From its single New York office, Patterson Belknap is a heavy hitter across a full spectrum of litigation and corporate services. The firm is also vigorously devoted to pro bono, with an impressive resume of various matters and a long-standing 100% attorney participation rate in the program. To highlight one example, the firm received Benchmark Litigation’s 2021 “Pro Bono Firm of the Year” award for its work representing a union of Department of Homeland Security officers who...
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Personality fit is key to landing a spot at Patterson Belknap, and if you’re pursuing litigation, a clerkship is key. In addition to sophisticated work, the firm’s culture is clearly a high point—while attorneys prioritize personal and family time, the work-day atmosphere is social, collegial, and warm. Partners treat associates as equals and are invested in their career development. The firm is transparent with respect to big-picture information, although associates wish for more clarity into certain aspects, such as promotion prospects. The billable-hours requirement is 1,850 hours plus 250 for other tasks—like pro bono and admin work—and associates feel it’s reasonable. It also doesn’t hurt that if they don’t hit their hours, they can still earn 50% of their bonus. Because of t...
With around 200 attorneys working out of its single outpost in Manhattan, Patterson Belknap may seem like a modest operation relative to New York’s megafirms, but the firm holds its own. Handling litigation and corporate matters on behalf of clients from such disparate fields as media, financial services, banking, private equity and life sciences, the firm also represents nonprofits and foundations on a wide range of matters.
A Distinguished Career
Patterson Belknap was founded in New York City in 1919. Leading name partner Robert P. Patterson was a veteran, judge—sitting on the U.S. District Court and then the Second Circuit—and Harry Truman's Secretary of War. In the late 1940s, Patterson joined the firm that would become Patterson Belknap, joined by his Harvard classmates ...