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Guide to Working at White & Case

Working at White & Case

Working across 25 practice areas and 17 industry groups, White & Case is one of the top firms in BigLaw, with more than 2,000 lawyers in offices all over the world.

Ready to find out what it takes to work at this award-winning firm? Learn all about what it’s like to work at White & Case, including:

What Is White & Case?

Started in 1901 in New York, White & Case is now a global law firm with 45 office locations in 31 countries, including eight offices in the U.S. White & Case pioneered the international law firm model and remains a global law powerhouse today, posting $2.87 million in revenue in 2021. 

White & Case specializes in multijurisdictional and cross-border cases and transactions and, in 2021, advised clients from 115 countries on legal matters in 196 countries. Consistently recognized for its diversity and inclusion initiatives, White & Case counts 114 nationalities and 91 spoken languages among its employees.

The firm has won many awards and frequently appears on rankings of top law firms, including Vault’s 2023 Best Law Firm for International Practice and the Vault Law 100.

>>MORE: White & Case U.S. Cross Border Transaction Program

White & Case Jobs and Salaries

While the majority of jobs at White & Case are for attorneys, the firm also hires for support and operations positions, such as legal assistants/paralegals, analysts, business managers, advisors, accountants, and recruiters.

According to Glassdoor, average salaries for non-lawyer positions at White & Case are:

  • Legal assistants average about $55,300 a year.
  • Legal secretaries average about $61,200 a year.
  • Paralegals average about $61,500 a year.
  • Pricing analysts average about $77,700 a year.
  • Audit staff average about $88,300 a year.
  • Business development specialists average about $106,300 a year.
  • Senior corporate paralegals average about $117,600 a year.
  • Business development managers average about $199,800 a year.
  • Senior software development engineers average about $256,400 a year.

Attorney Salaries at White & Case

Although Glassdoor reports average annual salaries of $232,756 for associates at White & Case, law firms usually follow a very structured pay scale for associates based on how many years they are out of law school.

Specifically, many BigLaw firms — including White & Case — follow the Cravath associate compensation scale. This pay scale is a type of lockstep compensation (pay based solely on seniority) set by Wall Street trendsetter firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. 

As all the big firms compete for the best law students from the top law schools, most agree to pay the same salaries as Cravath and implement raises whenever Cravath does. One benefit of working at a BigLaw firm like White & Case is knowing precisely what your salary will be ahead of time since it’s based entirely on your law school class.

In 2022, the scale is as follows:

YearClassSalary
12021$215,000
22020$225,000
32019$250,000
42018$295,000
52017$345,000
62016$370,000
72015$400,000
82014$415,000

Opportunities for Students and Recent Graduates

White & Case offers several programs for law school students who want to experience what it’s like to work at a large, global law firm.

First-Year Law Students (1L)

  • 1L Workshops: Options include a two-day immersive program focused on learning about White & Case and a one-day intellectual property workshop. Both workshops are in New York and include meeting company lawyers, interactive training, and networking with peers.
  • 1L Fellowships: White & Case offers two fellowships — the Diversity Fellowship and the Intellectual Property Fellowship. Both include participating in the firm’s 10-week Summer Program, along with networking, mentoring opportunities, and social events. Successful fellows can return for their 2L summer. The Intellectual Property Fellowship also comes with a $15,000 scholarship.
  • 1L Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Mentoring Program: Qualifying students from historically underrepresented backgrounds get matched with a firm lawyer from October to April of the first year of law school. Recipients receive mentoring, networking opportunities, and professional development.

Second-Year Law Students (2L)

  • Summer Program: Both 1L and 2L students can apply to participate in White & Case’s paid 10-week Summer Program. In addition to working on legal assignments, participants have access to mentoring, social events, overseas opportunities, and training seminars. 
  • 2L First Generation Professional Scholarship: For students who are the first to graduate from college in their family, the firm offers participation in the summer program, career coaching, business skills training, and financial guidance. Scholarship recipients also receive a $25,000 scholarship and housing, textbook, and wardrobe stipends. 

>>MORE: White & Case Intellectual Property Virtual Experience Program

White & Case Benefits

The firm doesn’t list employee benefits on its website, but employee reviews indicate that it offers health insurance, retirement plans, parental leave, and paid time off. Additional benefits for employees include:

  • Flexible work policies
  • Women’s and affinity networks
  • Mentoring programs
  • Backup child care and elder care
  • Employee assistance programs 

Current and former White & Case employees rate their benefits 4.5 out of 5 on Glassdoor and 3.9 out of 5 for compensation and benefits on Indeed.

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White & Case Culture

With so many offices all over the world, company culture is likely to differ from branch to branch and country to country. However, in general, employees rate White & Case’s culture 3.6 out of 5 stars on both Indeed and Comparably.

The firm embraces a “high stretch, high support” culture that aims to provide employees with training, guidance, and feedback. In addition, White & Case prioritizes a collaborative, open-door environment that encourages developing successful working relationships with colleagues worldwide.

Employee reviews are largely positive, though some express concerns over the lack of work-life balance and excessive working hours — typical when working in BigLaw.

