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2021 DIVERSITY DATABASE UNDERWRITER Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

At a Glance


“Early responsibility on matters.”

“Commitment to pro bono.”


“The relatively slow and uncertain track to partnership.”

“BigLaw is hard work.”

About Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP


Rooted in New York, with offices in Silicon Valley, and Paris, Kramer Levin is a full-service shop with 375 lawyers. The firm practices across dozens of areas with particular strength in bankruptcy, immigration, litigation, M&A, real estate, and white collar. 

Many Eggs, Many Baskets

Fourteen New York attorneys teamed up to start Kramer Levin in 1968. From the start, Kramer Levin was positioned as a full-service firm that didn’t rely on a single hallmark practice or longstanding relationship with one major client. This approach, combined with the firm’s small size, meant that some practice areas were run by just one or two lawyers, but it also meant that Kramer Levin was able to accept litigation, real estate, transactional, tax, and trusts and estates assignments. One of the reasons why the firm was able to attract and retain partners and associates in its early days was the fact that it offered attorneys a chance to work in small teams and build their practices themselves, instead of navigating through the crowds at larger firms.

From Gavels to Distress to Buildings 

Kramer Levin has stuck by its diversified practice model. Its litigators handle everything from advertising litigation and commercial litigation to antitrust and real estate litigation to securities litigation and white collar defense—to name some. Among the firm’s notable matters is the U.S. Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges, which determined that denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry violates the Constitution. 

The firm is recognized for its work in restructuring—and for good reason. Kramer Levin has been involved in some of the largest and most complex bankruptcies filed in the country, including Caesar’s Entertainment, Toys R Us, and Puerto Rico. 

Holding a spot within the top 20 of Vault’s Real Estate ranking, Kramer Levin’s real estate practice is also widely recognized. The group advises real estate owners and developers, private equity investors, investment bankers, and hoteliers, among others. Clients include the Related Companies LP in the 26-acre Hudson Yards development in Midtown Manhattan and The Walt Disney Co. in the sale of its Upper West Side campus and the purchase of a new headquarters in Lower Manhattan.

Rising to the Challenge

Pro bono isn’t an afterthought at Kramer Levin. The firm was a charter member of Volunteers of Legal Service, Inc, and through its partnership with the organization, Kramer pledges a minimum of 30 hours each year per lawyer. That’s more than 11,000 hours in case you lost count. In addition, Kramer Levin is a signatory of the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge through the Pro Bono Institute.

COVID-19 Update

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the firm conducted on-campus recruiting virtually and as of summer 2021, we are still conducting most job interviews via Zoom.  The firm is seeing more people in our offices, and we expect that we will be back to in-person interviews and back on campus soon.

News & Awards

  • Secured the largest patent judgment ever ($2.65 billion-plus) in the first virtual federal trial on behalf of Centripetal Networks against Cisco Systems.
  • Represented BlackRock Inc. in its $1.05 billion acquisition of Aperio Group.
  • Represented The Walt Disney Co. in its $650 million acquisition of the rights to 4 Hudson Square for 99 years and the $1.2 billion sale of its ABC campus on the Upper West Side to Silverstein Properties.
  • Representing The Procter & Gamble Company against railroads alleging violations of federal antitrust laws.
  • #12 Pro Bono Scorecard, 2021—The American Lawyer
  • Top 10 Pro Bono, 2021—Chambers Associate
  • Impact Case of the Year (Centripetal Networks v. Cisco Systems), 2021—Managing IP
  • Practice Groups of the Year (Bankruptcy / real Estate), 2020—Law360
  • ABS Law Firm of the Year, 2020—Global Capital

Why Work Here

Working at Kramer Levin

• You’ll get real work, not make work. We’re not a mega-firm, and we don’t staff like one. You’ll be an important and valued member of our team.

• As a Kramer Levin Summer Associate, you have a say in what type of work you do. There are no department assignments. No rotations. We want to know what interests you and how we can help you play to your strengths.

• If pro bono interests you, then we have a lot in common. Our commitment to pro bono is well-known. What is less well-known is that there are no limits on the number of pro bono hours you can count as “billable” toward bonus requirements. In pro bono as in life, we encourage you to follow your interests.

• Training is second-to-none, due in large part to our robust “shadowing” program, which provides junior attorneys with hands-on learning opportunities by encouraging them to accompany more experienced lawyers to depositions, negotiations, strategy sessions, corporate board meetings, conference calls and the like. As with pro bono, hours spent shadowing count as “billable” toward bonus requirements.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

1177 Avenue of Americas
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 715-9100

Firm Stats

Managing Partners: Paul H. Schoeman and Howard T. Spilko
Hiring Partner: Kerri Ann Law
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
250 - 500
No. of Partners Named 2021:

Base Salary

1st year: $205,000
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
9th year+: $375,000
Summer Associate: $3,942/week

Employment Contact

Lauren Tapper
Chief Legal Talent Officer
(212) 715-9287

No. of U.S. Offices: 2

No. of International Offices: 1

Major Office Locations

New York, NY (HQ)
Silicon Valley, CA I Paris

Major Departments

Banking & Finance
Bankruptcy & Restructuring
Cybersecurity, Privacy, & Data Protection
Employment Law
Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits
EU Competition & Trade Law
Insurance & Reinsurance
Intellectual Property
Investment Management
Mergers & Acquisitions
Private Equity
Real Estate, Land Use & Environmental
Securitization & Derivatives
White Collar
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.