2021 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“Quality of work and responsibility at a junior level.”
“This is a demanding career.”
About Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
With 700 attorneys and 20 offices around the world, Pillsbury is truly a global firm. But with six of its offices based in the Golden State, the firm still maintains the laid-back vibes of its west coast roots.
Pillsbury’s roots date back to Elihu Root who opened a practice in New York in 1868, which would later become Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts. Root is known for his work as Secretary of State and Secretary of War in the early 1900s.
Meanwhile, in 1874, Evans S. Pillsbury opened a practice on the West Coast. Pillsbury represented a local banking and delivery service called Wells Fargo and a nascent California oil outfit that would eventually become Chevron, two clients still represented by the firm today.
In 2001, Pillsbury Madison and Winthrop Stimson joined forces. Four years later, the combined firm merged with Washington, DC-based Shaw Pittman, ushering in Pillsbury in its current form.
Changing with the Times
Pillsbury has had a hand in the growth of global commerce and industry, from the representation of America’s oldest financial institutions to the drafting of the 1952 Patent Act to the establishment of the first nuclear energy practice to the formation of Intel. Today, the firm’s clients include more than 100 of the Fortune 500, as well as startups, mid-caps, investment funds and nonprofits. Clients include Facebook, Chevron, Deutsche Bank, the ACLU of Northern California, Lyft, Wells Fargo, San Diego Comic-Con, New York University, Duke Energy, Sony and The Walt Disney Company.
The firm’s legal work is concentrated primarily in four major industries—technology and media, energy, financial services, and real estate and construction sectors—and the firm has developed region-specific practices aimed at clients’ needs in and out of China, Japan, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Pillsbury also maintains a unique “emerging issues” program, which allows the firm to pioneer new and novel areas of the law. Some of its current focuses include artificial intelligence; digital currency and blockchain technology; esports; privacy, data security and information use; public-private partnerships; and water resources.
Pro bono is central to Pillsbury’s culture, with every attorney from the top down required to take on a minimum 25 hours of pro bono work per year. Pro bono cases range from asylum to civil rights to justice for indigent individuals, and more. On top of that, the firm’s Stimson Fellowship allows incoming associates to spend one year at a public service organization.
The firm has shifted our recruiting approach in that all interviews are conducted virtually. We will continue to recruit for our summer program via on-campus interviewing programs which all schools we recruit from have shifted to hosting in early 2021. We plan to maintain a similar class size to what we have historically had.
News & Awards
Advised Nikola Corp., a global leader in zero emissions transportation solutions, on a $2 billion investment from General Motors Co. GM will take an 11% equity stake in Nikola as part of the partnership and will also help Nikola engineer and manufacture its hydrogen fuel- and battery-electric vehicles. In June, the firm represented Nikola on its $3.3 billion merger with VectoIQ Acquisition Corp.
Advising the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest public school district in the United States, on all facets of an ambitious COVID-19 testing program designed to get 700,000 students and 75,000 staff back in the classroom. The effort has been described by the New York Times as “the most ambitious testing initiative so far among major public school districts.”
Named partner Stacie Yee to the newly established position of Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. In this role, Yee will focus full-time on the development and execution of the Firm’s diversity and inclusion strategies. As a member of the Firm’s Executive Team, she reports directly to Pillsbury Chair David Dekker and Managing Partner Ed Perron. Yee serves as an ex officio member of the firm’s Board, Hiring Committee and Partner Compensation Committee, and coordinates the activities of Pillsbury’s firmwide and local Diversity & Inclusion Committees as well as with local office Hiring Committees.
Announced an investment of at least $11 million over the next three years to fight racial injustice and advance civil rights. This effort is focused on four key areas: 1) improving and reforming criminal justice, 2) increasing access and opportunity for Black-owned startups and other businesses, 3) building societal equity through mentorship, education and pipeline programs, and 4) ensuring full representation for Black Americans in Washington.
- From representing incarnations of AT&T for 125+ years to incorporating and taking Intel public to the first-ever biotech IPO, Pillsbury helps emerging companies become market leaders.
- Represent Chevron, from the California oil rush to today, including on an $8B bond offering—its first capital markets transaction since 2017—in May 2020.
- Representing the builder of Salesforce Tower in a lawsuit alleging the excavation and dewatering of the tower contributed to the settling and tilting of the nearby Millennium Tower.
- Secured a landmark pro bono victory in Adams v. The School Board of St. Johns County, Florida, which found unconstitutional a policy preventing transgender students from using restrooms matching their gender identity.
- 2 out of 3 Pillsbury partners ranked by Chambers USA, The Legal 500 and/or Best Lawyers
- Most Innovative Law Firms in North America, 2019—Financial Times
- 12th strongest client relationships (out of 338 firms), BTI Power Elite, 2019—BTI Consulting
- 36th overall, Diversity Scorecard, 2020—The American Lawyer
- Inaugural Law Firm Hall of Fame Class (12-time Honoree), 2019—Working Mother
Why Work Here
Every day at Pillsbury, we work on ground-breaking, high-profile matters for some of the world’s most innovative companies from start-ups to the Fortune 100. Every day, we confront some of the most meaningful legal challenges of our time. Every day, we take on pro bono cases that change lives and frame important social issues.
This is a place where initiative is valued and rewarded, where self-starters become team players, and where continual growth—both professional and personal—underscores every successful career.
At the Office
At Pillsbury, we work hard—as hard as any group of lawyers, anywhere. But “group” is the key word. In any Pillsbury office, it is collaboration that defines our work lives.
While each of our offices has its own personality, we believe our core values and basic procedures are shared firmwide. The aim is to ensure that lawyers from different practice areas—and from all levels—can pool their efforts in providing the best service to our clients.
31 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 858-1000
Chairman: David T. Dekker
Hiring Partners: Mariah Brandt (Firmwide Chair); Brian Nash (Austin); Brian Bodor (DC); Charles Conrad (Houston); Kim Buffington (LA); Matthew Swartz (Northern Virginia); Anne Lefever (NY); Carrie Bonnington (Sacramento); Rich Segal (San Diego); David Lillevand (SF); Armando Castro (Silicon Valley)
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
500 - 750
No. of Partners Named 2020:
1st year: $190,000
Summer associate: $3,654/week
Firmwide Director of Attorney Recruiting
No. of U.S. Offices: 14
No. of International Offices: 6
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Palm Beach, FL
Palo Alto, CA
San Diego, CA
San Diego, CA (North County)
San Francisco, CA
Washington, DC I Beijing
Bank & Leveraged Finance
Corporate & Securities
Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy
Emerging Companies & Venture Capital
Executive Compensation & Benefits
Global Sourcing & Technology Transactions
Insolvency & Restructuring
M&A and Private Equity
Technology & Media
Real Estate & Construction
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.