & Case.”hiring partner Joseph Brazil.  


Successful candidates will be invited for callback interviews, which are typically conducted by two partners and two associates. While some offices may offer the opportunity to conduct the callback in the office, most offices conduct virtual callback interviews. The questions at this stage are also competency-based, and “allow us to assess, among other things, a candidate’s intellect, collaboration skills, entrepreneurial mindset and tenacity,” Brazil explains. He adds that “the interview also provides us an opportunity to share with our candidates a bit about what it is like to work at our firm as well as our culture and overall strategy.” Following the callback, we offer many opportunities for candidates to connect in person with our lawyers through dinners, receptions, firm visits and other methods. Brazil adds, “This helps our candidates gain a deeper understanding of who we are so as to select a firm that dovetails with their career objectives.”  

Top tips for this stage:  

“Show an interest in the firm—that you’ve done your research and are prepared. Be engaged in the interview and show confidence and composure.”– hiring partner Joseph Brazil.  

Summer program  

Before the summer program even begins, the firm looks for ways to bring the class together through virtual events, and mentoring assignments to ensure a smooth transition to the firm. During week one, the entire class is invited to the New York office where summer associates across the US will have the opportunity to network with their peers and learn more about the firm, its people, values and culture. As Brazil noted: “This is an invaluable opportunity to start to build their network and to connect with the firm’s lawyers that will be resources throughout their careers.” Programming includes various workshops, business skills training, talks from lawyers and an opportunity to learn about the firm’s strategy and law firm economics. Over the course of the summer, a centralized assignment manager will allocate “real work for actual clients” and ensure that summers receive exposure to various projects in their practice areas of interest. Summers will also work with and meet as many of the firm’s lawyers as possible. Typical tasks include writing briefs, legal research, assisting in negotiation sessions, and producing memos and legal documents for clients. The summer program also includes work on at least one pro bono matter: “It is a unique way for our summer associates to start making their mark at White & Case,” says Brazil. An array of social events are available to help foster internal connections and expand networks. The firm also offers a select number of domestic and overseas rotation opportunities during the summer program.  

Top tips for this stage:  

“Opportunities will abound. Be an active participant and take advantage of as many as you can.”–hiring partner Joseph Brazil.

White & Case LLP

1221 Avenue of the Americas,
Floor 49 Reception,
New York,
NY 10020-1095
Website www.whitecase.com

Main areas of work

 White & Case is an international law firm that serves companies, governments and financial institutions. Our long history as a global firm means we are uniquely placed to help our clients resolve their most complex legal challenges wherever they are. White & Case has leading practices in the following areas:
antitrust, asset finance, capital markets, commercial litigation, debt finance, financial restructuring and insolvency, intellectual property, international arbitration, M&A, private equity, pro bono, project finance, technology transactions, tax, trade and white collar.

Firm profile

 We are a truly global firm, with an unrivaled network of 44 offices in 30 countries, plus two global operations centers in Tampa and Manila. It’s the reason many of our global clients choose to work with us, and why they trust us with their most challenging cross-border matters. From day one, our lawyers work on cutting-edge and complex multi-jurisdictional projects, experiencing the operational realities of cross-border law. Our promise is to provide our associates with the tools to become great lawyers via training, support and mentoring programs at every stage of their career. We are proud of our achievements—we have a revenue of more than US$2.95 billion and are top-ranked for our diversity and pro bono programs—but we will not rest on our laurels. We continuously strive to strengthen our position as a top-of-mind firm for global clients—and an employer of choice for top talent.


Law schools attending for OCIs in 2024:
Boston University, Chicago, Columbia, Georgetown, Harvard, Houston, Howard, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, NYU, Stanford, Texas, Santa Clara, University of Pennsylvania, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, USC, Virginia.

Recruitment outside OCIs: White & Case participates in the following job fairs and law school local/regional interview programs: Bay Area Diversity Job Fair, Loyola Patent Interview Job Fair.

White & Case also participates in resume collections at many schools but the majority of candidates apply directly through the firm’s careers site. 

