Ballard Spahr LLP at a Glance


  • “People are very nice”
  • “Long-term sustainability”
  • “Little micromanagement”


  • “Low pay”
  • “Lack of practical training sessions”
  • “Lack of transparency”

About Ballard Spahr LLP

Growing from an influential Philadelphia base to more than a dozen offices throughout the United States. Ballard Spahr has been traditionally strong in litigation, business and finance, intellectual property, public finance, and real estate. The firm has scores of lawyers and dozens of practice areas and has earned accolades for its pro bono work from American Lawyer and for its focus on diversity from MultiCultural Law and the Mortgage Bankers Association.

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 alum Boyd Lee Spahr and R. Sturgis Ingersoll and, in the early 1930s, the firm became known as Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll.  From the beginning, the firm has represented many of the city's most notable companies. Ellis Ballard served as general counsel for the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company until he retired in 1931 and handed representation of the trolleys to his son, Frederic Ballard.

The firm remains one of the largest and most prominent firms in Philadelphia. The opening of a Washington, DC, office in 1978 marked the beginning of decades of expansion beyond the City of Brotherly Love. In 1981, Ballard Spahr created its first gateway to the West by opening an office in Denver, followed by offices in Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. The firm has also sought to consolidate its grip on the mid-Atlantic corridor by opening offices in Baltimore, New Jersey, Delaware, Bethesda, and New York. With the acquisition of Needle & Rosenberg-an IP boutique firm in Atlanta-and its entrance in 2017 into Boulder-the firm now has 15 offices.

While Ballard Spahr serves clients across industries and has a wide range of practice areas, about two-fifths of its attorneys practice within its litigation group. Litigators at the firm advise some of the nation's biggest market players in securities and antitrust class actions, patent infringement cases, white collar defense matters, and federal and state appeals. Real estate also has proved a major profit generator for the firm, as well as a large and diverse one. Recently, its real estate lawyers handled the work that paved the way for the billion-dollar Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, the Museum of the American Revolution, the new headquarters for the McCormick Spice Company, and a group of Marriott resorts in Argentina.  The firm has also used its construction expertise to advise in the creation of Kansas City's Nuclear Security Campus for the Nuclear Security Administration. Ballard Spahr was named Public Finance Firm of the Year for 2017 by U.S. News and World Report and that group has served as counsel for billions of dollars in financings in every state and U.S. territory.

Ballard Spahr's business and finance lawyers counsel clients on M&A transactions, securities, cybersecurity, and transactional finance matters and its Consumer Financial Services group is one of the largest and most lucrative in the country. The firm's IP department is known for its work in patent, copyright, fashion, and trademarks. IP litigators made headlines recently when they won a patent infringement case for GoDaddy that provided a key ruling in the tech industry. Lawyers at the firm represent clients across industries, but Ballard Spahr is particularly well known for its representation of clients in the financial services, pharmaceutical, life sciences/technology, manufacturing, retail, housing, and higher education sectors.

A Core Financial Strategy

The firm was one of the first to provide advisory and litigation services to financial services clients as a result of the financial regulations coming out of DC starting in 2010, representing big names like PNC Bank, Chase, Citibank, TD Bank, and Sallie Mae. The firm has also done business with Comcast, which snatched up former Ballard Spahr chair David Cohen as its Executive Vice President.

Brotherly Love, Indeed

Perhaps Ballard Spahr's most famous attorney is Governor Ed Rendell, who returned to the firm after serving two terms as mayor of Philadelphia, was head of the National Democratic Committee, and-with a stint with Ballard Spahr in between-was Pennsylvania's governor from 2003 to 2011.


April 2017
Securing the Cyber

Ballard Spahr's security practice was ranked among the nation's strongest, according to a recent survey of general counsel and top legal decision-makers at the largest U.S. companies. The group was listed on the Honor Roll of Cybersecurity Law Firms in BTI Law Firms Best at Cybersecurity 2017. The results are based on hundreds of interviews with general counsel and top legal officers at companies and organizations with at least $1 billion in annual revenue and averaging nearly $14 billion. Respondents span industry sectors-from banking and financial services to health care, insurance, manufacturing, retail, and telecommunications.

February 2017
Rocky Mountain High

Ballard Spahr expanded its business and finance capabilities with the addition of a group of attorneys focused on corporate and securities, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, and strategic transactional matters for emerging growth and venture capital clients. The new partners are based in Boulder, a growing hub for emerging growth companies and venture capital and private equity investments in the life sciences, technology, natural products, and other high-growth sectors.

