Reed Smith LLP at a Glance


  • “Global structure”
  • “Really great people”
  • “Cutting edge work”


  • “No lockstep bonuses”
  • “A bit stingy”
  • “Bureaucracy”

The Buzz

  • “Real estate king”
  • “Big in Pittsburgh”
  • “Nondescript”
  • “Below market pay”

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.


February 2015

Brand Name Bravo

Reed Smith advanced to 14th on Acritas' U.S. Law Firm Brand Index 2015.  The Index is compiled from the unprompted responses of 692 senior general counsel in U.S. organizations with revenues over $50 million who were asked about their awareness of and favorability towards law firms; their consideration of firms for top-level litigation and major M&A; as well as their use of firms for high value work.

December 2014

Help for Haiti

For its FT Innovative Lawyers North America Awards, the FT specifically honored Reed Smith for its four-year, multifaceted effort to help high-risk women and children in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake that devastated the country. Social responsibility programs were evaluated for their originality, rationale and impact.

The Client Knows Best

Reed Smith earned its 11th consecutive ranking among the elite BTI Client Service 30, securing 11th place on the prestigious ranking of law firms included in The BTI Consulting Group's BTI Client Service A-Team 2015 report. Reed Smith again won recognition in all 17 of the client service areas BTI uses to compile the ranking. According to the report, the firm ranked "Best of the Best" in the area of "Innovative Approach."

November 2014

A Law Firm for Equality

Just as it had the year before, Reed Smith earned another perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality Index, the nation's premiere barometer for workplace equality, which recognized the firm for teamwork, respect and commitment to LGBT constituents.

Award-Winning Deals

Deal teams from Reed Smith provided counsel for award-winning deals in three categories of the 13th Annual M&A Advisor Awards.  Reed Smith was recognized for the firm's work in the acquisition of Crown Partners by Publicis Groupe in the following categories: Corporate/Strategic Acquisition of the Year (Over $50MM to $100 MM) and M&A Deal of the Year (Over $50MM to $100MM). The firm also was recognized for Cross-Border Deal of the Year (Over $1 Billion) for its work on the acquisition of Kaydon Corp. by SKF USA Inc.

August 2014

Leading the Way for Lady Lawyers

For the fourth time overall, Working Mother and Flex Time Lawyers cited Reed Smith's Positive Accomplishments in the recruitment, retention and promotion of female attorneys.  The announcement came on the heels of Reed Smith's fourth consecutive award of Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) in June 2014. Reed Smith is one of only two law firms in the U.S. to meet all six WILEF Gold Standard Certification criteria every year since the award was initiated in 2011.

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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 2015: 1,900

  • 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: $6,666/semi monthly
    California offices; Chicago, IL; Washington, DC; Houston, TX
    1st year:  $145,000 (Increasing to $160,000 as of September 1, 2015)
    Summer associate: $6,042/semi monthly
    Falls Church, VA
    1st year:  $135,000 (Increasing to $160,000 effective September 1, 2015)
    Summer associate: $5,625/semi monthly
    Philadelphia, PA; Wilmington, DE; Princeton, NJ
    1st year:  $130,000 (Increasing to $145,000 effective September 1, 2015)
    Summer associate:  $5,415/semi monthly
    Pittsburgh, PA
    1st year:  $125,000 (Increasing to $140,000 effective September 1, 2015)
    Summer associate:  $5,208/semi monthly
    Richmond, VA
    1st year:  $115,000 (Increasing to $125,000 effective September 1, 2015)
    Summer associate:  $4,792/semi monthly 

  • Summer Associate Offers
    37 out of 41 (2014)

  • 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
  • Athens
  • Beijing
  • Dubai
  • Frankfurt
  • Kazakhstan
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Munich
  • Paris
  • Shanghai
  • Singapore
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