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Legal Jobs > Law Firm Profiles > Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP

Areas of practice
Notable cases
Awards and recognitions
Hiring criteria
Summer associate program
Salary & benefits
Working for the firm
Pro bono
In the news
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
Main office 1540 Broadway, | New York City | NY | 10036
Phone 212-858-1000 
Fax 212-858-1500 
Year of establishment 1868
Number of offices 14
Largest office New York City
Number of attorneys 663
Number of associates 329
Number of partners 268
Partner: associate ratio 1.20
Percent women attorneys 24.30
Percent minority attorneys 16.90
Percent gay attorneys 3.40


With 15 offices worldwide, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman is a full-service law firm. It focuses on energy and natural resources, financial services, real estate and construction, and technology.

Based in major international financial, technology and energy centers like Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, Washington, D C., London, Shanghai, and Tokyo, the law firm advises clients on regulatory, litigation and corporate issues. It has multidisciplinary teams that have the knack to predict trends and analyze complex business and legal issues – this effort helps clients take up new opportunities and mitigate risks.

Pillsbury Winthrop has influenced and shaped not only the law, but also the geopolitical landscape, helping to set policy on everything from the environment to securities reform and international banking regulations. The firm is known for its collaborative and cost-effective approach to its clients. It makes every effort to be ahead of change and helps its clients to be well positioned to scale new business heights.

As a market leader in most dynamic areas, Pillsbury does not hesitate to embrace change to put us clients on the right track. Pillsbury is a name to reckon with, be it class action suits or restructurings from credit crisis, exploring innovative ways for clients to benefit from federal investments in energy, clean tech, infrastructure and affordable housing project or advising on the latest regulatory changes in financial services, healthcare and telecommunications.

Throughout its long journey, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman guided some of the world’s most successful companies. The firm is linked to the industrial age and the digital economy of today.

In the late 1800s, Pillsbury helped AT&T install the first telephone wires in city streets; incorporated the predecessor to Chevron in 1900; and 105 years later counseled Chevron in its $18.5 billion acquisition of Unocal. In 1940, the firm enforced the first patent for an X-ray machine used for cancer treatment. In 1960, it launched nation’s first nuclear energy practice and it has the credit to advice on the formation of Intel Corporation in 1968.

Pillsbury has the distinction of winning an important decision from the US Supreme Court that gave powers to states to regulate corporate takeovers (1987). In 1994, it registered the first trademark for a dotcom. In 2000, it helped New York Solutions, Inc. get a record $2.2 billion public offering.

More recently, Pillsbury was associated with the first-ever export of nuclear reactor technology from Japan. It successfully negotiated regulatory and operations hurdles to help China’s only commercial airline to make its first historic flight between China and the US. It has the credit of handling the largest private disposition of real estate assets amounting to $2.3 billion in Washington, DC.
Areas of practice

  • Advertising & Sweepstakes Law
  • Affordable Housing & Community Development
  • Alternative Investments
  • America Invents Act (AIA) Legal Analysis and Resources
  • Antidumping
  • Antitrust & Competition
  • Arbitration & Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Asset-Backed Finance
  • Aviation
  • Aerospace & Transportation
  • Bank Finance
  • Business Process Outsourcing
  • Cable & Multi-Channel Video Delivery Systems
  • Carbon Sequestration – Climate Changes & Sustainability
  • China
  • Clean Technology
  • Climate Change & Sustainability
  • Communications Finance
  • Construction Counseling & Dispute Resolution
  • Consumer & Retail
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
  • Copyrights
  • Corporate & Business Transactions
  • Corporate & Securities - Technology
  • Corporate Trust Services
  • Crisis Management
  • Derivatives
  • Disaster Planning & Liability Management
  • Distressed Real Estate
  • Dodd-Frank Act Resource Center
  • Emerging Growth
  • Employment Advice
  • Counseling& Litigation
  • Energy & Infrastructure Projects
  • Energy Capital Markets
  • Energy Regulatory
  • Environment
  • Land Use & Natural Resources
  • Environmental Litigation
  • Estates
  • Trusts & Tax Planning
  • Executive Compensation & Benefits
  • Facilities Management
  • Federal Tax Controversy & Tax Policy
  • Fiduciary Administration & Dispute Services
  • Financial Services
  • Financial Services Regulation
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act & Global Anti-Corruption
  • Fraud & Abuse and Compliance
  • Government Contracts & Disputes
  • Health & Welfare Plans
  • Health Care & Life Sciences
  • Information Law & Electronic Discovery
  • Infrastructure Outsourcing
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • Insurance Recovery & Advisory
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Benefit & Global Stock Plans
  • International Tax & Trade
  • Internet
  • Investment Banker Transition Team
  • Investment Funds & Investment Management
  • IP & Technology Litigation
  • IP Audits & Strategic Planning
  • IT Outsourcing
  • Land Use
  • Zoning & Historic Preservation
  • Legal Industry & Professional Matters
  • Litigation
  • Marketing
  • Distribution & Franchising
  • Mass Media
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Nanotechnology
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Occupational Health & Safety
  • Oil & Gas Environmental Working Group
  • Outsourcing
  • Technology & Insolvency Solutions
  • Patent Prosecution
  • Private Equity
  • Pro Bono & Community
  • Product Liability & Toxic Torts
  • Public Finance
  • Public Policy
  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • Real Estate
  • Real Estate & Land Use Litigation
  • Real Estate & Partnership Taxation
  • Real Estate Lending
  • REITs & Real Estate Capital Markets
  • Renewable & Alternative Energy
  • Restaurant
  • Food & Beverage
  • Satellite
  • Securities Litigation
  • Semiconductor
  • Smart Grid
  • Solar Energy – Energy
  • Structured Finance
  • Technology Acquisition and Licensing
  • Telecommunications
  • Trade & Commodities Finance
  • Trade Secrets
  • Trademark Management Systems – Intellectual Property
  • Venture Capital
  • Virtual Worlds & Video Games
  • Water Resources
  • Wine
  • Beer & Spirits Law
Notable cases

