Paul Hastings LLP at a Glance


  • “Transparent firm leadership”
  • “Firm culture and general attitude of associates”
  • “Ability to take on as much responsibility as desired”


  • “The office space and technology can be outdated”
  • “High billable hour requirement”
  • “Benefits packages could be better”

The Buzz

  • “Labor & employment powerhouse”
  • “Very friendly people”
  • “Pretentious”
  • “Overrated”

About Paul Hastings LLP

Over the last few decades, Paul Hastings has grown from a mid-market U.S. firm to an international outfit with strengths in employment, tax and business law and big name clients in more than 80 countries. With offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo, the firm has become especially strong in Asian market dealings.

A Legacy of Leadership

In 1951, Harvard law grads Bob Hastings, Lee Paul and Leonard Janofsky pooled their ambition to form a new firm in Los Angeles. They divided the workload three ways: Janofsky handled employment law matters, Paul dealt with litigation and Hastings managed business law. In 1962, Charles Walker joined the trio as a partner, adding his name to the masthead and establishing a tax practice. Walker took a brief sojourn from the firm in the 1970s to accept a position in the Ford administration as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Tax Policy but soon returned to his tax work at the firm.

Only One Way to Grow

In 1974 the firm opened a second office in Orange County; locations in Atlanta, Washington DC, New York and Connecticut followed. During the 1980s, Paul Hastings ventured into the world of venture capital transactions, working from offices in Los Angeles, Costa Mesa and Santa Monica. The firm grew over the next few decades organically, rather than merging or acquiring other firms.

Also in the 1970s, the firm expanded into cross-border work, helping Japanese clients set up U.S. operations. The firm made its first official overseas debut in Tokyo in 1988-thanks to the efforts of partner Kaoruhiko Suzuki-and then landed in London in 1997. The firm also looked to the east coast, bulking up its New York office and developing strengths in the fields of software litigation, intellectual property and entertainment. Notable entertainment clients included Madonna, Sting, Walt Disney, A&M Records, Michael Jackson and Motown Records.

For All Your Employment Needs

In the 1990s, Paul Hastings reorganized its practice around five core specialties: real estate law, business law, employment law, litigation and tax law. Of these, employment law was considered the firm's greatest strength. Paul Hastings' expertise in this field dated back to the firm's beginnings and the reputation developed by founding partner Leonard Janofsky, who was the first employment lawyer to serve as president of the American Bar Association.

In the 2000s, Paul Hastings merged and reorganized to continue its growth overseas. It combined with Chinese firm Koo and Partners in 2002, gaining offices in Hong Kong and Beijing, and then opened another location in Shanghai the following year. After building a presence in Paris, Brussels and Milan, the firm set its sights on Frankfurt through a merger with local firm Smeets Haas Wolff. In the 2010s, Paul Hastings continued to expand its platform to meet clients' evolving needs, opening new offices in Houston and Seoul.

Adapting to the Times

Over the years, the firm represented Hitachi, JP Morgan, Barclays Capital, Mitsubishi, Wells Fargo Capital Finance, Delta Power, Morgan Stanley and Six Flags. The firm's client list spans more than a dozen industries, including aircraft finance and leasing, energy, development and construction, health care, franchise and distribution, government affairs, hotels and resorts, investment management, real estate, life sciences, IT and eCommerce, OSHA, sports, telecommunications and media, and securities finance and capital markets. To keep up with client demands during the global financial crisis, Paul Hastings also established a subprime mortgage and credit crisis practice area, focusing on bankruptcy and restructuring, regulatory matters, litigation and investigations, and government advisory services.

To help keep clients informed, the firm has several blogs (Caveat Vendor, focusing on consumer issues, an ERISA and Global Benefits Blog, and The Enforcer Blog, which focuses on domestic business litigation), as well as mobile apps (a Failure-to-Market Forfeiture app, for Hatch-Waxman Act information, and an Oil and Gas app, for a variety of reference needs related to those industries).   

Paul Hastings has won numerous awards for its litigation, corporate law, employment law and M&A practices. In 2013, the Financial Times ranked the firm 2nd in its "Innovative Lawyers Special Report" for the U.S. and Law360 named it a Pro Bono Firm of the Year. Paul Hastings ranked 2nd on The American Lawyer A-list in 2013, and in 2014, the firm ranked 1st on the A-list in addition to receiving an Associate Satisfaction Score of 200. 


April 2014

Precedent-setting IP victory
Paul Hastings represented Align Technology, Inc. in a precedent-setting IP victory regarding cross-border electronic transmissions. The unique case marked the first time the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) addressed whether digital transmissions are goods and whether the ITC has jurisdiction over them. Paul Hastings successfully argued that the ITC must recognize cross-border electronic transmissions as "importations" of "articles" that fall under the jurisdiction of the ITC. The issue attracted wide attention, with the ruling confirming the ITC's availability as a forum for all U.S. companies seeking to defend IP from foreign infringement in today's digital world.

March 2014

A Ham of a Deal
M&A practice chair, Carl Sanchez, was named one of The American Lawyer's "2013 Dealmakers of the Year" for his work for WH Group Limited, formerly Shuanghui International, on its $7.1 billion acquisition of Smithfield Foods, Inc., the largest acquisition of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm to date. This was one of the most challenging and complex deals of the year, not only in size and scope, but because it required several innovative structuring elements for success. These included a time-sensitive offer, a "qualified pre-existing bidder" provision, a unique alternative debt financing structure and a strategic approach to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States review process.

