Founded by seven lawyers in 1946, our firm has grown to over 1,100 lawyers in 16 offices, working across practices, industries, jurisdictions, and continents to provide clients with simple, actionable approaches to their most complex legal and business challenges.
At Cleary, you will work with multinational corporations, financial institutions, businesses, and governments that come to us with their most novel legal and business challenges. We have offices located in 16 major financial and political centers around the world and operate as a single, integrated firm built on collaboration with the goal of delivering our full suite of resources to all of our clients. When you join our firm, you’ll build a practice that will grow with you as you develop your skills and focus.
Clients around the world turn to us to handle their most challenging assignments, including innovative deals, large corporate transactions, and high-profile litigation matters.
- Global M&A matters we’ve handled include some of the most challenging and high-profile acquisitions, hostile takeovers, and leveraged buyouts of recent years.
- Our award-winning capital markets team continues to pioneer the most novel transactions both in the U.S. and around the world.
- Repeatedly recognized with “firm of the year” honors, our antitrust team is preeminent in U.S. and European competition law.
- Peerless in our sovereign practice, Cleary has advised more than 25 countries in privatizations, financings, and external debt matters.
- Our global tax practice has an unparalleled reputation for cutting edge advice. Chambers USA notes “they’re among the best from a technical perspective, as well as smart and savvy.”
A top-tier reputation, unmatched level of collegiality and mutual respect, diversity of thought and background, and an expectation of excellence—that’s our Cleary culture. At Cleary, we believe the lockstep compensation model brings out the best in our lawyers and our firm.
Every associate and partner is compensated on the basis of seniority, not hours billed or business generated. We don’t spend our time assigning credit for matters and focus instead on teamwork and the pursuit of excellence for our clients.
This structure also allows us to concentrate our efforts on assisting and training junior associates and collaborate across practice groups to best serve our clients. When you have questions, lawyers at all levels of seniority are ready and willing to guide you. This collegiality is a cornerstone of our culture at Cleary.
When you join Cleary, you’re given substantive assignments and significant responsibilities right away while working closely with a team. Associates have an active role in nurturing existing client relationships and in developing new ones. With 90% of our global partnership having joined the firm as associates, you’ll always have the support and guidance of home-grown Cleary lawyers.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to our identity and reflected not only in the people who work here, but also in the way we approach legal practice. Because we work daily with clients around the world on matters involving a broad array of legal,
business, and social/cultural perspectives, we know the value of being an eclectic group of lawyers.
- 100% Corporate Equality Index Score, Human Rights Campaign Foundation, 2022
- Top Firm for Diversity, Yale Law Women, 2022
- Top 5 in The American Lawyer’s 2022 Diversity Scorecard
- Top 25 for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Chambers Associate Survey, 2021
- Top 5 for Minority Attorneys, Law360, 2021
- Innovative International Firm of the Year, Euromoney’s Women in Business Law Awards, 2022
- 37% of our associates in our U.S. offices are ethnically underrepresented
- 52% of our U.S.-based associates are women
- 13% of our U.S.-based associates identify as LGBTQ+
Cleary’s affinity groups collaborate with firm leadership, organize social activities, conduct continuing legal education programs, and raise awareness about topics relevant to the members of their respective groups. Affinity groups are empowered to be active participants in the firm’s efforts to achieve greater inclusion.
We proudly support five affinity groups:
- Black Affinity Group
- East Asian Affinity Group
- Latinx Affinity Group
- LGBT Affinity Group
- South East Asian-South Asian-Middle Eastern Affinity Group
Cleary actively supports community outreach and training programs focused on diversity issues and partner with leading diversity and inclusion stakeholders inside and outside of the legal industry.
The broad experiences and training you receive as a new associate will lay the foundation for your future. As your experience builds, you will assume increased responsibilities in your chosen areas of interest. We give you the training to hit your stride quickly and take responsibility in client matters early on in your career.
We present concepts and insights—business, legal, and financial—that delve into the particulars of the transactions and litigation matters you’ll face every day. Experienced mentors will help guide you, both formally and informally, through your
professional and personal life at Cleary. We help you build the broad skills that will make you a nimble and well-rounded lawyer. Expectations are clearly defined, and your progress is measured against benchmarks set out in our review process.
Cleary is a firm where lawyers at all levels talk to each other frequently and freely, so working and training go hand-in-hand.
Pro Bono and Community Service
We approach our pro bono work exactly as we approach our paying cases: putting the full resources of the firm toward the needs of the client. Hundreds of our attorneys worldwide dedicate themselves, voluntarily, to pro bono work.
- 70% of attorneys worked on pro bono matters
- 700+ pro bono clients served
- 23,000+ hours spent on defending the rights of immigrants and refugees
- 100,000+ pro bono and public service hours
Some notable recent pro bono efforts include:
- Fighting local and international human rights abuses, including settling an important lawsuit to
help eradicate sexual abuse by guards at Rikers Island.
- Working with The Legal Aid Society to successfully secure vacatur for a wrongfully convicted
client who spent more than 20 years in prison.
- Partnering with the Veterans Assistance Project to ensure that veterans receive fair treatment
from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Uniting with the International Refugee Assistance Project during the Syrian refugee crises in
- Helping hundreds of immigrants and refugees find safety and security.
- Working with Death Row prisoners to get them resentenced and released through the Malawi
Death Penalty Resentencing Project.
- Collaborating with other law firms to help research female genital mutilation in Africa.
- Advising pro bono clients at Toynbee Hall’s Free Legal Advice Centre.
- Partnering with the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund and the National Bail Out Campaign, which
provide bail for caregivers and community members who cannot afford bail while awaiting trial
in local jails and immigration centers.
- Advising nonprofits that work tirelessly to better the world.
Women at Cleary
Advancing the careers of women is one of the firm’s top priorities. We are committed to increasing the representation of women in our senior ranks. Cleary cultivates opportunities for mentorship and creates platforms for gender-focused discussions at the firm.
- The Committee on Retention and Promotion of Women: Cleary’s gender-equity efforts are led
by the Committee on Retention and Promotion of Women (CRPW). The committee is comprised
of lawyers from various practice areas and seniorities.
- The Women’s Working Group: The Women’s Working Group (WWG) and WWG Leadership
Committee are key parts of our efforts to support and empower women associates through
ongoing programming and new initiatives, including seeking opportunities to collaborate with
women associates in other Cleary offices.
- Mentoring Programs: Female attorneys also participate in Cleary Mentoring Circles (CMC), a
group mentoring program that offers a dynamic and multigenerational approach to mentoring
and helps guide lawyers through their professional lives at the firm.
- The Kate Stoneman Project: Cleary is also a founding member of the Kate Stoneman Project
(KSP), which was founded by 20 women partners from 10 leading law firms in Manhattan. KSP
provides a forum to address issues of common concern relating to the advancement of women
in the profession and leverages the collective strength of the KSP women partners to advance
leadership in professional, civic, educational, and charitable endeavors.
Cleary continues to see results from our efforts to recruit and retain women lawyers, and women currently make up 52% of our U.S.-based associates.