Hear From Our Lawyers

"As a junior associate at Debevoise, you’re exposed to every aspect of a deal and you get truly substantive assignments. That level of involvement has been very positive for my own development. By talking to clients, you learn how to work through their questions – that’s a huge part of what being an attorney is all about. I feel lucky that I’ve been able to do that so early in my career. Clients come to Debevoise with complex, novel issues, and rely on us to craft the best solution for their business and bring our innovative thinking to every question. I like being a part of that, and working alongside partners who are eager to teach associates. I’m constantly learning. There’s also a real desire here to make sure that diversity and inclusion are an inherent part of the work environment, and to ensure that diverse associates feel supported as individuals. It’s just part of who we are as a firm. This includes a focus on retention and ensuring that diverse associates see a career path for themselves at Debevoise."

Biography and client work

Tigist Kassahun, Associate, Class of 2015
Anna Gressel, Associate, Class of 2015

"It was very important to me that I join a firm where I would find many different women leaders. I didn’t want a firm with just a few women in leadership roles. At Debevoise, we have so many outstanding women who are leaders within the firm and in the wider profession, and who have taken different approaches to their careers. I feel lucky that I have so many role models because I can think creatively about what my life and career can be. The partners and senior associates I work with have been proactive in identifying new assignments for me to develop my skills. They’ll say, “Take a shot at doing this,” or, “We think you’re ready for it.” That’s when I learned the most. It gives you confidence to take on the next challenge and shows that you can help drive the case, even in your first year. In small and large ways, you can have tremendous impact by taking ownership. The lawyers at Debevoise will not only be happy for you to do that, they’ll guide you along the way."

Biography and client work

"As an Asian woman in the M&A field, what has been most meaningful to me is that at Debevoise I feel supported in a way that doesn’t have to do with being Asian or being a woman. I’ve always felt that my Debevoise colleagues view and support me as an individual. At Debevoise, there’s a tangible sense that we are all part of the same team and have a shared responsibility to our clients and each other. You can see it in how we interact with each other every day. For example, we care about working collaboratively. If you’re working through a difficult legal problem, your colleagues are willing to spend time helping you puzzle through it. We all recognize that our ability to succeed as professionals and to achieve our individual goals depends on all of us working together to maximize everyone’s success. As partners, we work hard to ensure meaningful work experiences for all of our associates, including our diverse associates—monitoring their work assignments and identifying new work opportunities that will help them develop as lawyers."

Biography and client work

Peter Alderman, Alumnus
"At Debevoise, I learned that if you don’t know the substance of what’s in front of you – which is often the case in a general counsel role—you have to trust your common sense, and your ability to learn and think on your feet. In my first few days in-house, I had to field questions in areas of the law that I had never encountered before. Thanks to my training at Debevoise, I had the confidence to figure it out. That was critical and has allowed me to thrive in my current role. Nothing teaches you to be a lawyer like having full responsibility for making sure a deal closes. As a first-year associate, I was responsible for closing a project finance deal—something I hadn’t done on my own before—and there was no one else to rely on. I figured it out, the deal closed, and it was an extraordinary learning opportunity. I learned more in that one week than I would have learned anywhere else in a year. And I appreciated the trust the partner showed in me."
"Debevoise handles high-stakes litigation matters and cases that shape the law. Even as a junior associate, you get hands-on experience in building the case. And the substantive knowledge and know-how that Debevoise partners impart to associates is just amazing. You’re trained in how to think through problems and look for creative solutions. That’s a critical skill set for any litigator and it’s something you get very good at very quickly as a Debevoise associate. It’s also what I do every day as senior in-house counsel. And at Debevoise, diversity isn’t just talk. The firm dedicates significant resources to recruiting and retaining lawyers from diverse backgrounds. But it isn’t only a matter of financial resources or large-scale initiatives. Individual lawyers were invested in my experience and that of other diverse associates."
Cari Wint, Alumna
Andrew Jamieson, Associate, Class of 2011

"Debevoise is the best place to practice corporate law in New York City. You get to work on challenging, high-profile and exciting matters with colleagues who take pride in client service and in training associates. I wanted to practice corporate law, but I wasn’t quite sure about the specific practice area. So I was drawn to the firm’s strong corporate practice and the rotation system, with its emphasis on training associates to be well-rounded lawyers. I was also drawn to the fact that it’s a team-oriented place. I’ve learned how important it is to understand your client’s business—something that’s ingrained in you from the beginning as an associate. It’s not enough to know the Delaware code. You need to know the transaction, your client’s business and the relevant law and be sophisticated in understanding how all three come together. As a summer associate, my first assignment was on an IPO, which involved sitting with a partner and drafting sections of the prospectus together. As a first-year, I worked on a bond offering for a client involving 100+ subsidiaries in approximately 20 jurisdictions. That included leading a call to walk the client through the process. It was a little scary at the time, but also very rewarding."

Biography and client work

"Debevoise has a culture that is inclusive, from the most senior partner to the junior associates and paralegals, and that’s really special. It’s about getting the work done for our clients and it’s about your team. Partners are always willing to take the time to talk and offer guidance on how to approach an assignment. It’s a given that everyone pitches in and puts the client and the work product first. I enjoy working with colleagues who take an interest in helping our clients by helping each other. And I’ve been given far more responsibility than I could have expected as a junior associate. As a first-year, I drafted talking points for a call with government lawyers in connection with a white collar investigation because the partner recognized that I knew the documents and facts of the case inside and out. There’s a level of trust in that, and it shows in the assignments I get to work on."

Biography and client work

Jim Pastore, Partner

"Forget early responsibility. At Debevoise, you get instant responsibility. It was clear from the moment I arrived as a junior associate that my job was to get the right answer for the client. When partners with 20+ years of experience turned to me and genuinely asked for my views, it was incredibly motivating and great for my growth as a lawyer. That served me well as a junior associate at Debevoise and later as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and it now serves me well as a partner. After five years at the S.D.N.Y., there were a lot of places where I could have practiced law. I returned to Debevoise because this is home. I came back for the opportunities to work with great colleagues on some of the highest-profile matters at the cutting edge of the law. It’s just a fun way to practice. If you’re intellectually curious and thrive in an environment that demands excellence and encourages teamwork and creativity, Debevoise will feel like home to you, too."

Biography and client work

"The assignments I had as a junior associate were particularly substantive and increased my self-confidence as a young lawyer, especially as I became the Debevoise contact for certain clients over time. These experiences reinforced the expertise I was gaining, the value I was adding to my team and the value I was offering to our clients. In addition, my partner advisor has consistently made sure that the assignments I receive will help me develop a well-rounded skill set and deepen my involvement in building client relationships. It may be difficult to predict the future or the path that my career will take, but I do know that I have a strong foundation as a result of these opportunities. I’m confident that during my time at Debevoise I’ve developed the tools that will allow me to be a successful attorney no matter where I practice."
Richard Harper, Alumnus