Alston & Bird LLP at a Glance


  • “The people”
  • “A very collegial environment and welcoming culture”
  • “Management seems to listen to associates”


  • “Non-Atlanta offices are very much satellite offices”
  • “Billable hour pressures”
  • “Discrepancy in pay by office”

The Buzz

  • “King of Atlanta”
  • “Family-friendly”
  • “Regional firm”
  • “Southern focus”

About Alston & Bird LLP

As definitively "Atlanta" as Coca-Cola, TBS, and Bobby Cox, Alston & Bird isn't just a Georgia peach: it has built a nationally-regarded lobbying practice and has an expansive reach from New York to California.

Shopping for Growth

Atlanta-based Alston & Bird's predecessor firms date back to 1893. Nearly a century later, in 1982, the firm known as Alston, Miller & Gaines merged with Jones, Bird & Howell and adopted the combined name Alston & Bird. Despite this growth, the firm's operations were limited to Georgia, where it represented institutions like CNN, Emory University, and Augusta National founder Bobby Jones, a former firm partner.

Alston & Bird's first expedition across state lines came with the debut of its Washington, DC office in 1990. Then, in 1997, the firm merged with Bell Seltzer Park & Gibson, a deal which included two offices in North Carolina. New York was next, thanks to a 2001 merger with Walter, Conston, Alexander & Green. In 2007, the firm acquired Crews, Shepherd & McCarty (and its office in Dallas); the pattern of growth by acquisition continued with the 2008 grab of California-based boutique Weston Benshoof Rochefort Rubalcava & MacCuish, which added an office in Los Angeles. Alston & Bird also set up shop in the verdant technology hills of Palo Alto, where it has expanded the office to include litigation and corporate practices in addition to intellectual property.

Business Savvy

Attorneys at Alston & Bird help clients resolve some of the most challenging issues facing businesses today. The firm's nationally recognized Privacy & Data Security Group represents a full range of clients in identifying their objectives at every step of the information lifecycle regarding the collection, use and protection of customer data. The group's cybersecurity attorneys are called on by large, global corporations to assist in both preventing and responding to security incidents and data breaches, including all varieties of network intrusion and data loss events.

Another leading practice is Alston & Bird's Finance Group, centered on a lending core and bolstered by niche specialty areas, including corporate trust, commercial mortgage servicing and structured finance. Representing the most active issuers, originators, servicers, trustees, master servicers, fund managers, investors, rating agencies, and insurers, the team has experience in structuring and closing complex transactions across a wide variety of asset classes. The practice includes long-time strengths like debt finance, but also securitization, private equity funds, and emerging areas like aircraft and equipment financing.

Keeping Up with Subprime Strategy

Alston & Bird's eight major practice areas are further broken down into dozens of subspecialties, ranging from ADR litigation to water resources issues. The firm's industry focus includes the energy, health care, financial services, hospitality, infrastructure, special services, technology and insurance sectors, as well as colleges and universities. Like many of its rivals, Alston & Bird responded to the recession and credit crisis by creating a dedicated subprime mortgage markets group. This multidisciplinary team represents financial institutions (on Wall Street and Main Street) in matters involving regulatory issues, transactions, bankruptcies, internal investigations, sales of distressed assets, securities fraud, class action suits, and litigation.

Among the clients who've called upon Alston & Bird's services over the years are corporate giants like Bank of America, Delta Air Lines, Dow Chemical, Nokia, Twentieth Century Fox, and Aflac.


March 2016
GC's Choice

Alston & Bird has been recognized as one of the country's highest regarded law firm brands among general counsel, ranking No. 14 among the 28 firms comprising the BTI Brand Elite 2016: Client Perceptions of the Best-Branded Law Firms. The study, published by BTI Consulting Group, also notes that Alston & Bird was named by general counsel as one of only eight select firms they would recommend to other in-house counsel, and lists Alston & Bird as one of only nine firms that inside counsel rank as the "best of the best" in providing premium-value services that generate extraordinary value.

