2021 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“Commitment to pro bono.”
“The work is interesting and impactful.”
“The collegiality and humanity of the firm.”
“Compensation and transparency about compensation.”
“Sometimes lack of mentorship/guidance.”
“Unpredictability of my schedule.”
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 transactions, intellectual property, 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. In the early 1930s, the firm became known as Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll—later changed to Ballard Spahr LLP in 2009. The opening of a Washington, DC, office in 1978 marked the beginning of decades of expansion beyond the City of Brotherly Love. Recent growth includes the firm’s merger with media boutique firm Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz in 2017 and its 2018 merger 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, intellectual property, litigation, 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 group 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 has an affordable housing practice.
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.
Ballard Spahr is taking every measure to ensure the health and wellbeing of our lawyers and staff at this time. Across offices, we are working remotely and committed to meeting the needs of our clients. Recruitment activity is ongoing as needed and will be fully resumed when we can return our focus to the addition of talent to our outstanding workforce. We are in the process of determining our hiring needs for the 2021 summer program and will post updates to our website as they become available.
News & Awards
The Philadelphia Inquirer highlighted our latest pro bono initiative in a July 2020 article featuring quotes from firm Chair Mark Stewart, Pro Bono Counsel Lisa B. Swaminathan, and Associate Kahlil Williams, a litigator who is one of the initiative leaders. The Racial Justice and Equality Initiative is the firm’s primary pro bono focus this year, as we work with individuals and organizations nationwide to address systemic inequality and injustice.
Law360 carried a July 2020 article about the decision of Ballard Spahr and other large firms to seek certification under the fourth and latest iteration of the Mansfield Rule, which aims to increase the representation of historically underrepresented lawyers in the field.
The Washington Post published an item on April 7, 2020, to announce that The Post’s project “The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War” by reporter Craig Whitlock won the IRE’ FOI Award. The award recognizes The Post’s nearly three-year fight to pry loose records from the federal government, and credits Ballard Spahr attorneys Chuck Tobin, Matthew Kelley, and Max Mishkin for making the report possible.
Among a number of news outlets that have recognized the firm’s coronavirus pandemic resource center, The Daily Record of Maryland interviewed Baltimore-based Partner Desmond Connall for a March 31. 2020, article, about our web-based resource. The writer notes the center’s wide range of helpful articles, webinars, checklists, and other resources to help businesspeople understand and respond to the legal implications of the coronavirus pandemic. The article provides details and links, including for our Entrepreneur Legal Relief Program and custom-designed COVID-19 legislative and enforcement data trackers, created in-house and offered to the public for use on our website.
- Advocated for professional women hockey players’ pay equity—including 2017 threatened World Championships boycott and the 2019 creation of a professional players association for the world’s top female hockey players.
- Obtained milestone Arizona federal court ruling for GoDaddy in dispute with patent-holding company RPost. Affirmed on appeal, it effected other cases nationwide.
- Obtained $78 million judgment for Nasdaq in December 2019 in Nasdaq v. ETF Managers Group following 10-day, SDNY bench trial
- Obtained June 2020 New Jersey Supreme Court ruling for Kia in Little v. Kia Motors America Inc., reversing multimillion-dollar, class-wide repair damages award while validating warranty program and “exemplary” claims process.
- Media Law, Law Firm of the Year, 2019, 2018—U.S. News & World Report–Best Lawyers Best Law Firms
- Most Innovative Law Firms: Business of Law, 2019—Financial Times
- A Best Law Firm for Women, 2019—Working Mother
- Top firm, Promotion Practices and Parental and Caregiver Leave—Yale Law Women’s 2020 Gender Equity & Family Friendliness Report
- Perfect score, Corporate Equality Index, 2016-2020—Human Rights Campaign Foundation
1735 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 665-8500
Managing Partner: Mark Stewart
Hiring Partner: Meredith Swartz Dante
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
500 - 750
No. of Partners Named 2021:
1st year: $153,313
Summer associate: $2,856/week Baltimore
1st year: $148,667
Summer associate: $2,769/week Delaware, New Jersey, and Philadelphia
1st year: $162,604
Summer associate: $3,029/week Los Angeles; New York; and Washington, DC
1st year: $167,250
Summer Associate: $3,115/week Denver and Boulder
1st year: $139,375
Summer associate: $2,596/week Phoenix
1st year: $125,438
Summer associate: $2,337/week Las Vegas and Salt Lake City
1st year: $120,792
Summer associate: $2,250/week Minneapolis
1st year: $134,729
Summer associate: $2,510/week Sioux Falls
1st year: $97,563
Summer associate: $1,817/week
Manager of Entry Level Recruiting and Integration
Manager of Lateral Recruiting and Integration
Manager of Lateral Recruiting and Integration
No. of U.S. Offices: 15
No. of International Offices: 0
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.