Overview

Introduction

Robinson Bradshaw is a presence in the Carolinas, where it has deep roots. The firm specializes in corporate and commercial law, particularly complex corporate transactions and litigation. Robinson Bradshaw prides itself on its collaborative work style—unlike many of its peers, it eschews a billable-hours requirement so that lawyers can focus on the work itself rather than the compensation generated from the work.

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2021)


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No. of Partners Named (2020)


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Featured Rankings

Best Midsize Law Firms for Hours...


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No. of Summer Associates (2020)



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Base Salary

1st year: $160,000...


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No. of U.S. Offices

Vault Verdict

Robinson Bradshaw’s hiring requirements are strict, with a focus on top-notch grades, dedicated work ethic, and a respectful attitude. Attorneys love their firm culture, which is professional, collaborative, and quite social. Associates commend the partners for being approachable and invested in their careers, and firm leadership—as a whole—provides a great degree of transparency to associates. The firm does not have a billable-hours requirement, which associates say takes away some of the pressure of practicing law. There isn’t much formal training at the firm, but there is a mentorship program, and partners work closely with associates, providing plenty of informal opportunities. The compensation doesn’t match BigLaw market, but it is lockstep and not tied to billable hours, whi...

About the Firm

Robinson Bradshaw is a presence in the Carolinas—where it has deep roots. The firm specializes in corporate and commercial law, particularly complex corporate transactions and litigation.

Collaboration is Key

Founded in 1960 by Russell M. Robinson and Robert W. Bradshaw, Robinson Bradshaw has now grown to a firm with more than 140 lawyers across three offices in North Carolina and South Carolina. The firm prides itself in its collaborative work style. And unlike many of its peers, it eschews a billable-hours requirement so that lawyers can focus on the work itself rather than the compensation generated from the work.

Carolina Elite

Robinson Bradshaw has it covered when it comes to practice areas—the firm boasts experience...