January 2017
Data Deal

Ballard Spahr advised C7 Data Centers, the leading data center service provider in Utah, in its sale to DataBank, Ltd., DataBank's acquisition of C7 is its first investment in the West, and immediately positions it as a top provider in the industry in the Salt Lake City market. C7, a privately held company that operates exclusively in Utah, has three interconnected, state-of-the art data centers in the region. It provides cloud, production, and disaster recovery solutions to enterprises, carriers, content, and cloud services providers worldwide. DataBank, a major provider of enterprise-class data center services, is headquartered in Dallas.

November 2016
State Superlatives

Ballard Spahr's Real Estate Department is the best in Pennsylvania, and the firm's Litigation Department is tops in New Jersey, according to American Lawyer Media publications in those states. The PA Real Estate practice was recognized by The Legal Intelligencer for its accomplishments over the past two years-leading roles in landmark real estate development projects and headline-making financing deals. The New Jersey Law Journal named the firm Litigation Department of the Year for 2016, based on outstanding results in important cases throughout the state, region, and nation.

Law Firm of the Year

Ballard Spahr was named national Law Firm of the Year for Public Finance for 2017 by U.S. News & World Report. The rankings are based on client evaluations and peer review by leading attorneys in the field. Top firms are ranked by practice within each metropolitan area and nationally based on skills, capacity, responsiveness, integrity, and cost-effectiveness. Only one firm is named national Firm of the Year. Ballard Spahr's Public Finance Department has about 60 attorneys nationwide, representing clients in virtually every type of bond transaction, and has participated in the issuance of more than $350 billion of tax-exempt obligations.

August 2016
Ballard Billions

In just one summer, real estate attorneys at Ballard Spahr helped clients launch three projects-worth more than $2 billion total-that transformed three dynamic sections of Philadelphia: The Comcast Innovation & Technology Center, a major mixed-use development by Drexel University and Wexford Science + Technology, and Rodin Group's multifamily project in the Benjamin Franklin Parkway district. Each project required sophisticated structuring and a broad range of legal competencies. Ballard Spahr attorneys addressed client needs with a comprehensive approach.

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Ballard Spahr LLP

1735 Market Street
51st Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 665-8500


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Mark S. Stewart
  • Hiring Partner: Jason A. Leckerman
  • Total No. Attorneys 2018: 648

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $150,000
    Summer associate: $2,900/week Baltimore
    1st year: $145,000
    Summer associate: $2,800/week Delaware, New Jersey, Philadelphia
    1st year: $160,000
    Summer associate: $3,100/week Denver, Phoenix 
    1st year: $130,000
    Summer associate: $2,500/week Las Vegas, Salt Lake City
    1st year: $125,000
    Summer associate: $2,400/week LA, NY, DC
    1st year: $165,000
    Summer associate: $3,200/week Minneapolis
    1st year: $140,000
    Summer associate: $2,700/week Sioux Falls
    1st year: $100,000
    Summer associate: $1,900/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    17 out of 18 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Antitrust • Appellate • Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Capital Recovery • Business and Finance (EB-5 • Investment Management • Mergers and Acquisitions/Private Equity • Securities • Transactional Finance) • Class Action Litigation • Commercial Litigation • Consumer Financial Services • E-Discovery and Data Management • Emerging Growth and Private Capital • Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation • Energy and Project Finance • Environment and Natural Resources • Family Wealth Management • Government Relations, Regulatory Affairs and Contracting • Health Care • Higher Education • Housing (FHA and GSE Financing • Government-Assisted Housing • Housing Bonds • Tax Credits) • Insurance • Intellectual Property • Intellectual Property Litigation • Labor and Employment • Life Sciences and Technology • Litigation • Media and Entertainment Law • Mortgage Banking • Municipal Securities Regulation and Enforcement • P3/Infrastructure • Political and Election Law • Privacy and Data Security • Product Liability and Mass Tort • Professional Liability • Public Finance • Real Estate • Real Estate and Construction Litigation • Real Estate Development and Complex Transactions (Construction • Eminent Domain • Leasing • Mixed-Use Development and Condominiums • Real Estate Tax • Zoning and Land Use) • Real Estate Finance and Capital Markets (Commercial Loan Servicing • CMBS Loan Origination • Distressed Real Estate • Insurance Company Institutional Investments • Private Equity Real Estate) • REITs • Resort, Hospitality, and Timeshare • Securities Enforcement and Corporate Governance Litigation • Sports • Tax (Exempt Organizations) • White Collar Defense/Internal Investigations

Major Office Locations

  • Atlanta, GA • Baltimore, MD • Boulder, CO • Cherry Hill, NJ • Denver, CO • Las Vegas, NV • Los Angeles, CA • Minneapolis, MN • New York, NY • Philadelphia, PA • Phoenix, AZ • Salt Lake City, UT • Sioux Falls, SD • Washington, DC • Wilmington, DE