Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP at a Glance


  • “People here are actually fun-loving and cool”
  • “Work environment is pleasant”
  • “Involvement in high-profile matters”


  • “On-call during weekends”
  • “Bonus structure”
  • “Uncertainty about the future”

The Buzz

  • “Collegial”
  • “Happy associates”
  • “Long hours”
  • “Not what it once was”

About Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

With a full name like Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, it's no surprise that this firm is the product of big mergers between well-established practices. The firms that created today's Pillsbury have long, proud heritages that go back to the 1800s.

Giants Combined

Pillsbury began on the west coast in 1874 as the practice of Evans S. Pillsbury, who represented a local banking and delivery service called Wells Fargo. In the 1880s, Pillsbury and his partners began a long relationship with the U.S. oil industry, working with the Pacific Coast Oil Company, which later evolved into Chevron. Frank Madison and Alfred Sutro joined in 1895 as associates, forming Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro. The early twentieth century posed a number of challenges (the firm's offices were destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake), but Pillsbury et al. persevered, rebuilding the practice and representing area companies who were wrangling with their insurers. After World War II, Pillsbury developed its real estate practice, drafting the first condominium law in California and expanding to Washington, DC and other parts of the Golden State.

Meanwhile, a firm called Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts was establishing its own practice in New York. Winthrop Stimson's story inevitably focuses on Henry L. Stimson, a Harvard Law grad who got a job in 1891 at a firm called Root & Clark  (a venerable practice that dated to 1868). When the firm's founder, Elihu Root, left private practice for public service in 1899, Stimson took over the firm along with Bronson Winthrop. Stimson rose to the highest echelons of American politics: he served as President William Howard Taft's secretary of war, a WWI colonel, an emissary to Nicaragua, the governor general of the Philippines, President Hoover's secretary of state, and secretary of war under presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. He also created what is now known as "the Stimson doctrine," which asserts non-recognition of territorial gains taken by force, a principle he developed after studying Japan's aggressive tactics in 1930s Manchuria.

In 2001, Pillsbury Madison and Winthrop Stimson joined forces. Four years later, the combined firm merged with Washington, DC-based Shaw Pittman, which was well-known for global sourcing, energy, technology and communications law.

Changing with the Times

Given its pedigree, the Pillsbury of today can boast that it has had a hand in some of the most important matters in modern American history, from the creation of the Patent Act to the formation of Intel. More recently it has worked with Virgin America, WebEx, the National Retail Federation, Stanley Black & Decker, the California Public Employees' Retirement System and Citigroup.

Energy, real estate, technology and financial services remain the firm's bread and butter, although it has also developed region-specific practices aimed at clients in China, Japan and the Middle East. A handful of "emerging issues" practices are managed by multidisciplinary teams-these include water resources; crisis management; privacy, data security and information use; public-private partnerships;social media, entertainment and technology; and unmanned aircraft systems


April 2014

Getting Bigger in Texas
Pillsbury opened its Austin office as the next step in the firm's strategic focus and its commitment to helping clients throughout the state of Texas and the Gulf Coast. Both the existing Houston office and the new Austin office will provide a full slate of legal services covering energy and infrastructure, financial services, technology and real estate and construction matters.

November 2013

Victory for Nuclear Utilities
Pillsbury successfully argued on behalf of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the Nuclear Energy Institute that the Department of Energy cease collecting annual fees from nuclear power plant operators for the disposal of radioactive waste. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the government cannot charge disposal fees for the canceled Yucca Mountain facility until it finds a viable storage alternative.

September 2013

Guiding Clients through IPOs
Pillsbury advised medical diagnostics company Veracyte Inc. on its $74.75 million U.S. initial public offering (IPO) as well as Violin Memory, a provider of memory-based storage systems, on its $180 million IPO. The firm also represented a consortium of underwriters, including lead underwriters Deutsche Bank Securities and Barclays Capital, on Montage Technology Group's $115 million IPO. Earlier in the year, Pillsbury advised biotechnology company Receptos Inc. as it raised $72.8 million through an IPO.

August 2013

A Group Effort
A cross-practice and cross-office team led by Pillsbury lawyers in New York advised Swedish-based industrial group Atlas Copco AB on its $1.6 billion acquisition of Edwards Group Limited, a U.K.-based supplier of vacuum and abatement solutions.

July 2013

News in the Nation's Capital
Pillsbury advised the Sinclair Broadcasting Group on its $985 million acquisition of a group of television stations which included seven ABC local affiliates and a 24-hour cable news network in Washington, DC. The deal helps Sinclair expand their regional news offering as well as gain a strong foothold in the nation's capital.

May 2013

Funding for Clean Air
Pillsbury represented Clean Air Power, a developer and provider of Dual-Fuel combustion technology for heavy duty diesel engines, in its bid to secure funding for a new product that is expected to cut fuel costs and emissions. The company was awarded $2.6 million, to be distributed between May 2013 and October 2014.

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Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

1540 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 858-1000
Fax: (212) 858-1500


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman: James M. Rishwain
  • Hiring Partner: Mariah Brandt (Firmwide Chair)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 688

  • Employment Contact
    Chuck Curtis
    Firmwide Director of Attorney Recruiting and Partner Hiring and Integration
    Phone: (213) 488-7100
    E-mail: charles.curtis@pillsburylaw.com
    Recruiting contacts for all locations are included in the Contact Us section of www.pillsburylaw.com.

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $160,000
    2nd year: $170,000
    3rd year: $185,000
    4th year: $210,000
    5th year: $230,000
    6th year: $250,000
    7th year: $265,000
    8th year: $280,000
    Summer associate: $3,077/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    27 out of 30 (2013)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Aviation, Aerospace & Transportation
    Clean Technology
    Climate Change & Sustainability
    Consumer & Retail
    Corporate & Securities
    Crisis Management
    Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources
    Estates, Trusts & Tax Planning
    Executive Compensation & Benefits
    Financial Services
    Global Sourcing
    Government Contracts & Disputes
    Health Care & Life Sciences
    Indian Law (American)
    Insolvency & Restructuring
    Insurance Recovery & Advisory
    Intellectual Property
    International Trade
    Middle East
    Nonprofit Organizations
    Political Law
    Privacy, Data Security & Information Use
    Public Policy
    Real Estate
    Social Media, Entertainment & Technology

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY (HQ)
  • Austin, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • McLean, VA
  • Nashville, TN
  • Palm Beach, FL
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Diego, CA (North County)
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Abu Dhabi
  • London
  • Shanghai
  • Tokyo
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