Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP logo

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

1320 Main Street
17th Floor
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 799-2000



Home to over 970 attorneys in over a dozen U.S. offices, Nelson Mullins is a powerhouse full-service firm with deep roots in the South. The firm handles over 100 different practice areas, and while they have some gripes about the compensation model, associates express near-total agreement with the firm’s sterling reputation for quality of work. The firm is also known for its commitment to pro bono work, with over 813,000 pro bono hours logged by firm attorneys since 1990.

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2022)

750 - 1K


No. of Partners Named (2022)



Featured Rankings

Best Law Firms in the South Atlantic


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2022)



No. of Summer Associates (2022)

81 total (49 2Ls; 32 1Ls)


Base Salary

Minnesota, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia:

Vault Verdict

One Nelson Mullins associate said it best: the firm is “a Southern firm with a Southern feel,” in all the good ways. Don’t be mistaken—the firm might have a Southern soul, but it operates on a national scale. Still, the firm values roots, and a big factor in getting hired here is demonstrating a true interest in the office and city in which you’re interviewing, along with strong credentials. The firm’s culture is relaxed and cordial, and partners follow an open-door policy that encourages associates to seek out support and build relationships. Socializing among attorneys and staff varies by office, but most associates report feeling satisfied with the amount of social interaction at the firm. Associates find the firm’s 1,900 billable hour requirement to be reasonable, but billable...

About the Firm

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough is a southern gem—the firm is among the Top 20 firms in both Vault’s Best Law Firms in Atlanta and Best Law Firms in the South Atlantic. But its reach goes much further than the South Atlantic—the firm’s attorneys, policy advisors, technical specialists, consultants, and other professionals work in 16 states and 32 offices across the U.S., including the Carolinas, as well as in Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, Tennessee, West Virginia, Colorado, and the District of Columbia. 

A Family Firm Blossoms and Booms

Nelson Mullins was founded in 1897 by Patrick Henry Nelson II in his home state of South Carolina. Nelson was a major player in the South Carolina legal industry, including serving as a member of the South Carolina House o...

Associate Reviews

  • “The firm has been very open and collaborative, and I've gotten to know and work with attorneys and staff across the nation. Since joining the firm, I've had a very easy time identifying and connecting with attorneys with similar interests and expertise, or for assistance with areas that I'm unfamiliar with, regardless of their geographic location. The firm has a great business development and marketing team, too, and I've enjoyed collaborating with them on several matters. The firm is organized into ‘teams,’ so the day-to-day interactions can vary, even within an office.”
  •  “The day-to-day atmosphere is collegial. People are generally nice and pleasant to interact with. Some lawyers socialize together often and outside of work. The firm plans social events for attorneys, staff, and attorneys and staff together. Lawyers and staff (from what I see—I don't know about all teams) interact like colleagues and treat each other with respect.”
  •  “This is a Southern law firm with a Southern feel. While as an AmLaw 100 firm there are, of course, significant pressures to succeed, long hours, and quick turn-arounds, partners are pleasant and generally treat associates with respect. Associates meet approximately weekly to socialize, and lawyers and staff generally gather once a month or so for happy hours. The dress code is relaxed.”
  •  “The day-to-day atmosphere at Nelson Mullins is very relaxed and cordial. The partners I work for all have an open-door policy, and they are all easy to talk to and willing to speak with and help associates. In my office, the lawyers do not socialize together, and the office rarely sponsors after hours get togethers. I believe that has more to do with the fact that our attorneys all have young families, and they do not have the time to work and socialize after work.”

Why Work Here

Diversity at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

"Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough's success as a law firm is dependent on our maintaining a steadfast commitment to inclusive excellence, with our professionals enjoying equal access to the best opportunities for their professional development and growth. Correspondingly, we are committed to achieving and maintaining robust diversity in all aspects of Firm life, where we value a wide array of backgrounds, characteristics and life experiences among our professionals -- including those associated with race, gender, age, ethnicity/national..."

Getting Hired Here

  • “The firm looks for the usual criteria: Grades, journal, diversity, interest in the firm. It's particularly helpful when a candidate has a good sense of what the firm actually does, where they want their career to go, and how the two align. Training materials are provided to those who interview candidates, but there is wide discretion on what to ask.”
  • “It seems that each practice group has certain qualifications they are looking for, and that there is a trend towards schools located around an office location.”
  • “[It is a] competitive hiring process in local areas. [The] firm makes hiring decisions based on work experience, performance in law school, diversity, and personality. [There is] no clear trend of feeder schools, other than local-area law schools. [The] firm provides guidelines for interviewing candidates.”
  • “We have had a hard time recruiting top talent, which I believe is a result of below-market salaries and benefits. The firm is trying to catch up with others now by implementing a national rate that teams may opt in to. There are some interview guidelines, though no official training. Hiring is generally done on a local level by group, office, and team.”

Perks & Benefits

Circle icon
Circle icon
Circle icon
Circle icon
Circle icon
Circle icon