2022 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“The people—hands down.”
“Hours-based billing as a measurement of success.”
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 beginnings 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, 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 will be hosting virtually. We plan to maintain a similar class size to what we have historically had.
News & Awards
- Counsel to In-N-Out in a lawsuit seeking recovery from its insurers of hundreds of millions in business interruption losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Secured preliminary injunctions preserving Lyft Inc.’s right to be the exclusive operator of bike-share programs in both San Francisco and New York City.
- Represented business process services company SYNNEX Corporation in its merger with Tech Data Corporation, a portfolio company of Apollo Global Management Inc., in a transaction valued at $7.2 billion.
- Represented online education provider Coursera, Inc. on its initial public offering, generating gross proceeds of $519 million.
- 162 national and regional practice rankings, 2021—U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”
- Best Law Firm for Women, 2021—Searmount (formerly Working Mother Media)
- Perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index, fifteenth consecutive year, 2021—The Human Rights Campaign
- Ranked in 43 practice areas, 2021—Chambers USA
- Top Firm for Racial Justice Contributions, 2021—Yale Law Women
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 (2021):
500 - 750
No. of Partners Named 2021:
Base Salary (2021)
Class of 2021: $202,500
Class of 2020: $205,000
Class of 2019: $215,000
Class of 2018: $240,000
Class of 2017: $275,000
Class of 2016: $305,000
Class of 2015 (SA1): $330,000
Class of 2014 (SA2): $350,000
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
Technology & Media
Real Estate & Construction;
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
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.