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Ballard Spahr LLP

At a Glance

“Flexibility when it comes to scheduling”

“Meaningful work”

“Great environment and colleagues”


“Below-market compensation”

“Lack of bonus transparency”

“Unpredictability and instability of the hours”

About Ballard Spahr LLP

Growing from an influential Philadelphia base to more than a dozen offices throughout the United States. Ballard Spahr has been traditionally strong in litigation, business and finance, intellectual property, public finance, and real estate. The firm has scores of lawyers and dozens of practice areas and has earned accolades for its pro bono work from American Lawyer and the American Bar Association, and for its focus on diversity from MultiCultural Law and the Mortgage Bankers Association. Law360 has named the firm one of the best in the country for women.

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 alum Boyd Lee Spahr and R. Sturgis Ingersoll, and in the early 1930s, the firm became known as Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll. From the beginning, the firm has represented many of the city’s most notable companies. With more than 650 lawyers in 15 offices nationwide, the firm remains one of the largest and most prominent firms in Philadelphia. Perhaps Ballard Spahr's most famous attorney is Governor Ed Rendell, who returned to the firm after serving two terms as mayor of Philadelphia, was head of the National Democratic Committee, and—with a stint with Ballard Spahr in between—was Pennsylvania's governor from 2003 to 2011.

The opening of a Washington, DC, office in 1978 marked the beginning of decades of expansion beyond the City of Brotherly Love. In 1981, Ballard Spahr created its first gateway to the West by opening an office in Denver, followed by offices in Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. The firm consolidated its grip on the mid-Atlantic corridor by opening offices in Baltimore, New Jersey, Delaware, and New York. Ballard Spahr acquired Atlanta IP boutique Needle & Rosenberg, and the firm’s IP litigators recently made headlines by winning a patent infringement case for GoDaddy that provided a key ruling in the tech industry. In 2017, Ballard Spahr opened an office in Boulder that focuses primarily on M&A transactions. It merged with First Amendment litigation powerhouse Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz later that year and was named Law Firm of the Year for First Amendment Litigation and Media Law by U.S. News and World Report in 2018. Its largest merger came in 2018, when Ballard Spahr joined with Minneapolis-based Lindquist & Vennum, known for its strength in middle-market M&A transactions, adding offices in Minneapolis and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Jack of All Trades

While Ballard Spahr serves clients across industries and has a wide range of practice areas, about two-fifths of its attorneys practice within its Litigation Department. 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. Real estate also has proved a major profit generator for the firm; recent work includes paving the way for the billion-dollar Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, the Museum of the American Revolution, the new headquarters for the McCormick Spice Company, and a group of Marriott resorts in Argentina. The firm has used its construction expertise to advise in the creation of Kansas City's Nuclear Security Campus for the Nuclear Security Administration. Ballard Spahr was named Public Finance Firm of the Year for 2017 by U.S. News and World Report, and that group has served as counsel for billions of dollars in financings in every state and U.S. territory. The firm was one of the first to provide advisory and litigation services to financial services clients as a result of the financial regulations coming out of DC starting in 2010, representing big names like PNC Bank, Chase, Citibank, TD Bank, and Sallie Mae.



Ballard Spahr has one of the country’s top First Amendment litigation practice. It advises media companies across platforms and has handled many of the most significant recent cases. The group achieved dismissal in August 2017 of a federal defamation suit against The New York Times by politician Sarah Palin, helped the Associated Press obtain release in July 2015 of sealed documents in the Bill Cosby sexual assault cases, and represents a coalition of media companies before the FAA and Congress in ongoing development of drone journalism laws and policies.


Ballard Academy for Student Entrepreneurs (BASE) Camp offers student entrepreneurs pro bono legal assistance on issues facing their potential ventures. Those accepted into the program are assigned to a Ballard Spahr attorney who guides them through the startup process with legal assistance, including advising on corporate governance, negotiating leases and contracts, and handling other corporate matters. BASE provides students with access to educational sessions as well as the opportunity to network with members of the startup community. BASE was featured in Forbes for the legal incubator innovation and demonstrated results.