January 2014

Even AMLaw Daily is Taking Note
The American Lawyer's AmLaw Daily noted that the Paul Hastings' transactional practice had an especially robust 2013, with its deal lawyers involved in 35 transactional engagements worth at least $1 billion each. Among the landmark deals were the firm's representation of China's WH Group, formerly Shuanghui International, in its $7.1 billion acquisition of Smithfield Foods and SNAM SpA in its acquisition of Total SA's gas transport and storage business in France for €2.4 billion. Paul Hastings' litigation docket included representation of American Airlines Inc. in its settlement of an antitrust challenge to its merger with US Airways and successfully defending Cintas Corp. in a nine-year-long discrimination class action.

Practice Group Hat Trick
Law360 named Paul Hastings' Life Sciences, Employment, and Real Estate groups to its 2013 Practice Groups of the Year. A precedent-setting victory for Sunovion Pharmaceuticals and representation of Avalon Ventures in forming a new fund won the life sciences laurels. The firm's advisement on many of the 2013's largest land acquisition and development deals for Starwood Capital and Aecom Technology helped the firm grab the real estate honors. A sweeping gender discrimination victory for Cintas Corp. and a win for Kmart Corp. in a California class action cemented the Employment team's stature.

October 2013

Moving Up the Ladder
Paul Hastings placed second among the top 40 most innovative law firms in the Financial Times' US Innovative Lawyers report, up from third place in 2012. This annual report recognizes innovative lawyers and law firms that "have brought original thinking and practices to business issues in the U.S." The firm received the top cumulative score and top number of ranked innovations in the Business of Law category, which recognizes firms for streamlining their own processes to create value for clients. Additionally, Paul Hastings was top-ranked in the Talent category and had the top score in the Finance-Latin America category.

February 2013

Making the REIT Choice
Paul Hastings represented Santander, Credit Suisse and Evercore as initial purchasers in Mexican REIT Fibra Uno's $1.75 billion follow-on equity offering. This oversubscribed offering was Fibra Uno's third. The REIT has now issued nearly $3 billion in equity in less than two years. The firm's lawyers previously represented the initial purchasers in Fibra Uno's historic IPO in 2011, the first REIT-like security ever sold in Latin America, as well as its initial follow-on offering in 2012.

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Paul Hastings LLP

Park Avenue Tower
75 East 55th Street, First Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 318-6000
Fax: (212) 319-4090


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairs of Firm: Seth S. Zachary
  • Managing Partner: Greg M. Nitzkowski
  • Hiring Partner: Leigh P. Ryan
  • Total No. Attorneys 2014: 1,000

  • Employment Contact
    Cindy Hasson
    Director of Talent Acquisition
    Phone: (212) 318-6000 

    Recruiting contact information for all locations at

  • Base Salary
    All domestic offices except Atlanta
    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: $3,070/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    61 out of 63 (2013)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Advertising and Promotions
    Affordable Housing and Tax Credits
    Anticorruption and FCPA
    Antitrust and Competition
    Appellate Litigation
    Asset Securitization and Structured Finance
    Bank Consumer Class Actions
    Bank Regulatory
    Bankruptcy Litigation
    Class Actions
    Commercial Leasing and Sales Leaseback
    Complex Litigation and Arbitration
    Data Centers
    Employee Mobility and Trade Secrets
    Employment Counseling and Preventive Advice
    Employment Law
    Employment Litigation
    Environmental Law
    Financial Services
    Gaming and Gambling
    Global Banking and Payment Systems
    Global Compensation, Benefits and ERISA
    Global Trade Controls
    Government Affairs
    Government Contracts Litigation
    Hotels and Resorts
    Intellectual Property
    International Arbitration
    International Employment Law
    Investigations and White Collar Defense
    Investment Management
    IP Transactions and Licensing
    Labor/Management Relations
    Land Use
    Latin America
    Leveraged Finance
    Life Sciences
    Mass Tort, Toxic Tort, and Environmental Litigation
    Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs)
    Mergers and Acquisitions
    Oil and Gas
    Patent Litigation
    Payment Systems
    Political Risk and International Trade Credit Insurance
    Privacy and Data Security
    Private Equity
    Private Investment Funds
    Project Development and Finance
    Radiation Injury and Nuclear Power Litigation
    Real Estate
    Real Estate Acquisitions and Dispositions
    Real Estate Capital Markets
    Real Estate Development and Construction
    Real Estate Equity Investments and Joint Ventures
    Real Estate Finance
    Real Estate Litigation
    Real Estate Restructuring and Reorganization
    Securities and Capital Markets
    Securities Enforcement
    Securities Litigation
    Sustainability and Global Climate Change
    Tax Advisory
    Tax Litigation and Controversy
    Telecommunications and Media
    United States
    White Collar Defense

Major Office Locations

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Orange County, CA
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Brussels
  • Frankfurt
  • London
  • Paris
  • Milan
  • Beijing
  • Hong Kong
  • Seoul
  • Shanghai
  • Tokyo
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