2022 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“The pro bono work.”
“Folks are really smart and really love their job.”
“Very highly regarded.”
“Nebulous partnership prospects.”
“Law firm hours are law firm hours.”
“Some of our technology, particularly file management software, is behind the times.”
About Covington & Burling
This “brain trust” law firm is known for quietly (and smartly) going about its business—that business being antitrust, litigation, white collar defense & investigations, corporate, IP, export controls, data privacy and cybersecurity, and regulatory work—with particular strengths in the sports, insurance, life science/pharma, energy, tech, and media/entertainment industries.
Judge J. Harry Covington and Edward B. Burling founded their firm in Washington, DC, in 1919, with a (then unique) concept of a firm focused on regulatory issues. Since that founding, it would be hard to find many members of the Fortune 200 that have not worked with Covington. The firm played significant roles in many of the leading legal matters that arose from the New Deal. Later, in the 1950s, Covington lawyers wrote the key briefs in the Steel Seizure cases. As the federal government expanded, so did Covington, with a focus on issues involving the FDA, the IRS, the FAA, the FCC, and any number of other multi-lettered agencies. With this Washington-focused practice, it’s no wonder that the firm has numerous former government officials among its ranks.
Covington counsels across myriad industries, including aerospace; consumer brands; digital health; energy; financial services; gaming; life sciences; media, internet, and technology; mining and metals; sports, and transportation.
The firm is well known for its white collar team, which boasts more than 100 lawyers—including former high-profile government lawyers—and sits comfortably within Vault’s top five firms for White Collar Defense & Internal Investigations. Clients regularly call on the firm to handle matters involving crisis management, False Claims Act, internal investigations, regulatory issues, shareholder litigation, whistleblower claims, and much more.
One simply can’t discuss Covington without mentioning its robust sports practice. With more than 50 years of experience, Covington’s sports law department is an all-star team in and of itself. The group has represented the likes of MLB, MLS, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL, USGA, and USTA, to name some. The firm has also counseled college sports leagues on a variety of matters and advised both the pros and colleges on their broadcast contracts. The sports practice is multi-faceted, but Covington lawyers meet the challenge, handling everything from antitrust and collective bargaining to financings and insurance to media rights and regulatory affairs to sponsorships and tax—plus much more.
Giving Associates a Voice
At Covington, when associates speak, people listen. The firm’s Associate Advisory Committee includes both associates and partners and provides an outlet for associates to offer opinions on firm decisions. The firm also offers a confidential outlet for associates to request advice through the “associate ombudspersons.” The ombudsperson is a senior lawyer to whom associates can go for confidential advice.
Our summer associate classes make up the most robust talent pipeline for the Firm. In the summers of 2020 and 2021, we conducted our summer associate programs remotely. Through our virtual programs, we ensured that our summer associates had the same multifaceted experience as in years past, including opportunities to meet our lawyers, work on exciting legal matters, and learn about our culture through exciting training and fun social events. Virtual social events included game night, mixology class, paint night, and a cooking class.
During these unprecedented times, the health and safety of our people, including our recruits, remains our top priority. We will continue to be nimble and will conduct future recruiting activities virtually as necessary.
News & Awards
● Covington Women Lead on $30B in Deals in First Six Months of 2021: Deals included Merck's $1.85B acquisition of Pandion, Adtalem’s $1.48B acquisition of Walden University , Eaton in its pending $2.83B acquisition of Cobham Mission Systems, and more than $5 billion in capital finance transactions.
● Supreme Court Preserves DACA: Covington represented the University of California Board of Regents pro bono in its efforts to protect DACA when the Trump Administration first sought to rescind the program, including wins at the Ninth Circuit and Supreme Court.
● NFL Wins Big at Supreme Court: Covington represented the NFL in a landmark case where the court held that federal labor laws protected the NFL from antitrust actions brought by their players.
● Win Ends Stop & Frisk in NYC: Covington successfully represented a group of plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the NYPD over its stop-and-frisk policies and practices.
• Firm of the Year, 2020—Law360
• #1 Ranked Firm on the Pro Bono Scorecard, 2021—The American Lawyer
• North America Diversity & Inclusion Lawyer of the Year, 2021—Chambers
• Dealmakers of the Year, 2020—The Deal
• Product Liability Litigation Department of the Year, 2020—The American Lawyer
Why Work Here
Working at Covington
Our distinctively collaborative culture allows us to be truly one team globally, drawing on the diverse experience of lawyers and advisors across the firm by seamlessly sharing insight and expertise. What sets us apart is our ability to combine the tremendous strength in our litigation, investigations, and corporate practices with deep knowledge of policy and policymakers, and one of the world’s leading regulatory practices. This enables us to create novel solutions to our clients’ toughest problems, successfully try their toughest cases, and deliver commercially practical advice of the highest quality.
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 662-6000
Chair, Management and Executive Committees: Doug Gibson
Hiring Partners: Ranga Sudarshan (DC); Ashley Simonsen (LA); Jack Bodner (NY); Suzanne Bell (Palo Alto); Doug Sprague (SF); Tim Stratford (Beijing); Daniel Cooper (Brussels); Rupert Harper (Dubai); Philipp Tamussino (Frankfurt); Ben Donovan (Johannesburg); Sarah Cowlishaw (London); William Park (Seoul)
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
1K - 1.5K
1st year: $202,500
2nd year: $215,000
3rd year: $240,000
4th year: $275,000
5th year: $305,000
6th year: $330,000
7th year: $350,000
8th year: $365,000
Summer Associate: $3,894/week
Legal Recruiting Manager
Director of Legal Recruiting and Professional Development
Sr. Manager of Legal Recruiting
No. of U.S. Offices: 5
No. of International Offices: 8
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Palo Alto, CA
Advertising and Consumer Law
Antitrust & Competition Law
Appellate and Supreme Court
Communications & Media
Corporate/M&A & Capital Markets
International Trade/Export Controls
Litigation and International Arbitration
Privacy & Cybersecurity
White Collar Defense & Investigations
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.