May 2018

Ballard Spahr remains committed to creating a vibrant community where the needs, perspectives, and contributions of people from all backgrounds are valued and integrated into every part of the firm. The firm has been recognized nationally and regionally for the success of its efforts. According to a May 2018 Law360 report, among law firms similar in size, Ballard Spahr ranks as a top five law firm for women. Ballard Spahr also ranks highly on the Am Law 2018 Diversity Scorecard, which reports the number of minority attorneys at U.S. firms.

January 2018

Ballard Spahr has earned considerable recognition for its practice groups and legal departments. In January 2018, the firm’s Media and Entertainment Law Group and its Consumer Financial Services Group each were named a "2018 Practice Group of the Year" by Law360. U.S. News and World Report has named Ballard Spahr a national Firm of the Year four times—in 2018 for First Amendment Litigation as well as Media Law, in 2017 for Public Finance, and in 2016 for Real Estate.

October 2017/January 2018

In a span of just four months, Ballard Spahr completed two separate transactions to expand the firm's capabilities and geographic reach. In October 2017, Ballard Spahr merged with Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz (LSKS), a First Amendment and media law boutique, which added 24 lawyers across four offices to the firm. In January 2018, Ballard Spahr merged with Lindquist & Vennum, which provided new business opportunities in Minneapolis and Sioux Falls, S.D., while expanding its office in Denver. The merger strengthened Ballard Spahr's client offerings, particularly in the areas of private equity and strategic M&A transactions.

March 2017

U.S. Women's National Hockey Team made history in March 2017 with help from a Ballard Spahr pro bono legal team, which negotiated a labor contract with governing body USA Hockey to provide fair pay and equitable support for women's and girls' programs nationwide. Lead lawyers John Langel and Dee Spagnuolo argued the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act required USA Hockey to provide equitable support for participation by women because it operates separate programs for male and female athletes nationally. The contract addressed compensation, additional opportunities for the Women's National Team to compete, and improved PR and marketing.

Ballard Spahr LLP

1735 Market Street
51st Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 665-8500


Managing Partner: Mark Stewart
Hiring Partner: Jason A. Leckerman

Base Salary

1st year: $150,000
Summer associate: $2,900/week Baltimore
1st year: $145,000
Summer associate: $2,800/week Delaware, New Jersey, Philadelphia
1st year: $160,000
Summer associate: $3,100/week LA, NY, DC
1st year: $165,000
Summer associate: $3,200/week Denver, Phoenix
1st year: $130,000
Summer associate: $2,500/week Las Vegas, Salt Lake City
1st year: $125,000
Summer associate: $2,400/week Minneapolis
1st year: $140,000
Summer associate: $2,700/week Sioux Falls
1st year: $100,000
Summer associate: $1,900/week

Summer Program

Summer Associate Offers:
19 out of 19 (2Ls) (2017)

Major Office Locations

Atlanta, GA
Baltimore, MD
Boulder, CO
Denver, CO
Wilmington, DE
Las Vegas, NV
Los Angeles, CA
Minneapolis, MN
Cherry Hill, NJ
New York, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix, AZ
Salt Lake City, UT
Sioux Falls, SD
Washington, DC

Major Departments & Practices

Banking and Financial Services
Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Capital Recovery
Business and Finance
Class Action Litigation
Commercial Litigation
Consumer Financial Services
E-Discovery and Data Management
Emerging Growth and Venture Capital
Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
Energy and Project Finance
Environment and Natural Resources
Government Relations, Regulatory Affairs and Contracting
Health Care
Higher Education
Intellectual Property
Intellectual Property Litigation
Investment Management
Labor and Employment
Life Sciences and Technology
Media and Entertainment Law
Mergers and Acquisitions
Mortgage Banking
Municipal Securities Regulation and Enforcement
Political and Election Law
Private Client Services
Private Equity
Privacy and Data Security
Product Liability and Mass Tort
Professional Liability
Public Finance
Real Estate
Real Estate and Construction Litigation
Real Estate Development and Complex Transactions
Real Estate Finance and Capital Markets
Resort, Hospitality, and Timeshare
Retail and Fashion
Securities Enforcement and Corporate Governance Litigation
Transactional Finance
White Collar Defense/Internal Investigations