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 the firm’s learning and development programs. The social sphere surpasses borders at Reed Smith, where associates can work alongside attorneys in any one of its 13 international offices or 18 domestic offices. Reed Smith doesn’t shy away from taking on the responsibility of advising some of the largest companies in th...

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2023)

1.5K - 2K


No. of Partners Named (2022)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2023)



No. of Summer Associates (2023)

67 total (59 2Ls; 8 1Ls)


Base Salary

1st year: $215,000

Vault Verdict

Reed Smith began as a Pittsburgh institution, has expanded dramatically both domestically and internationally, and offers a great landing spot for associates. Hiring metrics include grades, work experience, diversity, and personality. People are caring, kind, and supportive, and they enjoy socializing together. Associates are respected and guided by partners, even during busy times, while management shares information well and is receptive to associate feedback. Formal training receives mixed reviews despite the firm’s learning and development programs, but associates benefit from direct experiences and strong mentorship from more-senior associates and partners. Lateral hires feel they acclimate well through training modules and assigned mentors. Associate work assignments are hig...

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

  • “Lawyers and staff are friendly, and maintain good relationships. The atmosphere is friendly and supportive. Lawyers socialize at firm-sponsored events regularly, and after hours occasionally.”
  • “Everyone is so genuinely caring and kind. We have no screamers, and all the partners and associates really care about your well-being. Reed Smith is unique in this way, and everyone is just happy to be there. Staff are all part of the team, and everyone sees them that way. There is an immense amount of mutual respect between employees at all levels.”
  • “Reed Smith's culture is collaborative and welcoming. We are encouraged to socialize together, and associates have an event at least once a quarter if not more. We have free lunch on Wednesdays and Thursdays, which encourages associates to grab a bite and sit down together and chat. Some teams even have a conference room to chat during those days.”
  • “Reed Smith has a great culture. Reed Smith focuses on innovation and modernity, while also remaining a professional and collegial environment. The firm cares more about business development and client development than arbitrary old-fashioned rules.”

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

  • “The firm looks at law school attended, prior work experience, personality, and diversity, though not necessarily in that order.”
  • “The firm tends to care about law school attended and grades; however, personality carries interviewees. The firm likes to hire from diverse backgrounds and experiences. The firm has training and materials/guidelines to follow when interviewing prospective associates.”
  • “RS is looking for good grades and interpersonal skills. RS is looking for someone who seems interested in staying at the firm for a good period of time.”
  • “Candidates must be intelligent and prepared for practice, but it is equally important that candidates are friendly, and will work well in a team-oriented environment.”

Perks & Benefits

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