Associates at Gibson Dunn are immediately exposed to high-profile matters and targeted training curricula. Our associates benefit from our unique Free Market System, giving them the chance to chart their own development. This also includes the guidance and coaching of our Professional Development team to ensure that each associate feels supported at every stage of their career here. Gibson Dunn provides the foundation for your future success, whether as one of our partners, a Fortune 500 general counsel, a leading government official, or faculty at a top law school.
Gibson Dunn welcomes new associates with a two-year, multi-faceted integration and training program which includes:
Professional development at Gibson Dunn is a career-long goal. Associates are given the resources to choose the types of training and guidance that best serve their needs and professional goals:
Associate Attorney | Denver
I came to Gibson Dunn with high expectations, but my experience has exceeded them. From my first day at the Firm, I was given primary responsibility for drafting dispositive motions in important cases. By my third and fourth years, I was second-chairing multi-million dollar trials. And right from the start as a junior associate, I’ve consistently been given the opportunity to interact with and build close relationships with our clients.
But just as important as these opportunities—in terms of both my professional development and my day-to-day life as an associate—is the support the Firm provides. To supplement my trial experience and build my practice skills, the Firm seconded me to the Denver City Attorney’s Office for two months where I tried more than twenty cases to verdict—including nearly a dozen jury trials. And the individual partners I work with each go out of their way to provide comprehensive mentorship, ensuring I have the independence and responsibility necessary to progress as a lawyer while at the same time always being there to provide advice and guidance when I need it. Finally, Gibson Dunn associates are a phenomenal group. The ability to rely on my colleagues’ work product, and on their consistent willingness to volunteer to help each other out, makes Gibson Dunn a great place to come to work every day.
Partner | Los Angeles
I joined Gibson Dunn after clerking on the U.S. Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and have had the opportunity at the firm to work on groundbreaking constitutional cases that have made history and changed society for the better. As an associate, I was asked to prepare the complaint that began the first federal challenge to a same-sex marriage ban – the case against Proposition 8, Hollingsworth v. Perry. From crafting the complaint, through winning at trial, and all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, I worked closely with mentors who have helped shaped and guide my career, including Ted Olson and Ted Boutrous. I was also part of the team representing nine school children in the landmark challenge to California’s teacher tenure laws, Vergara v. California. My work on these important civil rights cases has been tremendously gratifying, and I’m grateful for the opportunities the Firm has given me.
Partner | Los Angeles
I lateralled over to Gibson Dunn from a New York law firm when I relocated to Los Angeles in 2004; in hindsight, it’s now clear that it was one of the best choices that I’ve ever made. Since joining the Firm, I’ve developed a sophisticated finance practice, working with talented clients and GDC teams in various cities, both inside and outside of the U.S. But as professionally rewarding and intellectually stimulating as my time here has been, I’m perhaps more satisfied with the Firm’s culture, which I think truly distinguishes Gibson Dunn. This is a place where more than lip service is paid to collaboration, teamwork and treating people with respect, be they fellow partners, associates or administrative professionals. At the end of the day, practicing at a large law firm is on many different levels incredibly demanding, and that’s as true at GDC than it is at any other of our peer firms. But Gibson Dunn has for me found the right balance between a focus on the bottom line and culture, and that it even cares to try to find a balance is telling in and of itself. I’m very fortunate to have found a firm where I’d be proud to practice the rest of my career.
Associate | Hong Kong
I recall the trepidation with which I started my first day as a new associate in Gibson Dunn’s Washington, D.C. office. Sitting among D.C.’s legal elite was intimidating, to say the least, for a newly minted associate fresh out of the familiar confines of law school. Likely sensing my anxiety, my assigned firm mentor gave me a bit of sage advice: Be patient, and find your place.
During those first few years, the firm provided the platform to do just that. Working alongside those same legal superstars, I became a member of a team involved in a headline-grabbing class action lawsuit. When I expressed interest in our unique Congressional Investigations practice, I was quickly enlisted in the fast-paced world of representing clients before U.S. Senate inquiries. I further found my place in the D.C. Superior Court, representing a juvenile criminal defendant on a pro bono basis.
It was not long before the firm’s increasing international profile beckoned me abroad. Becoming a member of the Hong Kong office has taken me from the sparkling lights of Seoul, to small farming villages in rural India; from slurping khao soi in northern Thailand, to dodging motorcycle taxis in Central Java. And while the scenery has changed during my career, Gibson Dunn’s core values remain constant: the free market system, a sincere commitment to pro bono and diversity, a strict “no jerks” hiring policy, and phenomenal staff support. From D.C. to Hong Kong, Gibson Dunn is a place where you can find your place.
Partner | London
I joined Gibson Dunn’s London office in August 2005 to help start and build the disputes practice in London. I was excited and nervous all at the same time but one thing was for sure, the firm’s commitment to excellence in everything that it does meant I was in safe hands. We are a growing and dynamic office building on the firm’s stellar reputation and extending our services to clients on this side of the Atlantic. From the day I joined and having worked with many offices I was struck by the quality of the lawyers that the firm attracts and this high standard has been maintained for the decade I have been with the firm. While legal excellence is critical, more is required to build a strong and successful team. We look for collegiate, innovative and resourceful lawyers who can meet the demands of our clients while making the workplace enjoyable. Our lawyers are always willing to help and I have enjoyed a strong support network from them. Now that I am involved with recruitment, I apply the same rigour and search for excellence.
The Associates Committee ensures that new associates, whether arriving right after law school or as laterals, transition smoothly into the Firm. Committee members organize welcome events for new associates, plan and host the New Lawyer Academy, participate in new associate training, and oversee the buddy or mentoring programs in each office—all with an eye to associate integration. Associates Committee members also promote social events and mentorship to encourage associates to get to know other lawyers in their offices and around the Firm. Associates Committee members around the Firm were critical to keeping associates and other members of the Gibson Dunn family well-connected and well-supported during the pandemic.
Over the years, the Committee has spearheaded initiatives concerning nearly every aspect of associate life at the Firm. The Associates Committee provides feedback and suggests improvements to Firm management, including regarding compensation, mentoring efforts, and many other areas of concern to associates (e.g., technology, support staff and resources, book allowance, bar dues, health benefits, childcare, after-hours meal reimbursement).
Committee members also organize “town hall” style meetings where Partners-in-Charge report on the state of the office and solicit associate feedback. Committee members encourage associates in all offices to bring their ideas or concerns to the Committee’s attention, so the Committee can relay those ideas and concerns and translate them into new programs or solutions. Ethan Dettmer, a partner in the San Francisco office, chairs the Associates Committee. Lauren Dansey, an associate in the San Francisco office, serves as Vice-Chair.