Every day at Pillsbury, we work on ground-breaking, high-profile matters for some of the world’s most innovative companies from start-ups to the Fortune 100. Every day, we confront some of the most meaningful legal challenges of our time. Every day, we take on pro bono cases that change lives and frame important social issues.

This is a place where initiative is valued and rewarded, where self-starters become team players, and where continual growth—both professional and personal—underscores every successful career.

At the Office

At Pillsbury, we work hard—as hard as any group of lawyers, anywhere. But “group” is the key word. In any Pillsbury office, it is collaboration that defines our work lives.

While each of our offices has its own personality, we believe our core values and basic procedures are shared firmwide. The aim is to ensure that lawyers from different practice areas—and from all levels—can pool their efforts in providing the best service to our clients.


Our people work really hard, but that doesn’t exempt us from the rest of life’s challenges and stresses. We do our best to accommodate short-term circumstances and the long-term needs of our people and their families. It is in the firm’s interest that personal and professional lives are kept in good balance.

We support a wide range of work arrangements, designed to make sure that productivity at work is a complement—not a conflict—to satisfaction at home.

If that means a flextime arrangement or some other non-traditional schedule, so be it. If it means a temporary or short-term flextime arrangement to handle a class, care for a family member, or participate in a community interest program, we do our best to accommodate your needs.

Support Systems

Recognizing that work/life balance can play a crucial role in effective lawyering, Pillsbury regularly sponsors workshops on health and well-being. Past events have covered meditation, stress reduction, personal organizing, exercise and nutrition, and a variety of family needs.

The firm also supports a number of programs designed to ease some of the stresses that can arise when work needs and personal responsibilities conflict, including:

  • New baby care leave for fathers and mothers
  • Private on-site nursing rooms
  • Backup childcare
  • Summer family events

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity is more than a social responsibility. At Pillsbury, we consider it essential, not just to our values, but to our strategic goals as well.

We actively seek out and develop talent from the widest possible range of backgrounds and perspectives. We have long been convinced that this broadens our horizons, stimulates our creativity, and contributes directly to our success with our clients and within our firm. Diverse minds are an indispensable key to working in an increasingly global economy as well as anticipating and meeting the needs of our clients.

Some recent accomplishments include:

  • Firm Chair Jim Rishwain honored with a CEO Diversity Leadership Award by Diversity Best Practices  
  • Making Working Mother magazine’s list of 100 Best Companies for the past eight years
  • Perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for the past eight years
  • Named by the National Association of Female Executives as a Top 50 Company 2011-13
  • Recipient of  Gold Certification by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum in 2011, 2012 and 2013
  • Ranked 15 in Vault’s 2014 Overall Diversity Rankings
  • In 2013, Chevron’s Law Function presented Pillsbury with its Law Firm Diversity Recognition Award. At its annual awards event, Chevron “retired Pillsbury’s number” as a frequent winner of the award

The Diversity Committee

Recognizing that diversity is a long-term imperative, our Diversity Committee has long been central to our efforts and initiatives. The committee has close ties with a number of organizations in the communities where we work—as well as to law schools, bar associations and minority organizations—and to other groups whose goals we share.

We are sponsors of numerous diversity-related groups and we closely align our diversity initiatives with our recruiting efforts.

Affinity Groups

We recognize that lawyers join us with diverse experiences and perspectives, and we seek to support their experience at the firm through programs such as our affinity groups. These groups—Asian-American, African-American, Latino, Women, and LGBT—focus on building communities and on professional development.

The firm facilitates retreats, discussion groups, book clubs and other career-building activities to support our affinity groups. We also partner with clients who share our commitment to recruiting, retention and development of a diverse workforce.


Pillsbury’s commitment to sustainability often involves creative thinking on the part of all members of our community who believe in what they’re doing.

We started our efforts years ago with groundbreaking recycling programs for everything from carpets to printer cartridges. Then came firmwide initiatives that reduced paper, cut energy consumption, and streamlined business travel. It also led to us finding new office space in LEED or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certified buildings wherever that has been possible.

Our commuter resources program has been recognized by the Washington Business Journal and the San Diego Association of Governments, for its contribution to the reduction of traffic congestion and improved mobility in the region. Among our commuter encouragement efforts:

  • We provide pre-tax deductions for public transportation commuters
  • We offer free membership with Zipcar, a car-sharing service, and RideSpring, to encourage carpooling
  • Our New York City car service features a fleet consisting entirely of gas-electric hybrids

Other sustainability programs include our comprehensive recycling program and our ongoing purchase of renewable energy credits. We have also invested in motion-sensor lights, improved energy-efficient bulbs, water-saving appliances and other green technologies, resulting in dramatic cost savings and significant benefits to the environment.

Pro Bono/Social Impact

At Pillsbury, numerous people perform innumerable works of service in our communities and in the legal system.

Much of the work centers on providing essential legal services to the poor. We counsel nonprofit organizations on a variety of matters, such as formation, mergers, intellectual property, real estate and tax. We also take on high-impact, high profile litigation for worthy causes.

Every lawyer here is expected to perform a minimum of 25 hours each year for our pro bono clients, with associates receiving billable-hours credit for all approved pro bono hours without a ceiling.  

Other special opportunities for associates:

  • Each year, Pillsbury awards a Stimson Fellowship to one member of the entering class of first-year associates. The recipient of the Stimson Fellowship is seconded to a pro bono service provider for a year, with the firm paying a $100,000 annual salary and benefits.  After the conclusion of the year, the recipient joins the firm as an associate. 
  • Beginning in 2012, one highly regarded mid-level associate has been selected as our mid-level associate pro bono fellow each year.  A competitive process is used to choose the pro bono fellow, who devotes 50 percent of their time working on a visible, high-impact pro bono matter.  The chosen associate will receive their regular salary and have the same opportunity for bonuses and advancement as other associates.

From summer associates to senior partners, we bring passion and commitment to our pro bono matters—and both the firm and our lawyers regularly receive community recognition for these efforts.