2020 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“My colleagues are wonderful. I truly enjoy spending time with everyone at the office.”
“The quality and diversity in work opportunities—every day I learn something new.”
“Flexibility with respect to where I can work.”
“High billable-hours requirement for our market.”
About Ballard Spahr LLP
One of the largest and most prominent firms in Philadelphia, Ballard Spahr has a strong and growing national footprint, with more than 650 lawyers in 15 offices across the country. The firm has thriving practices in litigation, business and finance, IP, public finance, and real estate.
Philadelphia Breeds a Nationwide Network
Ballard Spahr traces its roots to 1885, when Philadelphia lawyer Ellis Ballard joined a law firm helmed by Rufus Shapley. They were joined by fellow University of Pennsylvania alumnus Boyd Lee Spahr and R. Sturgis Ingersoll, and in the early 1930s, the firm became known as Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll. The opening of a Washington, DC, office in 1978 marked the beginning of decades of expansion beyond the City of Brotherly Love. The latest of which was in 2018, when Ballard Spahr joined with Minneapolis-based Lindquist & Vennum, known for its strength in middle-market M&A transactions.
Jack of All Trades
Ballard Spahr focuses on five main practices: business and transactions, IP, litigation, public finance, and real estate. Its largest practice area is litigation, which is home to more than 250 of the firm’s attorneys. Litigators at the firm advise some of the nation’s biggest market players in securities and antitrust class actions, patent infringement cases, white collar defense matters, and federal and state appeals.
The firm also boasts a multi-faceted real estate practice that handles everything from commercial leasing and construction to eminent domain and industrial development to mix-used development and real estate taxation. The firm counsels clients in their development projects, including condominiums, high-rise buildings, resorts, and shopping centers. Real estate clients are a diverse bunch and include financial institutions, housing authorities, hospitals, hotels, investors, lenders, developers, real estate brokerage companies, REITs, and retail companies—to name a few. When it comes to housing and community development, Ballard Spahr lends a virtual hand through its blog Housing Plus, which readers can access through the firm’s website.
Investing in Training and Wellbeing
Ballard Spahr attorneys work hard, but that doesn’t mean it’s all about the billables. In 2019, the firm created a Wellness at Work Committee to lobby for attorney well-being and promote a healthy lifestyle. The firm also hosts a sponsorship program for mid-level associates called INVEST, in which the associates are paired with a partner mentor. And, every third Thursday of the month, there is a firm-hosted event, such as morning coffee breaks and networking happy hours.
News & Awards
The firm was recognized this June when the Minneapolis Star-Tribune profiled its 1L Diversity Fellowship Program, which aims to give law students of diverse races and backgrounds hands-on legal experience. Since the launch of the fellowship, Ballard Spahr has offered it to first-year law students in Philadelphia, Denver, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Salt Lake City, and Baltimore.
Ballard Spahr’s pro bono program made a splash when two of its Baltimore lawyers appeared on the cover page of the Sunday Baltimore Sun in December 2018. They were featured in a story about the week they had spent with the Southern Poverty Law Center in rural Georgia counseling immigrants held in remote detention centers.
Ballard Spahr lawyers regularly handle high-profile litigation, transactions, and pro bono matters that catch the attention of the media.
In November 2018, the firm represented a coalition of media organizations that united in support of CNN reporter Jim Acosta after his media access privileges were revoked by the White House. Ballard Spahr’s lawyers and clients believe that democracy depends on reporters having access to, and being able to question, government officials. A federal judge agreed and ruled that Mr. Acosta’s press pass had to be restored.
Also in November 2018, the firm made news when Mary Gay Scanlon, the firm’s Pro Bono Counsel at the time, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Representative Scanlon led the firm’s nationally recognized pro bono program for 15 years before leaving to join Congress.
- Ballard Spahr represents professional women’s hockey players seeking pay equity—from their 2017 threatened World Championships boycott to the 2019 creation of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association.
- The Arizona State House Ethics Committee hired Ballard Spahr to investigate racism and sexual assault allegations against Representative David Stringer.
- The firm’s First Amendment litigators ensured media outlets access to evidence in the trial of Mohammed Noor, a police officer later convicted in the killing of an unarmed woman.
- Ballard Spahr represented Denver-based Ross Aviation, a growing operator of fixed-base operations in its acquisition of Rectrix Aviation 2019 and its acquisition of Island Air.
- Law Firm of the Year – Litigation: First Amendment (U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers Best Law Firms, 2018)
- Pro Bono Publico Award (American Bar Association, 2018)
- Earned a perfect score in offering benefits and protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees and their families (Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, 2018-2019)
- Eleventh for female attorneys among comparably sized firms (Law360 Glass Ceiling Report, 2019)
- Top 10 for minority attorneys among comparably sized firms (Law360 Diversity Snapshot, 2018)
1735 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 665-8500
Managing Partner: Mark Stewart
Hiring Partner: Jason A. Leckerman
Total No. Attorneys 2019:
500 - 750
1st year: $165,000
Summer associate: $3,173/week Baltimore
1st year: $160,000
Summer associate: $3,077/week Delaware, New Jersey, and Philadelphia
1st year: $175,000
Summer associate: $3,365/week Los Angeles; New York; and Washington, DC
1st year: $180,000
Summer Associate: $3,462/week Denver and Boulder
1st year: $150,000
Summer associate: $2,885/week Phoenix
1st year: $135,000
Summer associate: $2,596/week Las Vegas and Salt Lake City
1st year: $130,000
Summer associate: $2,500/week Minneapolis
1st year: $145,000
Summer associate: $2,788/week Sioux Falls
1st year: $105,000
Summer associate: $2,019/week
Summer Associate Offers:
13 out of 14 (1 of 15 was non-associate track summer) (2Ls) (2018)
No. of Summer Associates:
23 total (15 2Ls; 8 1Ls) (2018)
Las Vegas, NV
Los Angeles, CA
Cherry Hill, NJ
New York, NY
Philadelphia, PA (HQ)
Salt Lake City, UT
Sioux Falls, SD
Business and Transactions
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.