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Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

At a Glance


“The incredibly high level of responsibility given early.”

“The flexibility.”



“Uncertainty of partnership.”

“Long hours.”

“The unpredictability of hours.”

About Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Established more than 225 years ago, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is the oldest Wall Street firm still in existence. Among its practices are capital markets, corporate, financial restructuring, litigation, and real estate. The firm is a well-established presence in Charlotte; London; New York; and Washington, DC.

Dating Back to the Days of Washington . . . As in George

Cadwalader was founded in 1792, when folks were still sealing letters with wax and writing with quills. But the firm revolutionized law firms by doing away with the old system of unpaid law clerkships and establishing the role of the associate. 

The present-day Cadwalader forged a niche in the early New York legal field by working on commercial claims, litigation, maritime law, and real estate for banks and representing insurance companies and members of New York society. The real catalyst for the firm’s growth and increased financial stability came when former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State John L. Cadwalader joined the firm in 1878, bringing big-time corporate connections with him. 

Cutting Edge

A regular in the top 20 of Vault’s Real Estate practice ranking, Cadwalader is well known for its work in the area, which includes construction finance, distressed real estate financings, joint ventures, loan sales, management and leasing, mezzanine loan financings, and mortgage finance.

The firm boasts a strong transactional practice, with a stellar reputation for its capital markets and securities work. Cadwalader has held steady in the top 20 of Vault’s Securities/Capital Markets ranking. In May 2019, the firm was recognized by the IFLR Americas Awards as the Structured Finance and Securitization “Team of the Year” and for the “Deal of the Year” in connection with its work on Marathon Asset Management’s CRE CLO. The firm’s regulatory bona fides are at the top of industry, with the firm today advising leading financial institutions on LIBOR transition and other regulatory developments. The firm also received a 2019 Law360 Practice Group of the Year award in the Banking category.

Cadwalader also tries to stay on the cutting edge and provide innovative solutions for its client. For example, the Cadwalader Cabinet—an award-winning, web-based financial regulatory knowledge and intelligence platform—utilizes powerful expert systems to allow financial service practitioners to perform legal, compliance, and transactional tasks through an interactive online solution. 

Beyond Billables

The firm offers a year-long First Year Training as well as a Mid-Level Training Program and a Business Development Training Series for all attorneys to sharpen their business development skills in such areas as networking, branding, developing relationships, and perfecting pitches.

At Cadwalader, associate life isn’t all about work. The firm holds various programming, including its Civil Rights Series. Through this initiative, the firm hosts speakers from a variety of civil rights organizations, including The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Women’s March, Lambda Legal, GLAD, The Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU, NAACP, the Brennan Center for Justice, the NYC Commission for Human Rights, and the Center for Reproductive Rights. The goal of the program is to spark conversation and involvement in pro bono and the community.

COVID-19 Update

Cadwalader is successfully utilizing virtual platforms to engage with potential new hires during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our recruiting team is conducting interviews remotely and employing online onboarding tools. The 2020 summer associate class joined the firm virtually for five weeks, and we offered a modified yet well-attended schedule of attorney training programs, CLE opportunities and client events. We look forward to a winter recruiting season featuring on-campus visits and in-person call-back interviews if possible, but we will continue to leverage state-of-the-art virtual solutions if necessary.

News & Awards


July 2020

Law360 mentions Cadwalader’s role in steering Pershing Square Tontine Holdings Ltd., a blank-check company backed by billionaire investor Bill Ackman, to a $4 billion initial public offering, the largest-ever IPO by a blank-check company.

January 2020

Cadwalader is once again ranked as the number one law firm advising issuers and underwriters on commercial MBS offerings, topping the 2019 Commercial Mortgage Alert tables. The firm has now been ranked first in the issuer counsel category for two decades running.

December 2019

The Wall Street Journal reports on the findings of a Cadwalader study that assessed the progress financial firms are making in preparing for the transition away from the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR), which underpins trillions of dollars in financial contracts.

October 2019

The Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute site published a case study of Cadwalader’s sponsorship program for mid-level-career, high-performing diverse and female attorneys, explaining why and how it’s considered a critical piece of the firm’s vision to develop its future leadership.

  • The firm handled two of the most publicized cases of the Great Depression era: the Gloria Vanderbilt custody case and the copyright infringement suit involving Gone with the Wind. Litigation in the financial arena increased dramatically during the 1970s and 1980s, as insider trading and white-collar crimes are aggressively prosecuted. The firm's high-profile cases include Tavoulareas v. The Washington Post, the Agent Orange class action suit, and the Dalkon Shield class action suit.
  • Cadwalader is selected by the Federal Reserve's Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC) to develop best practices for cash products in the post-LIBOR world—a $200 trillion market.
  • Cadwalader is advising Pershing Square Tontine Holdings, Ltd., a Delaware incorporated newly organized special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), on its $4 billion initial public offering—the largest-ever IPO by a SPAC.
  • Ranked among leaders in the “Hiring Practices” and “LGBTQ+ Representation” categories, 2020—The Yale Law Women Top Firms Report
  • Cadwalader Recognized Among Leading Law Firms— 2020, The Legal 500 United States
  • Named Top Derivatives & Futures Law Firm— 2020, U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers Rankings
  • Banking Group of the Year Award—2019, Law360
  • Recognized in “Legal Expertise” category of North America Innovative Lawyers Report—2019, The Financial Times

Why Work Here

Why Cadwalader?

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

200 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10281
Phone: (212) 504-6000

Firm Stats

Managing Partner: Patrick Quinn
Hiring Partners: Henry A. LaBrun (Charlotte), Lisa J. Pauquette (New York), Jodi L. Avergun (Washington, DC)
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
250 - 500
No. of Partners Named 2020:
Billable-Hour Requirement:

Base Salary

All offices
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
4th year: $255,000
5th year: $280,000
6th year: $305,000
7th year: $325,000
8th year: $340,000
9th year: $350,000
10th year: $360,000
Summer Associate: $3,653/week

Employment Contact

New York
Tara Conlon
Director of Legal Recruitment
(212) 993-2929

No. of U.S. Offices: 3

No. of International Offices: 1

Major Office Locations

Charlotte, NC
New York, NY (HQ)
Washington, DC

Major Departments

Capital Markets
Derivatives & Structured Products
Executive Compensation, Benefits & ERISA
Financial Regulation
Financial Restructuring
Financial Services
Fund Finance
Insurance and Reinsurance
Intellectual Property
Investment Management
Private Wealth
Real Estate
Securitization & Asset Based Finance
White Collar Defense and Investigations
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.