Associate Reviews


  • “Robinson Bradshaw is a fantastic place to work. Our lawyers truly enjoy working together, learning from one another, and getting to know one another personally. Lawyers often socialize during work hours (especially over lunch) and outside of work (including by cycling, grabbing dinner or drinks, and coaching baseball or other sports together). The relationships within the firm are not formed purely out of professional obligation or interest—but out of a genuine desire to know one another better and develop long-term, personal friendships.”
  • “Our culture is excellent. All lawyers (partners and associates) genuinely care about one another, and most partners are helpful in mentoring associates. Social opportunities are somewhat limited, although we enjoy an annual all lawyers' retreat, regular firm dinners, and assorted other events throughout the year. We are encouraged to use our time away from work to concentrate on our families and other interests.”
  • “Lawyers collaborate and socialize often. The firm's compensation structure eliminates barriers to collaboration among lawyers (there are no ‘origination credits’ or similar disincentives to calling up colleagues to help). The firm encourages lawyers to socialize through quarterly firm dinners, the annual firm retreat, various summer associate events, and its ‘lunch ladder’ program (grouping together lawyers at various stages of their careers who one might not ordinarily work with or otherwise interact with).”
  • “We have a family-friendly culture that values a work-life balance. The firm focuses on having a social culture and fosters that through planned events (such as attorney lunches, occasional happy hours, quarterly firm dinners, etc.). The work culture is collaborative, and that can be seen by the number of different lawyers who bill on any given project—people are very willing to lend a helping hand for an hour or two to help solve another lawyer's problem or answer their questions. This is in line with the firm's view that clients are ‘firm clients’ and not clients of any given partner.”
  • “The partners at Robinson Bradshaw, as a whole and individually, treat associates with respect. On most projects, partners and associates are working side-by-side, and the partners are more than willing to roll up their sleeves and assist with some of the more mundane tasks. Our managing partner has a biannual meeting with associates, during which he discusses all aspects of the firm (including performance and finances, business development, hiring, etc.).”
  • “Relationships between partners and associates is very good overall, and great as a firm. The partnership is relatively transparent regarding decision-making.”
  • “Reviews are semi-annual. I didn't believe this at first, but partners do really care about associate development and an associate's long-term place at the firm. Definitely a place you can expect to stay at long term.”
  • “Reviews are conducted twice a year and are very clear and straightforward. We have periodic meetings where the managing partner shares important firm developments (including financials) with associates. By and large, partners are respectful of associates and seek to mentor us. As with anything, there are some exceptions, but I find this to be generally true of partner-associate relations.”
  • “The hours are reasonable. Sometimes things are quite busy, but not having a billable-hours requirement means that you can actually enjoy the times when they are not busy, instead of worrying [about] a target.”
  • “My billable hours are both manageable and sustainable. Of course, there are periods that are busier than others, but I consistently find time to exercise, spend time with friends and family, pursue interests outside of work, etc. As with all law jobs, my hours ebb and flow depending on client demands, court deadlines, and other contingencies, but I feel that the work is well distributed, and my plate is appropriately full.”
  • “I am satisfied with my overall workload. Of course, it ebbs and flows depending on the time of year, but overall, I am content. We do not have a billable-hours requirement, so I don't feel the pressure of finding work to do if I am having a slower month. Instead, I enjoy spending more time with my family and friends during slow periods. I do have flexibility in where and when I work. I have to leave the office to pick up my child from daycare every day and it has never been a problem.”
  • “The firm does not have a billable-hours requirement or target and does not assess associates based on billable hours.”
  • “The firm has a lockstep associate salary structure. The firm does not have a guaranteed annual bonus but has offered associate bonuses for the past several years. These bonuses have been lockstep (based on seniority) rather than affiliated with billable hours.”
  • “There is no relationship between billable hours and compensation at our firm. All associates are paid the same amount based on their years with the firm. This helps to eliminate internal, unhealthy competition among associates.”
  • “Although you can definitely make more at larger firms, the associate salaries at Robinson Bradshaw are in line with peer firms. Given the work-life balance I have here, I am more than happy with my compensation.”
  • “Because of our structure (substantially more shareholders than associates), associates get interesting, substantive work early and often. My first assignment as a first-year associate was to be the principal drafter of a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. I have already been involved drafting appellate briefs in various state and federal courts, and I have had numerous opportunities to engage in client-facing work.”
  • “The work I perform is at or above the level I would expect. The amount of responsibility given to young lawyers is extremely high.”
  • “We work primarily across from Am Law 100 firms (although not exclusively). The smaller deals that we do give associates the flexibility to take the lead in the transaction. Deals are leanly staffed, so you get real experience. It is the opposite of the BigLaw model.”
  • “Since the very early days of my tenure at the firm, I have constantly been given challenging and interesting assignments that consistently require me to push my limits and grow as an attorney. In part this is due to the "inverted pyramid" structure of partners and associates at our firm (there are vastly more partners than associates), so associates are given a wide breadth of opportunity.”
  • “The firm's wellness efforts are less focused on formal programming and more focused on offering a healthy work-life balance.”
  • “Our wellness efforts mostly stem from the philosophy of the firm that work should not be all consuming. We are encouraged to fill our free time (and we actually have free time) with exercise/family/whatever we need to be well overall.”
  • “I think we have a massage therapist come in weekly to our Charlotte office, and we subsidize gym memberships. But the main thing is that the shareholders care about your well-being. If you've got a personal problem, you will not be expected to sweep it under the rug and focus on work. Although we definitely need to do a better job about affirmatively checking in on each other.”
  • “Partners at Robinson Bradshaw are always willing to answer questions from associates and to provide any guidance or training that is required. We also have frequent internal training sessions that focus on various practice areas. Each associate is assigned a first-year partner mentor, and then once an associate is assigned to a department, each associate is assigned a long-term partner mentor in that same department. Both of my mentors have taken their roles very seriously and have been great resources during my first few years at the firm.”
  • “There are very few formal training programs at the firm, if any. Almost all training is ‘on the job.’ However, given the close relationship between partners and associates, and the way the firm treats associates as future partners, the partners tend to spend extra informal training time to ensure the associates working on their matters are learning the substance and procedure necessary to become successful.”
  • “Associates are assigned a formal mentor, although the value of that depends on the partner assigned to you. Individual attorneys will provide mentorship when requested, but associates need to be proactive.”
  • “When the firm hires new associates, the partners have every intention of each associate staying with the firm and eventually making partner. Promotion to partnership is very realistic for those who would like to make partner. We have a seven-year track to partnership.”
  • “Most associates make partner within a set period of time, and all partners share in equity of the firm.”
  • “The firm hires every associate with the full expectation that they will make partner. For those that don't stay, many go in-house to our clients or into state or federal government.”
  • “Robinson Bradshaw invests in associates from day one, with the goal that each associate will make partner. That commitment is clear from the make-up of the firm: The number of partners is more than double that of associates. Since the expectation is that everyone will make partner, there is almost no intra-firm competitiveness among the associates.”
  • “Commitment to pro bono is more on an individual level, rather than a firm level.”
  • “The firm has a strong commitment to pro bono work and is committed to helping low-income individuals in our community obtain access to free legal services.”
  • “We are encouraged to do pro bono projects. No one has ever complained about anyone doing pro bono work as far as I know.”
  • “Robinson Bradshaw truly cares about diversity and inclusion. We have regular guest speakers on this topic, and we have an active diversity and inclusion committee that helps the firm find ways to achieve our diversity and inclusion goals.”
  • “I think the firm makes very concerted efforts to be inclusive and seek diverse candidates for hiring. We do have affinity groups, and they are helpful.”
  • “I think the firm has placed an emphasis on recruiting and retaining diverse candidates, and that this emphasis has started to show results but will begin showing significant results in the near future.”