  • Co-authored a key amicus brief on a pro bono basis on behalf of over 60 Asian-American bar associations and community groups in California's historic same-sex marriage case. The California Supreme Court overturned the state's ban on gay marriages saying it was unconstitutional as it deprived gays and lesbians of the same rights as other citizens is unconstitutional. 2012
  • Pillsbury successfully argued in the Al Odah Vs United State case that Guantanamo Bay detainees have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in US civil courts. The US Supreme Court granted habeas corpus rights to the Bay detainees. 2008
  • The firm advised WebEx on its IPO in 2000, and in its $3.2 billion acquisition by Cisco Systems.
  • The firm achieved a number of "firsts" in a single $5 billion nuclear deal, when a Texas utility selected one of Pillsbury's long-time clients as its supplier of leading-edge nuclear reactor technology. It was the client's first deal in the U.S., and for the first time a Japanese company got an overseas nuclear contract; for the first time a Japanese-made reactor will be exported overseas. Pillsbury helped this major Japanese company enter the U.S. market, with four offices working on regulatory, public policy, business planning, intellectual property, employment and transactional matters.
  • Pillsbury secured a major win for the University of Kansas and the University of Kansas Center for Research in patent infringement case involving a lucrative brand name drug.
  • Pillsbury has long been a leader in aviation finance, representing airlines and banks that work with them. In fact, 2011 was an outstanding year for Pillsbury as it secured a total of $4 billion of Export Credit Agency (ECA) guaranteed aircraft and engine finances.
  • In a major victory for its client, Pillsbury helped the Archdiocese of San Francisco prevail in a high-profile $22 million tax dispute with the City and County of San Francisco, successfully arguing that internal transfers of property between affiliated corporations are exempt from documentary transfer taxes. The San Francisco Superior Court sided with the Archdiocese in a tentative ruling and rejected the city assessor's claims that the properties had been "sold" in San Francisco.
Awards and recognitions

For the third time, Pillsbury has been voted the "Best Global Export Credit Agency/Development Finance Law Firm" in the 2012 Trade Finance Journal Awards for Excellence. Pillsbury Merits Gold Standard for Women's Leadership
Gold Standard certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) 2012
Golden State Institute, a series of cutting edge antitrust and unfair competition seminars. 2011
Best Onshore Law Firm Honored for Service to Hedge Fund Industry--2011
Pillsbury Named a 2011 NAFE and Flex-Time Lawyers Best Law Firm for Women
Recognized with Outstanding Achievement Award for Civil Rights Litigation -- 2011
Named 2010 Best Investor Counsel of the Year in China at the 2010 TopCapital Investment and Investor Awards
International Legal Alliance Names Pillsbury Best Government Affairs Firm--2009
Named "Aviation Firm of the Year" and "Environmental Firm of the Year"--2009
Recognized by Working Mother magazine as one of the 2009 Working Mother & Flex-Time Lawyers Best Law Firms for Women
Best Corporate Counsel of the Year in China according to Top Capital, for the firm's work in the private equity and venture capital sector--2009
International Legal Alliance Names Pillsbury Best Government Affairs Firm--2009
Named "Aviation Firm of the Year" and "Environmental Firm of the Year"--2009
2008 Black Book of Outsourcing's #1 Global Sourcing legal advisor
Winner of a 2008 InnovAction Award from The College of Law Practice Management for its patented business process, ValueChain
As Guantanamo Bay attorneys, lead counsel on Al Odah v. United States, one of the two lead cases arguing for the habeas corpus rights of Guantanamo Bay detainees. On June 12, 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that Guantanamo Bay detainees have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts.
Hiring criteria