Summer associate profile: We look for highly motivated individuals with excellent academic credentials, significant personal achievements and a strong commitment to the practice of law in a global and diverse environment. A successful candidate will be able to demonstrate evidence of our core competencies, which include excellent judgment, client readiness, tenacity, collaboration and an entrepreneurial mindset. We are looking for those with the ability to work collaboratively in fast-paced, high-stakes situations. For more information about our recruitment timeline and process or to apply online directly to one of our US offices, visit www.whitecase.com/careers.

Summer program components: We pride ourselves on giving summer associates real work for real clients with real deadlines. During week one, the entire class is invited to the New York office for the Launch Your Career (“LYC”) program. LYC is an opportunity for our summer associates across the US to network with their peers and learn more about the Firm, our people and our culture. Programming includes a session on wellness, business skills training, a seminar on law firm economics, an off-site team-building activity as well as an overview of our Global Citizenship and Diversity initiatives. We include a full curriculum of training programs in addition to hands-on training working side-by-side with our lawyers. Our Staffing Manager ensures that each summer associate is exposed to a variety of work, including pro bono matters. Summer associates are assigned mentors to provide career guidance and ensure a smooth transition to the firm. A variety of social events are available to help foster internal connections. At the end of the program, our summer associates will have a thorough understanding of what it is like to be a junior associate at White & Case.

Social Media

Recruitment website: www.whitecase.com/careers/locations/united-states/students/welcome
Twitter: WhiteCase
Facebook: whitecase
YouTube: whitecaseglobal
Linkedin: white-&-case
Instagram: @whitecase

This Firm's Rankings in
USA Guide, 2023

Ranked Departments

    • Banking & Finance (Band 3)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: The Elite (Band 4)
    • Technology: Transactions (Band 4)
    • Antitrust (Band 4)
    • Intellectual Property: Litigation (Band 5)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: Highly Regarded (Band 1)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 1)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: The Elite (Band 2)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 1)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 5)
    • Corporate/M&A & Private Equity (Band 5)
    • Real Estate (Band 3)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 2)
    • Antitrust (Band 4)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 2)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring: The Elite (Band 2)
    • Corporate/M&A: The Elite (Band 4)
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Band 4)
    • Environment: Mainly Transactional (Band 2)
    • Intellectual Property: Patent (Band 5)
    • Litigation: General Commercial: Highly Regarded (Band 1)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations: Highly Regarded (Band 2)
    • Private Equity: Buyouts (Band 3)
    • Tax (Band 4)
    • Technology (Band 3)
    • Capital Markets: Debt & Equity (Band 4)
    • Corporate/M&A: The Elite (Band 5)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 5)
    • Antitrust (Band 3)
    • Antitrust: Cartel (Band 1)
    • Banking & Finance (Band 2)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring: The Elite (Band 2)
    • Capital Markets: Equity: Manager Counsel (Band 3)
    • Capital Markets: High-Yield Debt (Band 3)
    • Capital Markets: Securitization: CLOs (Band 2)
    • Capital Markets: Securitization: Whole Business (Band 1)
    • Corporate/M&A: The Elite (Band 4)
    • Derivatives (Band 3)
    • Energy: Electricity (Transactional) (Band 2)
    • Energy: Oil & Gas (Transactional) (Band 3)
    • Environment: Mainly Transactional (Band 3)
    • International Arbitration: The Elite (Band 1)
    • International Trade: CFIUS Experts (Band 1)
    • International Trade: Export Controls & Economic Sanctions: The Elite (Band 4)
    • International Trade: Trade Remedies & Trade Policy (Band 2)
    • Life Sciences (Band 4)
    • Mining & Metals (Band 1)
    • Offshore Energy (Band 2)
    • Private Equity: Buyouts: Mid-Market (Band 2)
    • Projects: Agency Financing (Band 1)
    • Projects: LNG (Band 2)
    • Projects: Oil & Gas (Band 2)
    • Projects: Power (Band 2)
    • Projects: Power & Renewables: Transactional (Band 2)
    • Projects: PPP (Band 2)
    • SPACs (Band 1)
    • Tax: Controversy (Band 4)
    • Tax: Corporate & Finance (Band 5)
    • Technology (Band 4)
    • Transportation: Aviation: Finance (Band 3)