With deep roots in Philly, Ballard Spahr has made its mark across the U.S. with 15 offices. The firm has a particularly robust litigation practice and has been lauded for its focus on innovation. The firm advises some of the nation’s biggest market players in media law, securities and antitrust class actions, patent infringement cases, white collar defense matters, and federal and state appeals. The firm attracts friendly, outgoing types who are supportive of their colleagues and enjoy socializing.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2021)

500 - 750


No. of Partners Named (2021)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)



No. of Summer Associates (2021)

35 total (26 2Ls; 9 1Ls)


No. of U.S. Offices


Vault Verdict

Bottom line, the culture at Ballard Spahr is fantastic. This is a firm where associates feel they can be their true selves, and they rave about the kind, supportive culture. Lawyers get together socially on a regular basis, including throughout the pandemic with such events as quizzo nights and virtual escape room. Associates are also thrilled with their relationships with partners, who are supportive and value associates’ contributions. Some feel management has gotten more transparent lately, while others wish for more insight into certain areas, such as compensation. Associates describe their compensation as below market, but many prefer their work-life balance to making more money. The firm has a strong mentorship program, with associates receiving both a partner and associate ...

About the Firm

One of the largest and most prominent firms in Philadelphia, Ballard Spahr has a strong and growing national footprint, with more than 600 lawyers in 15 offices across the country. The firm has thriving practices in litigation, business and transactions, intellectual property, finance, and real estate.

Philadelphia Breeds a Nationwide Network

Ballard Spahr traces its roots to 1885, when Philadelphia lawyer Ellis Ballard joined a law firm helmed by Rufus Shapley. They were joined by fellow University of Pennsylvania alumnus Boyd Lee Spahr and R. Sturgis Ingersoll. In the early 1930s, the firm became known as Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll—later changed to Ballard Spahr LLP in 2009. The opening of a Washington, DC, office in 1978 marked the beginning of decades of expansion be...

Associate Reviews

  • Probably my favorite part about the firm. Everyone works hard but is approachable. I feel like I am able to be myself, which is a huge bonus.”
  • It is a very progressive and liberal law firm. Pre-COVID there were many firm-sponsored events and I had a great relationship with my team and staff. Post-COVID, for obvious reasons, most employees have worked remotely. The firm continues to provide many virtual firm-sponsored events, and I still talk virtually with team members almost daily.
  • I love the culture at the firm. Everyone is very kind, personable, and supportive, and there are lots of opportunities to build relationships outside of your immediate teams. For instance, through affinity groups and businesses industry groups, as well as through regular social activities like quizzo nights and virtual escape the room activities. The firm is doing a great job of maintaining connectedness during the pandemic—I am particularly pleased that many of my groups meet regularly using video so that we can stay connected.”
  • The day-to-day atmosphere is truly enjoyable. Overall, most people are quite friendly/outgoing. There are plenty of opportunities to socialize outside of work, as well, if you want to participate.”

Diversity at Ballard Spahr

"We believe that varied perspectives drive insightful counsel. Ballard Spahr is committed to creating a vibrant community where the needs, viewpoints, and contributions of people from all backgrounds are valued and integrated into every aspect of the firm. Diversity is the natural result of an inclusive environment. Our goal is to improve recruitment and retention among underrepresented groups and to ensure that all people have full access to opportunity-to the benefit of our clients, the legal profession, and our communities...."

Getting Hired Here

  • Important factors in hiring: diversity, grades, prior work experience, and personality
  • The firm has a good hiring process including focusing on specific schools and on specific diversity programs such as the Philadelphia Diverse Lawyers Group.”
  • The firm conducts annual training for members of its Hiring Committee to ensure an equitable hiring process.”

Perks & Benefits