Fortune's Favorites

For the 17th consecutive year, Alston & Bird has been singled out for its exceptional workplace culture by Fortune magazine, ranking No. 41 in its annual survey of America's "100 Best Companies to Work For®." Fortune magazine also recognized Alston & Bird as a leader in community service, describing the firm as "great employers whose dedicated workers are making the world a better place, one volunteer project at a time." In its 2016 list of the "50 Best Workplaces for Giving Back," Fortune ranks Alston & Bird No. 39-one of only three law firms chosen for the list.

February 2016
Magnets; How Do They Work?

Alston & Bird's newly opened Beijing office was instrumental in the representation of the Chinese Alliance of Rare-Earth Permanent Magnet Industry, having recently achieved a comprehensive patent victory against Hitachi Metals, Ltd., at the USPTO. In two inter partes review (IPR) proceedings before the USPTO's Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the Alliance successfully invalidated all challenged claims in a pair of Hitachi patents relating to the production of rare-earth magnets. The Alliance's success demonstrates how the USPTO's IPR system can be used to proactively invalidate patent claims that would otherwise impede access to the U.S. market in a given industry.

January 2016
Let's Keep it Growing

Alston & Bird significantly expanded in 2015-2016, electing 36 new partners and strengthening core practices with 12 lateral partners. The Financial Services & Products Group grew in Dallas with a prominent five-member corporate team joining from Bracewell. Expanding by 90 percent since 2010, the Finance Practice added more than 20 lawyers in Dallas, Los Angeles and Charlotte. Internationally, Alston & Bird opened an office in Beijing and significantly grew the Privacy & Data Security Practice in Brussels. Additionally, the Washington D.C. office was strengthened by the addition of highly qualified lateral partners in the Litigation, Government and Health Care Practices.

November 2015
Lauded Litigators

Alston & Bird was named 2015 "Overall Litigation Department of the Year" by the Daily Report. The firm was selected based on the degree of difficulty, dollar value, and importance of its cases. As noted by the publication: "Alston & Bird attorneys in 2014 won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court and two jury trials that secured more than $200 million for clients. These matters highlighted a year in which the firm represented more than 40 Fortune 500 companies in all sorts of litigation areas-class actions, securities, products liability, environmental regulation, and torts."

A Full Dozen

Alston & Bird has earned a top rating of 100 percent in the 2016 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), an annual survey by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that measures commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workplace equality. The survey marks the 12th consecutive year that the firm has achieved a perfect CEI score and earned the distinction as one of the best places to work for LGBT equality. To earn a perfect score, firms must meet a series of LGBT commitment benchmarks, including having fully inclusive nondiscrimination policies.

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Alston & Bird LLP

One Atlantic Center
1201 West Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 30309-3424
Phone: (404) 881-7000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Richard R. Hays
  • Hiring Attorneys: Elizabeth A. Price (Atlanta); David A. Brown (DC); Ross R. Barton (Charlotte); Michael A. Kaeding (Research Triangle); Natalie C. Clayton (New York); Kate Moseley (Dallas); J. Andrew Howard (Los Angeles); Ryan W. Koppelman (Silicon Valley)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 790

  • Base Salary

    Atlanta; North Carolina Offices
    1st year: $155,000
    Summer associate: $3,000/week

    Dallas; New York; DC; California Offices
    1st year: $180,000
    Summer Associate: $3,500/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    33 out of 36 (2Ls only) (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Corporate & Finance • Environment, Land Development & Natural Resources • Health Care • Intellectual Property • Legislative & Public Policy • Litigation • Privacy & Data Security • Tax

Major Office Locations

  • Atlanta, GA (HQ) • Charlotte, NC • Dallas, TX • Los Angeles, CA • New York, NY • Research Triangle, NC • Silicon Valley, CA • Washington, DC • Beijing • Brussels