Values and Initiatives

White & Case is focused on creating an inclusive, diverse, welcoming culture, with these three core values guiding the way:

  • Pioneering: Passionate about growth and providing training and mentoring to employees, the firm seizes opportunities to innovate.
  • United: By developing working relationships across the globe, White & Case hopes to operate as a single firm with a shared sense of purpose.
  • Human: The firm empowers everyone to care about each other and do great work to be the best they can be.

With such a large global team, promoting diversity and inclusion is a much-valued initiative at White & Case to create an environment where everyone can “bring their authentic, full selves to work and thrive.” Global affinity networks provide welcoming communities, and the firm embraces initiatives to pursue racial justice and equality, advance women, and champion LGBTQ+ colleagues.

>>MORE: White & Case U.S. Antitrust Virtual Experience Program

Associate Reviews of White & Case

Vault creates rankings, ratings, and reviews of top employers to help job seekers discover what it’s really like to work in a particular industry or at a specific company. To compile its law firm rankings, the company conducts an Annual Associate Survey of more than 20,000 law firm associates. 

Here’s what some of the associates had to say in 2022 to Vault-Firsthand about working at White & Case:

Culture

  • There’s plenty of time to socialize, and it’s a fun atmosphere — one of the more social law firms.
  • The firm respects vacation time and PTO, and colleagues are friendly and engaged.
  • The firm is flexible with working from home.

Associate/Partner Relationships

  • Partners are supportive and open, and address challenges associates face.
  • Partners are respectful toward associates, who get to provide upward feedback to partners.
  • There’s frequent communication, but it can be difficult to ascertain who’s in charge due to the company’s size.

Hours

  • First-year associates don’t have a billable hour requirement.
  • Like most BigLaw firms, the expectation is 2,000 billable hours per year for the second year and beyond.
  • There are periods of higher and lower workloads, but there’s always work to be done.
  • Two hundred of the 2,000-hour requirement can be non-billable hours: recruiting, pro bono, diversity initiatives, etc.

Wellness Initiatives

  • The firm provides on-staff counselors, meditation breaks, onsite gyms, and healthy food. 
  • Partnership actively supports wellness efforts and encourages employees to take care of their mental health.

Career Path

  • Being promoted to partner is realistic for most associates.
  • For those who don’t want the partner track, the firm provides associates with exit opportunities to strategic partners and clients, such as technology and banking institutions.
  • There are many home-grown partners at White & Case.

Pro Bono Work

  • The firm values pro bono work, and partners encourage associates to seek out and take ownership of their pro bono cases.
  • Pro bono work is integral to White & Case’s culture, and the firm works on a variety of issues — domestic violence, child abuse, immigration, racial justice, non-profit, and more.

Diversity

  • In recent years, the firm has made a concerted effort to increase diversity by hiring more women and people of color.
  • It provides training and workshops on various D&I topics and offers billable credit for diversity-focused work.
  • The diversity in languages, religions, backgrounds, and nationalities makes for a very strong and diverse workforce.

How Does the White & Case Interview Process Work?

As a top law firm, White & Case is very selective when it comes to bringing on associates. It generally looks for highly motivated candidates with excellent academic credentials and significant personal achievements. The firm tends to hire from top law schools and prefers applicants with some international experience.

According to surveyed associates, interview questions are often situational and personality and behavioral-based, such as:

  • What are your expectations of the firm?
  • How would you manage juniors and deals?
  • Do you support diversity initiatives?
  • What have you done to support diversity, and what would you do as a lawyer at the firm to support diversity?
  • Why are you interested in White & Case (as opposed to other firms)?
  • What are your travel and international experiences and language capabilities?

>>MORE: How to Use the STAR Method for Interview Questions

When asked about their interview experience at the firm, 58% of applicants reported a positive experience on Glassdoor, compared to just 11% who had a negative experience. The interview difficulty rating was average, 3 out of 5 stars.

White & Case conducts on-campus interviews (OCIs) at more than 30 law schools and job fairs in the U.S. and Canada. OCIs are usually competency-based and conversational and have primarily been virtual interviews since the pandemic. Hiring managers are looking to assess problem-solving abilities, intellect, and the ability to work in teams, among other things.

In terms of getting the initial interview, according to Glassdoor, 33% of candidates applied via campus recruiting, and 67% of candidates applied online.

Interview Tips

Candidates who make it to the next stage will engage in a two-hour interview, usually with two partners and two associates. Fortunately, White & Case does provide some interview tips for candidates who land an interview at the prestigious firm:

  1. Update your resume and talk about your credentials and experience with confidence.
  2. Learn about the firm, research the interviewers, and ask questions about their practices and client work.
  3. Learn the firm’s core competencies — excellent judgment, client readiness, tenacity, and an entrepreneurial mindset. Be ready to discuss personal and professional examples of how you’ve demonstrated these.
  4. Tell the interviewers why you want to work there. What are you passionate about? What do you hope to achieve?
  5. Be yourself!

>>MORE: White & Case U.S. Trade Law Virtual Experience Program

Takeaways

  • White & Case is one of the top law firms in the world, with more than 2,000 attorneys working in 45 offices across 31 countries.
  • The firm keeps pace with the highest salary scales for associates, ensuring that it can recruit the best talent.
  • As a global powerhouse, White & Case is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace.
  • The interview process includes questions on the firm’s core competencies and how applicants have demonstrated them in the past.

Ready to explore different sectors of the legal profession? Check out what it’s like to work in corporate law.

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