Candidates with distinguished academic and personal backgrounds are recruited. They should be ambitious, team-oriented, and entrepreneurial and be able to excel in professional environment. Domestic LL.Ms are hired.

Campus Interviews were held in 2011 at the following places:

Columbia University Law School
Fordham University School of Law
George Washington University Law School
Georgetown University Law Center
Harvard Law School
Howard University School of Law
Loyola Law School - Los Angeles
McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific
New York University School of Law
Northwestern University School of Law
UCLA School of Law
University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law
University of California, Davis
University of California, Hastings College of the Law
University of Chicago Law School
University of Houston Law Center
University of Michigan Law School
University of Pennsylvania Law School
University of Texas School of Law
University of Virginia School of Law

The firm participated in Job Fairs / Consortia (previous fall) held at the following places:

Bay area Diversity Fair
Cornell DC & NY Fairs
Lavender Law
Loyola Chicago (Patent)
West Coast NBLSA
Penn Regional West Coast
Duke, UVA, Northwestern and Georgetown Texas Interview Program

Pillsbury is among the top firms in the United States for women and diverse partners. The firm has achieved this ranking because of its par excellent performance. It has a long history of diversity leadership. Pillsbury is one of the first law firms that have a distinction of having women as partners. It is the first Amlaw 100 firm headed by a woman.

Pillsbury's Diversity Committee includes firm leaders recognized in the legal community for their commitment. Members of the firm have led the California Minority Counsel Program, the Asian Pacific Bar of California, the "No Glass Ceiling" task force of the Bar Association of San Francisco, and the Committee on Women and the Law for the New York City Bar Association. Pillsbury is closely associated with organizations in the community, law schools, bar associations and minority organizations to reach shared goals.

The firm combines its diversity initiatives with recruiting efforts. It sponsors and takes part in Anapata, the Bay Area Diversity Career Fair, Lavender Law, the DC Road Show, and several other diversity recruiting events throughout the year.
Summer associate program

Pillsbury's summer associates learn about and take assignments from multiple practice groups in the firm, working with different lawyers on a variety of matters. In addition to the initial orientation program, a series of luncheons, training seminars and social events are arranged throughout the summer. Formal mid-summer and final reviews supplement the extemporaneous feedback provided to summer associates by the firm's lawyers.

In 2010, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP had a class of 20 summer associates. The firm did not report how many second year law students were considered for offers. The firm did not report how much it pays summer associates.

Pillsbury became the latest firm to curtail summer hiring. It did not host any summer associates in its West Coast offices in 2010 confirming Thursday it likely won't host any summer associates in its West Coast offices in 2010.
Salary & benefits

Pillsbury Winthrop's starting salary ranges from $145,000 to $160,000, depending on the office.

An associate gets a basic salary of $160,000 and a bonus of $30,000 in the first year, and 2nd year the basic is $170,000 and a bonus of $ 35,000, in the third year basic is$ 185,000 and bonus $40,000, in 4th year a salary of $210,000 and $450,000 bonus, in the 5th year the salary is $230,000 and $50,000 bonus and in 6th the basic is $250,000 that goes up to $ 280,000 in 8th year and the bonus goes from $55,000 to $65,000. From 6th year onwards a point-based merit bonus up to $11,200 is given. The point-based merit bonus increases every year thereafter and touches $33,700 in the 8th year. The salaries and bonuses were effective from April 2007.

There is a minimum billable requirement of 1,950 hours. Only 1st years can include training and pro bono work as part of their minimum billable hours. The maximum for inclusion of training hours is 100 hours. All approved pro bono hours after a minimum of 25 are included.

  • Y1 $0-$160,000.00

  • The firm compliments its competitive salary with a wide a range of employee benefits and support programs that include:
  • 401(k)/IRA/Other Retirement Plan
  • 529 College Savings Plan
  • