Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates


Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates

Four Times Square

New York, NY  10036

Phone: (212) 735-3000


New York, NY (HQ)

Boston, MA, Chicago, IL, Houston, TX, Los Angeles, CA, Palo Alto, CA, San Francisco, Washington, DC. Wilmington, DE, Toronto, São Paulo, Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Vienna, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore. Tokyo. Sydney 


Alternative Dispute Resolution, Antitrust, Appellate Litigation & Legal Issues, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Banking & Institutional Investing, Biological and Chemical Technology Diligence & Transactions, Brazil, Canada, CFIUS, China, Class Action, Litigation, Climate Change, Communications, Complex Mass Torts & Insurance Litigation, Consumer Financial Services Enforcement & Litigation, Corporate, Corporate Compliance Programs, Corporate Finance, Corporate Governance, Corporate Restructuring , Crisis Management, Derivative Financial Products, Commodities & Futures, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, Energy & Infrastructure Projects, Energy Regulation &Litigation, Environmental, Environmental Litigation, Europe, European Union/International Competition, Exempt and Nonprofit Organizations, False Claims Act Defense, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Defense, Franchise Law, Gaming, Government Contract Disputes, Government Enforcement & White Collar Crime, Health Care, Health Care Enforcement & Litigation, Health Care Fraud & Abuse, Hong Kong Law, India, Information Technology & E-Commerce, Insurance, Intellectual Property & Technology, International Law & Policy, International Litigation & Arbitration, International Tax, International Trade, Investment Management, Israel, Italy, Japan, Labor & Employment Law, Latin America, Lease Financing, Litigation, Media and Entertainment, Mergers & Acquisitions, Outsourcing, Patent and Technology Litigation & Counseling, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Medical Device Licensing, Political Law, Private Equity, Private Equity Funds, Pro Bono, Public Policy, Real Estate, Real Estate Investment Trusts, Russia & CIS, Securities Enforcement & Compliance, Securities Litigation, Sports, Structured Finance, Tax, Tax Controversy & Litigation, Trademark, Copyright, and Advertising Litigation & Counseling, Trusts & Estates, UCC & Secured Transactions, Utilities Mergers & Acquisitions


No. of attorneys:  1,900+

No. of offices:  24

Summer associate offers (2009):  207 out of 219

Executive Partner:  Eric J. Friedman

Hiring Partner:  Howard L. Ellin


·         “Work hard play hard”

·         “A+ for keeping it real. What you see is what you get”

·         “Devil's advocates”

·         “Nothing will stop the Skadden machine”

Employment Contact

Carol Lee H. Sprague

Director, Associate/Alumni Relations & Attorney Recruiting

Phone: (212) 735-3815



All US offices

1st year:  $160,000

Summer associate:  $3,100/week

Fun Facts

·         “Leo Strine and Elliot Spitzer used to work here”

·         “Joe Flom still comes in and speaks to all summers and first year associates”


·         “Prestige and learning opportunities”

·         “Interesting issues, in a variety of areas of law”

·         “Compensation, bonuses, reluctance to do layoffs


·         “Can be an aggressive work environment at times, with some artificial deadlines”

·         “The hours and being on call 24/7”

·         “Little chance for advancement”


·         “Great on-site gym”

·         “Technology stipend”

·         “Attorney lunches every Thursday”

Associate Life

Vault’s Verdict: Most associates are satisfied with their work life at Skadden, with a busy work load most associates don’t have time after work to socialize, although they describe a collegial office atmosphere.


·         “I have had many excellent opportunities to develop as a lawyer. Finding the right mentors or bosses who believe in you is key.” -Intellectual Property associate

·         “I love the people I work with and the hours are not too bad. Everyone from the partners on down are very flexible and easy to work with. The only reason I did not give it a ‘10’ is because I have not been able to get as much transactional experience as I had hoped during the first few years. This is largely due to the state of the economy, however.” -Energy associate

Firm Culture

·         “The atmosphere in the office is collegial, and we get along well. Various groups of attorneys socialize with each other outside of work, but there is no pressure to do so.” -Midlevel associate

·         “Socially and politically diverse, including socio-economic and geographic diversity. I often have lunch with my colleagues, but don't do much socializing out of work (I enjoy their company but don't have time for socializing).” -Corporate associate

Associate/Partner Relations

·         “The tax department is spectacular in this regard. Some partners are more ‘difficult’ than others in terms of their expectations, but I've not run into a single ‘mean’ or ‘hostile’ partner, or have felt disrespected by one.”  -Tax associate

·         “I believe that on the whole most partners are extremely busy, stressed and over-worked. I think that as a result of their level of stress they tend to be short with associates and do not spend enough time developing relationships.” -Corporate associate

·         “Overall, the partners are cordial, kind, and willing to listen. There is not too much concern over status, but occasionally, a partner will take a minor inadvertent gesture (e.g., copying a senior partner unnecessarily on an email) as a slight. As can be expected, some partners are easier to work with than others.” -Litigation associate

Office Space

·         “The office building is located in a great location, but the building itself is on the older side. The furniture is a little drab, but the views from the building are amazing.” -Boston associate

·         “The decor and comfort level are just fine, but being in Times Square is a bit of a drag.” -New York associate

·         “Downtown LA. I am a first year, and I have my own office with nearly 2/3 a wall of windows overlooking the downtown area (you progress to the full wall).” -Los Angeles associate


Vault’s Verdict: Skadden associates expect to work long hours and many feel they are compensated well.


·         “When a deal heats up you can spend 16-18 hours in the office each day for a month. When deal flow slows you might arrive at 9 am and leave at 6 pm every day for weeks. Skadden is not a novelty in this regard. No matter what firm you work for you will put in long hours, but when you are not busy you are expected to leave the office and enjoy yourself.” -Junior associate

·         “I work anywhere between 1800-2000 hours and I think that is more than do-able in NYC. It is enough hours where I feel like I'm learning, but not so much that I feel like I'm sacrificing my personal life. This past year, those hours have become much more roller-coaster-like. When I'm busy, I'm ridiculously slammed. When I'm not busy, I am literally doing nothing. Which is a vicious Catch-22 because it means you have less control over what projects you can say no to.” -Midlevel associate

·         “My hours aren't that bad although of course this varies significantly depending on what I am working on. Skadden is so big that it is easier than some places to manage your workload.” -Corporate associate


·         “I think the firm's low (1600) billable hour requirement to be bonus eligible is very generous. Most firms are 2000. They have also avoided any salary freezes. Last year's bonus was small but understandable.” -Bankruptcy/Creditors' Rights associate

·         “Skadden offers lockstep compensation, lockstep bonuses and clerkship bonuses. Its compensation system is among the most generous (if not the most generous) in the country.” -Litigation associate

·         “Compensation is market. Bonuses are easy to hit with 1600 billable. As a top tier firm, I wish the bonuses were ahead of the curve, but followed market last year at $7500 (for 1st years).” -Junior associate

Professional Development

Vault’s Verdict: Most associates at Skadden commend both the formal and informal training programs offered at the firm, though some feel that the larger practice areas get more attention.


·         “Training is wonderful for the larger practice groups. However, the firm continues to do little by way of formal training for the smaller practice groups, including international trade in particular.” -Senior associate

·         “Lots of formal training programs, but the good training is through experience. Seek out the right partner or senior associate and training opportunities are excellent.” -New York associate

·         “The firm offers training in everything, and most training courses are also for CLE credit. Partners and more senior associates take the time to explain and educate, which is much appreciated.” -Corporate associate


Vault’s Verdict: Associates applaud the diversity efforts at Skadden, though many warn that while there is diversity at the associate level, the firm needs to strengthen retention and promotion of women, minorities, and GLBT individuals at the partner level.

·         “Retention and promotion of women and minorities appears to be a problem, as they are rarely made partner. The firm's maternity and Flexible Return from Maternity programs are good, however. The firm also facilitates *** pumping for new moms, either in the ‘New Mom's Room’ or one's own office. Yet the lack of women & minority partners speaks for itself.” -Corporate associate

·         “Many women with young children are able to work part-time schedules. As a GLBT individual, I have never had any problems and the firm often has events for us. Other than numbers from the NALP directory, I cannot tell you much about minority retention other than that the firm has better numbers than others.” -Litigation associate

·         “I think our firm does an excellent job of recruiting and maintaining a diverse group of employees. The firm is sensitive to diversity issues and makes efforts to provide innovative solutions to serve its employees and their individual needs.” -Junior associate

Overall Business Outlook

Vault’s Verdict:  Most associates see a bright future for Skadden, not only did the firm come out strong during the recession, but managed to keep employee morale high.

·         “The firm's diversity and strength across all practice groups has carried it through one of the worst slumps to hit the legal market in five decades - without a single layoff. The firm is well positioned and efficiently managed. I expect that Skadden will prosper once the economy recovers as it will not have to heal from the brain drain that other firms have experienced as a result of layoffs. In short, the firm is a veritable powerhouse and should be for years to come.” -Intellectual Property associate

·         “The firm is so well tied to the banking sector that any changes in regulations will lead to increased work, the litigation team is thriving (and growing) and as general corporate work comes back (securities, M&A, etc.) we are at the forefront. Morale is quite high given the lack of layoffs. Assuming the firm continues to grow (and tries not to do more work with the same amount of attorneys), the outlook is very bright. -Midlevel year associate

·         “I feel like we are well-positioned to thrive; we have handled the economic uncertainty well and the firm has demonstrated a commitment to its associates through such turmoil. My only concern would be with how well the firm does in absorbing the associates that are returning after the sidebar program.” -Real Estate associate

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