Reed Smith LLP at a Glance


  • “Quality of life”
  • “International platform”
  • “Early respect”


  • “Would like more support staff”
  • “Pay is a little below-market”
  • “Lack of transparency”

The Buzz

  • “Women’s initiatives”
  • “Interesting work”
  • “Decent Pittsburgh firm”
  • “Factory”

About Reed Smith LLP

A Pittsburgh native long intertwined with the city's industrial kingpins, Reed Smith joined the crowd in globalizing via international mergers in the 21st century. With litigation at the forefront, the firm's practice strengths also include cross-border transactional and regulatory work.

A Steel City Tale

As is the case with a number of its BigLaw brethren, Reed Smith LLP's rise to prominence can be at least partly credited to a symbiotic relationship with an American industrial tycoon. Attorney James Reed, who founded the firm in Pittsburgh with fellow 24-year-old Philander Knox in 1877, cultivated strong ties with the man most singularly responsible for giving Steel City its blue-collar identity: Andrew Carnegie. In addition to leading the firm's representation of Carnegie at the peak of his empire-building, Reed served as a charter director of Carnegie's U.S. Steel. Other industry titans followed Carnegie's lead in enlisting the burgeoning outfit, and names such as Mellon, Heinz and Frick soon graced the firm's client roster.

Edwin W. Smith and other partners joined the firm in the 1880s, and in 1922, the firm adopted the name Reed Smith Shaw & McClay. During the New Deal era, Reed Smith established a securities practice; partner Ralph Demmler went on to become chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Domestic growth came in the 1970s, as Reed Smith began making strategic moves beyond Pittsburgh. It set up shop in Washington, DC and in 1989, merged with Beltway firm Pierson, Ball & Dowd, thereby gaining a well-regarded health care practice. In the 1990s, Reed Smith turned its attention to New York and New Jersey followed by its acquisition of leading northern Virginia firm Hazel & Thomas.

Global Aspirations

Today Reed Smith is a global firm, thanks to an international growth strategy that took off in the 2000s. A tie-up with UK-based Warner Cranston turned Reed Smith transatlantic, and a 2007 merger with Richards Butler added offices in France, Greece and the Middle East, and-one year later-Richards Butler's Hong Kong operations. Thanks to the UK mergers, the firm's London office is by far its largest.

Although it's grown significantly since it began, Reed Smith remains committed to its long-term clients. In 2001, the firm calculated that 10 percent of its revenues derived from clients who had been on the roster since its beginning in 1877.

Making Its Mark

While known for its litigation prowess, Reed Smith is a full-service shop, serving corporate and commercial clients on litigation, transactional, regulatory and other matters. It also fields multi-disciplinary industry groups dedicated to clients in the life sciences, media and entertainment, energy and natural resources, and financial services sectors. According  to the firm's internal stats, it represents more than half of the world's 100 largest companies, including top oil and gas companies, auto manufacturers, commercial and savings banks and pharmaceutical distributors.


April 2014

Client Focused
Reed Smith was named among the BTI Consulting Group's BTI Brand Elite for the second straight year. The 2014 BTI Brand Elite: Client Perceptions of the Best Branded Law Firms report stated that among in-house counsel surveyed, Reed Smith was found to be "easy to work with" and a "reliable partner to clients." The report further noted that firms achieving the Brand Elite distinction differentiate themselves from the competition by delivering premium value and by devoting resources to innovative client service approaches.

March 2014

Award Winning Commitment to Diversity
For the third time, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association awarded Reed Smith its Sager Award for the West Region. The award recognizes the firm, for the second straight year, for demonstrating an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

December 2013

A Perfect 100
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation announced that Reed Smith achieved a perfect score of 100 on the Foundation's Corporate Equality Index, earning the firm the distinction of being named among the "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality" in the United States.

November 2013

Ten Years and Counting
For the tenth straight year, Reed Smith was named to the BTI Client Service 30 in the BTI Consulting Group's annual BTI Client Service A-Team: The Survey of Law Firm Client Service Performance report. Reed Smith is only one of 11 firms to have achieved a top 30 ranking for 10 years or more.

October 2013

A (Legal) Household Name
Reed Smith was named among the top 20 Global Elite law firm brands on Acritas' 2013 Sharplegal® Global Elite Brand Index. The Index ranks law firm brand strength globally based on Acritas' independent measures of awareness, favorability and consideration, as viewed by the world's biggest clients. The Global Elite Brand Index was compiled from analysis of data derived from interviews with general counsel respondents in $1 billion+ revenue organizations with senior responsibility for the purchase of legal services.

August 2013

Working Hard for Working Women
Reed Smith announced it again ranked among the nation's "Best Law Firms for Women," according to Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers LLC. 2013 was the second consecutive year the firm earned top honors in this competitive ranking and its third overall appearance on the list. The ranking followed a similar acknowledgment in June 2013, when Reed Smith was named a "Gold Standard Certified" firm by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum for its efforts to advance women. Reed Smith is one of only two firms certified three times as such.

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Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith Centre
225 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: (412) 288-3131
Fax: (412) 288-3063


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Global Managing Partner: Alexander Thomas
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 1,803

  • Employment Contact
    Dana B. Levin, Esq.
    US Director of Legal Recruiting
    Phone: (215) 851-8100

    Recruiting contacts for each location in the Careers section of

  • Base Salary
    New York, NY
    1st year: $160,000
    Summer associate: $3,077/week  California offices; Chicago, IL; Washington, DC
    1st year:  $145,000
    Summer associate:  $6,042/semi monthly

    Falls Church, VA
    1st year:  $135,000
    Summer associate:  $5,625/semi monthly

    Philadelphia, PA; Wilmington, DE; Princeton, NJ
    1st year:  $130,000
    Summer associate:  $5,415/semi monthly

    Pittsburgh, PA
    1st year:  $125,000
    Summer associate:  $5,208/semi monthly

    Richmond, VA
    1st year:  $115,000
    Summer associate:  $4,792/semi monthly

  • Summer Associate Offers
    48 out of 48 (2013)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Advertising, Technology & Media
    Antitrust & Competition
    Bankruptcy & Commercial Restructuring
    Corporate & Securities
    Data Privacy, Security & Management
    Employment & Labor
    Energy & Natural Resources
    Environmental Law
    Export, Customs & Trade
    Global Regulatory Enforcement
    Government Contracts & Grants
    Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense
    Health Care
    Hedge Funds
    Higher Education
    Insurance Recovery
    Intellectual Property
    International Arbitration
    Life Sciences Transactions & Regulatory
    Litigation & Dispute Resolution
    Non-Profit Organizations
    Pensions & Benefits
    Private Equity
    Pro Bono
    Product Liability
    Public Policy & Infrastructure
    Real Estate
    Records & E-Discovery
    Region-Specific Business
    Securities Litigation & Enforcement
    State Tax
    Wealth Planning

Major Office Locations

  • Century City, CA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Falls Church, VA
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Princeton, NJ
  • Richmond, VA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Silicon Valley, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Wilmington, DE
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Beijing
  • Dubai
  • Kazakhstan
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Munich
  • Paris
  • Piraeus
  • Shanghai
  • Singapore
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