Reed Smith is the perfect fit for associates who want to take on challenging legal work in a laid-back, welcoming environment. Partners here are active mentors, and on-the-job training is supplemented with courses through Reed Smith University. Reed Smith is a full-service shop, serving corporate and commercial clients on litigation, transactional, regulatory, and other matters. It also fields multi-disciplinary industry groups dedicated to clients in the life sciences, media and entertainment, energy and natural resources, shippi...

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2021)

1.5K - 2K


No. of Partners Named (2021)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)



No. of Summer Associates (2021)

61 total (50 2Ls; 11 1Ls)


Base Salary

Austin; Century City; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Los Angeles; New...

Vault Verdict

Reed Smith focuses its recruiting efforts on top candidates, often from regional schools, and looks for down-to-earth people with diverse life experiences. Attorneys are laid back and friendly, and there are social opportunities beyond the work day for those interested. Partners keep tabs on associate workloads and are active mentors. There is some haziness with respect to promotion and compensation decisions, but high-level firm information is transparent. The 2,000-hour billable-hours requirement includes allowances for diversity and pro bono work—most feel this is perfectly reasonable, and any complaints about hours tend to focus on uneven distribution of work. Salaries start at market but diverge from lockstep at year three; bonuses are reportedly under market and require meet...

About the Firm

A Pittsburgh native long intertwined with the city’s industrial kingpins, Reed Smith joined the crowd in globalizing via international mergers in the 21st century. With litigation at the forefront, the firm’s practice strengths also include cross-border transactional and regulatory work.

Steel City Origins

Reed Smith LLP’s rise to prominence can be at least partly credited to a symbiotic relationship with an American industrial tycoon. Attorney James Reed, who founded the firm in Pittsburgh with Philander Knox in 1877, cultivated strong ties with the man most singularly responsible for giving Steel City its blue-collar identity: Andrew Carnegie. In addition to leading the firm’s representation of Carnegie at the peak of his empire-building, Reed served as a charter director of Carnegie...

Associate Reviews

  • “Culture is smart, reasonable, and not flashy. People are genuinely kind and stop by offices to say hi to colleagues.”
  • “Day-to-day atmosphere is great. Everyone that I've met at the firm is very nice and laid back, more so than I expected at a large firm. There are opportunities to gather and make friends if that is what you're interested in, and if you're not interested, you don't have to.”
  • “Very supportive environment—people genuinely enjoy hanging out with each other and make an effort to do so. Pre-COVID, there were regular happy hours, etc. [The] firm has also made efforts to stay connected during COVID.”
  • “Politically aware and inclusive. Welcoming atmosphere. Professionally, the firm is thorough, relationship driven, and conservative financially.”

Diversity at Reed Smith LLP

"Our mission is focused on the recruitment, retention, and professional development of diverse talent. We are dedicated to and focused on creating a culture of inclusion that extends to all our personnel and our clients. Diversity, inclusion and equity are embedded in all that we do - they're part of our DNA. We support diverse law students by providing the tools and opportunities to succeed in law school and in the legal profession through various diverse summer associate programs and scholarships. We also partner with clients..."

Getting Hired Here

  • “I think the firm is looking for bright minds who are also down-to-earth people.”
  • “The firm hires by location, so the LA office has traditional LA feeder schools + Hastings in SF. I think overall, the firm is looking for candidates who are willing to learn and easy to get along with at work.”
  • “We recruit heavily from the top of the class/law review at regional law schools. We seem to be a better fit for this type of student than for lower-ranked students from the top national programs.”
  • “Diversity seems to be very important to the recruitment committee—not just diverse race, ethnicities, and genders, but diversity in experiences, like people with second careers and diversity of law schools (not just top schools).”

Perks & Benefits