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 attracts friendly, outgoing types who are supportive of their colleagues and enjoy socializing.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2023)

500 - 750


No. of Partners Named (2022)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2022)



No. of Summer Associates (2023)

41 total (30 2Ls; 11 1Ls)


Base Salary

1st year:

Vault Verdict

Associates gravitate toward Ballard Spahr for excellent real estate and pro bono work, and appreciate the firm’s diversity efforts. Hiring criteria include academic prowess, work experience, and personality, and most associates come from law schools near office locations. The firm also considers applicant personality, as assimilation into welcoming and collaborative office settings where people enjoy social activities together is important. Partners employ open-door policies in efforts to mentor and offer guidance to associates, who feel like valued colleagues. This willingness to answer questions and help associates develop is augmented by robust training options like Ballard Spahr University, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) trainings, and webinars. A comprehensive p...

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 bey...

Associate Reviews

  • “The people at Ballard make the firm great. There is low power distance between staff and partners; everyone feels comfortable striking up a conversation or asking a question, regardless of role. Attorneys have multiple events each year to socialize outside of work, and happy hours or impromptu lunches occur weekly. The atmosphere is collegial, and not competitive, though everyone works hard on their own projects.”
  • “Ballard is an excellent place to learn how to be a lawyer. The partners frequently take associates to lunch, and interact as friends and mentors. There is a feeling of mutual respect between partners, counsel, and associates. The associates have a firm-sponsored monthly event to socialize with fellow associates.”
  • “Our firm has an extremely collaborative and welcoming culture. We have a weekly lunch that is brought in, and we are encouraged to sit in the lounge and eat together. We also have office-wide happy hours, and associate-specific lunch events.”
  • “Socially laid back, strong emphasis on high-quality work product. Supervisors are very approachable, and care about employees on a personal level. That said, bureaucracy is high, and proper channels must be followed.”

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

  • “It's pretty competitive. My office alone receives dozens of applications for one or two summer associate positions. The firm considers grades, prior work experience, personality, and diversity. I would say personality is pretty high up there as a criterion, as our interviews are conducted in a more conversational manner than other firms. Our firm hires a lot of associates from Temple University for the Philly office.”
  • “Geographic ties to locality, interest in the areas of work in the practice groups that are sponsoring the position, diversity, personality, prior work experience, grades, and community involvement.”
  • “Law school attended, and journal experience are two crucial, specific elements that the firm looks at, but personality and diversity are also important metrics that the firm considers. Philadelphia law schools and local law schools in other locations where the firm has offices do act as feeder schools for the firm.”
  • “The firm is looking for entrepreneurial self-starters. Applicants should be invested in improvement, advancement, and receiving advice and coaching.”

Perks & Benefits

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