About Ballard Spahr LLP

Growing from an influential Philadelphia base to more than a dozen offices throughout the U.S., Ballard Spahr has been traditionally strong in litigation, 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.

Philadelphia Breeds a National Baker's Dozen

In 1885, Philadelphia lawyer Ellis Ballard joined a law firm helmed by Rufus Shapley; in 1904, fellow UPenn law school alum Boyd Lee Spahr joined the practice. After Shapley's death and the welcoming of several other partners, the firm became Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll in the 1930s (the firm's name officially changed to Ballard Spahr in 2009). Ballard himself represented various corporations, most notably serving as the general counsel for the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company until he retired in 1931 and handed representation of the trolleys to his son, Frederic Ballard.

Although the firm has maintained its roots in Philadelphia, the opening of a Washington, DC office in 1978 marked the beginning of decades of expansion beyond the home of the Liberty Bell. In 1981, Ballard Spahr created its first gateway to the west by opening an office in Denver, followed by offices in Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Phoenix. The firm has also sought to consolidate its grip on the mid-Atlantic corridor by opening offices in New Jersey, Baltimore, Bethesda and Wilmington. With the 2010 opening of a white-collar crime defense-centered office in San Diego, the firm grew to 13 offices.

While Ballard Spahr is a full-service firm, about two-fifths of its attorneys practice within its litigation group. And with the acquisition of Needle & Rosenberg, a small Atlanta firm, Ballard Spahr sought an entrance into the IP arena. Real estate has also proved a major profit generator for the firm, as well as a large and diverse one, ranging from luxury condominium and hotel deals to representing industrial warehouse interests. 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. Some of Ballard Spahr's most recognizable clients include sports franchises like the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Brotherly Love, Indeed

Perhaps Ballard Spahr's most famous alum is Governor Ed Rendell-former two-term mayor of Philadelphia, head of the National Democratic Committee, and-with a stint in Ballard Spahr's corridors in between-Pennsylvania's governor from 2003 to 2011.

A Core Financial Strategy

The firm has jumped to provide advisory services to financial clients in light of new financial regulations coming out of DC, representing big finance names like Huntington National Bank, Sovereign Bank, PNC Bank, Chase, Bank of America 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. The firm reportedly has eyes on further expanding its white collar defense and consumer financial services practices. 

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Ballard Spahr LLP

1735 Market Street
51st Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103-7599
Phone: (215) 665-8500


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chair: Mark S. Stewart
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 561

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $135,000 
    Summer associate: $2,600/week Baltimore
    1st year: $125,000
    Summer associate: $2,400/week Denver and Phoenix
    1st year: $120,000
    Summer associate: $2,300/week Las Vegas and Salt Lake City
    1st year: $115,000
    Summer associate: $2,200/week New York
    1st year: $160,000
    Summer associate: $3,100/week Philadelphia; Wilmington; San Diego; New Jersey; Los Angeles; Washington, DC
    1st year: $150,000
    Summer associate: $2,900/week

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Accounting and Professional Liability
    Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Capital Recovery
    Business and Finance
    Commercial Litigation
    Construction Dispute Resolution
    Consumer Class Action Litigation
    Consumer Financial Services
    E-Discovery and Data Management
    Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
    Energy and Project Finance
    Environmental and Natural Resources
    Family Wealth Management
    Franchise and Distribution
    Government Relations, Regulatory Affairs and Contracting
    Health Care
    Intellectual Property
    Labor and Employment
    Mortgage Banking
    Privacy and Data Security
    Product Liability and Mass Tort
    Public Finance
    Real Estate
    Securities Litigation
    Tax Credits
    Water Rights
    White Collar/Investigations

Major Office Locations

  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Denver, CO
  • Wilmington, DE
  • Washington, DC
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Bethesda, MD
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Cherry Hill, NJ
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • New York, NY
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