FAQ

What is the interview process?

The firm interviews applicants at more than 18 law school campuses and also attends several job fairs.  In addition, we solicit resumes from interested students through the career services offices at dozens of other law schools. After initial interviews at law schools, the Hiring Committee extends invitations to visit Steptoe at the firm’s expense.  We prefer to include an applicant’s law school transcript in our initial review, and we therefore request an unofficial copy of the transcript from all candidates as a routine matter.

What is the compensation structure?   What are some of the benefits Steptoe offers?

Steptoe seeks to maintain salaries and benefits for both associates and summer associates that are competitive with those offered by other major firms. Summer associates also receive an allowance for travel expenses.

Incoming lawyers are reimbursed for household, moving, and travel expenses in accordance with a policy that is available upon request.  Incoming lawyers just graduating from law school, who will be starting work shortly after completion of the bar exam, also receive a stipend to assist with bar review, living, and other expenses while preparing for the exam.

The firm also offers discretionary and business origination awards to recognize the contributions of our associates in providing top-quality legal services to the firm’s clients.

Does Steptoe have a pro bono program?

Yes. Steptoe attorneys have a long and distinguished tradition of service in government and on the boards of civic and charitable organizations. We also are deeply committed to the importance of pro bono service as a means of contributing to our community, and are routinely ranked as a national leader in providing such service.

What is the firm's commitment to diversity?

Steptoe is committed to recruit the best and the brightest lawyers from law schools around the world.  The firm regularly sponsors and attends minority conferences, receptions, and job fairs.  Steptoe lawyers are actively involved in Black Law Students Association, and National Asian Pacific American Bar Association events, and Hispanic National Bar Association recruiting fairs in chapters across the country.

In addition, the firm periodically contacts law school placement directors to seek their advice and request their assistance in encouraging minority candidates to consider joining Steptoe. Our lawyers volunteer at a number of law schools for mock interview programs. Steptoe has also sponsored and assisted in the coordination of the Annual Washington, DC, Minority Summer Associate Reception since its inception in the 1970s.

Steptoe is enhancing diversity at the undergraduate level, as well.  In 2006, the firm created and sponsored a Law School Admission Test preparation course scholarship program in cooperation with the Arizona State University Pre-Law Club and Kaplan review courses. Applicants wrote a short essay describing how their entry into law school would enhance diversity in the legal profession. The intent was to allow consideration of various factors, such as race, gender, disability, language skills, cultural background, and experience working or teaching abroad. Steptoe associates helped to review the applications and award the scholarships. This program was continued in 2007, and three students were awarded scholarships.

Please visit our Firm Profile section to learn more about Steptoe’s commitment to diversity.

Will I have access to training programs, even beyond the required CLE?

Yes; Steptoe conducts a comprehensive in-house training program covering a full range of lawyering skills.  This program includes seminars and workshops designed specifically for new attorneys, as well as training activities open to all of our lawyers.  In-depth workshops coordinated by outside experts include topics such as negotiating techniques, deposition skills, and trial advocacy, as well as seminars on client relations, legal ethics, legal writing, business development, and similar topics.  In addition to this firm-wide training program, each practice department sponsors training programs relevant to its areas of focus. 

How is Steptoe organized?

Our organizational structure fosters a team approach to solving legal problems within and across five broad practice departments:

  1. Business Solutions, which includes Corporate, Securities, Bankruptcy and Finance, Tax, and Property groups.
  2. Litigation, which includes Appellate, Commercial, ERISA, Labor & Employment; Government Contracts, Insurance, International Arbitration, Mass Toxic and Environmental Torts, Securities Litigation & Enforcement, and White-Collar Crime groups.
  3. Regulatory and Industry Affairs, which includes Antitrust and Competition, Energy (which includes electric power and pipeline), Environment & Life Sciences, Government Affairs & Public Policy, Telecom, Internet & Media, and Transportation groups.
  4. International, which includes International Regulation and Compliance and International Trade groups; and
  5. Intellectual Property

Does Steptoe have any special programs for foreign attorneys?

Yes, we have a program designed for foreign lawyers who wish to experience US legal practice before returning to their countries of origin.  It is not designed for lawyers seeking a permanent position in the United States.  Accordingly, foreign lawyers are not expected to take a US bar examination, and the period of the associateship will be limited to nine to 12 months; extending this period is not ordinarily be granted.

In many cases, the foreign lawyer may be able to mitigate tax burdens significantly as a result of agreements entered into between the United States and other nations.

What does the Paralegal Program consist of?

Steptoe’s multi-tiered program includes project assistants, paralegals, senior paralegals, paralegal specialists, and law clerks.  With a paralegal-to-attorney ratio of five to 40, Steptoe paralegals provide a diverse set of skills to deliver efficient and cost-effective services to attorneys and clients.

Steptoe utilizes our paralegals fully, and they assume many of the routine tasks that would otherwise be handled by attorneys and billed at their rates:

  • Project assistants focus on the organizational phases of litigation discovery, traveling to outside agencies, and courts, as well as performing research.
  • Paralegals perform factual research and assist with all phases of the discovery process, including trial preparation and trial attendance, or assist with our many regulatory and business practices.
  • Senior paralegals take on more complex assignments with a more general level of supervision.
  • Paralegal specialists have expertise in particular practice areas such as energy regulation, insurance litigation, and toxic tort, and work at a high level on complex matters.
  • Law clerks perform legal research and complete writing assignments.

Whom should I contact if I have more questions?

We appreciate your interest in Steptoe & Johnson LLP.  Please direct any questions about our attorney recruiting process to our legal recruiting contacts.  Contacts are also available to provide information on our paralegal and administrative opportunities.