Diversity at Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A.

"In 2019, Robinson Bradshaw experienced significant achievements and engagements related to diversity and inclusion. Highlights of these include: -The firm welcomed back Stephen Young of Insight Education Systems to present "MicroInequities Part 2: Sustaining the Impact" to all attorneys. In March of 2017, Stephen presented "MicroInequities: Managing Unconscious Bias" to the firm. Presently, a subcommittee of the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Committee is working on an internal follow up presentation. -The firm..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “The firm only hires from top law schools and has very stiff academic requirements. Most attorneys seem to either come from a top 10 law school or otherwise graduated in the top 10% with law review experience. It is the strictest firm from a hiring perspective I am aware of. If you do not have sterling law school credentials, odds are not good.”
  • “We value excellence in our lawyers. As a result, GPA and other indicators of academic success are centrally important to our recruiting decisions. We also value lawyers who are involved in their communities and looking to better their communities in some way. And we are big on hiring people who are the best at what they do, while remaining down to earth and genuine.”
  • “We keep the gate narrow. You need good grades from a top school or top grades from a good school. But you also need to buy into the firm's values. We get a lot of students from Duke, UNC, and UVA that come to the southeast for law school and enjoy the slower pace of the legal market.”
  • “Robinson Bradshaw is intently focused on ‘fit,’ which largely means someone who is (1) a team player, (2) polite and respectful to all colleagues (from the managing partner to the mail room staff), (3) committed to collaboration, (4) willing to tackle projects with a good attitude, and (5) willing to take ownership of her own work.”
  • “The interview process is substantive and thoughtfully designed to make sure the candidates receiving offers are likely to be successful in our model. A candidate should be prepared to talk in depth about the experiences reflected on their resume.”
  • “Questions are designed to probe at the firm's core values to identify candidates that will contribute to the firm in a meaningful way over the long term.”