Anderson Kill was founded in 1969 on the principles of integrity, excellence in the practice of law, and straightforward solutions to complex legal issues. The firm's attorneys approach engagements aggressively, and have earned a reputation for combining corporate polish with pugnacity. Based in New York City, the firm also has offices in Ventura, CA, Philadelphia, PA, Stamford, CT, Washington, DC, Newark, NJ and Dallas, TX, but the attorneys travel around the country and around the world to handle all types of matters. Anderson Kill attorneys work together, leveraging creativity and legal and business acumen to deliver cost-effective resolutions to clients' problems. Many of the firm's professionals are recognized experts in their practice areas, leaders and active participants in professional associations, and are frequently invited to speak to business organizations.
Anderson Kill clients include some of the nation's largest public and private entities, including companies in financial services, retail, oil/gas, telecommunications, construction, food supply, technology, pharmaceutical and life sciences, and utilities, municipalities and state governments, religious and not-for-profit organizations, small companies and individuals. Anderson Kill prides itself on attracting and retaining intelligent, personable and well-rounded attorneys. Smart attorneys with sharp skills, excellent client service, and a track record to prove it: that is the Anderson Kill difference.
In recent years, a woman has been one of Anderson's top billers and four of the fifteen members of the most recent Board of Directors are women. The firm reportedly is flexible about maternity and paternity leave arrangements and family emergencies. There are only a few minorities at the firm, and almost all are below fourth year. "Those above that do not seem to have a voice," one insider remarked. Despite the generally progressive politics of individual attorneys, "the firm does have a problem recruiting minorities. There does seem to be a huge gap between theory and practice in minority hiring," we were told.
The work portion of the summer program received mixed reviews, the chief criticism being the somewhat limited exposure to the firm's practice areas. One summer associate informed us that "although most of us wanted exposure to all possible areas of practice, the great majority had to concentrate on the commercial litigation and bankruptcy assignments. Corporate work is available but summers really had to demand it to get any."
In many respects, Anderson provides "big firm resources in a small firm atmosphere," remarked one person. The work environment is cooperative, "very laid-back, polite, and friendly." One insider observed that the "firm culture is realty comfortable, maybe a bit too much." The friendly atmosphere insures that there is no "us" versus "them" feeling between junior and senior attorneys. "People get along well," observed one person. Because of the lack of hierarchy, young lawyers feel comfortable approaching more senior lawyers with questions and comments, or just to chat. The work atmosphere at Anderson is "quite livable- if you need to leave early that's okay. Lawyers take their work home and there is no problem with that," one insider remarked. The corporate department works the hardest and longest hours, we were told, but some litigation teams do their fair share of billable hours, too. Fridays are dress-down days year-round and this summer the firm implemented a casual business attire policy for every day. Anderson attorneys are ideologically diverse. The firm has been home to Republicans, such as Mayor of New York City and former U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani Other senior partners, however, are staunch Democrats. Former New York Chief Bankruptcy Judge Roy Babbitt is of counsel, and John Doyle, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, is a partner at the firm. Because Anderson is leanly staffed, it usually offers junior lawyers as much responsibility as they can handle. Third-year lawyers typically manage smaller cases, formulate interrogatories, take depositions, and appear in court by themselves or run a transaction. Although Anderson has not emphasized training and feedback in the past, a firm spokesperson informed us that recently "Anderson has substantially revamped its training program for junior attorneys, which now emphasizes practical litigation skills, such as deposition training and oral advocacy." Anderson attorneys get to know each other well and often socialize after work. Groups of attorneys attend the theater, have dinner parties, and play golf together on weekends. There is not a lot of dating at the firm, though in the recent past there were several firm marriages, we were told. The firm itself doesn't sponsor much by way of social events except during the summer, at which time the summer associates have a number of activities planned for them. Although compensation at Anderson lags behind that of other New York firms and the firm did not match other firm's mid-summer pay hikes for summer associates in 1998, one contact observed that "I make less money than at other large firms, but it is a trade-off. I feel I have more responsibility, control, and input in my work and in the firm's management." This person noted, additionally, that with the "open access to information, I always know what is going on financially and otherwise at the firm. This is empowering. Most of my friends at other firms have no information and thus are merely workers. I am part of the firm and its inner workings."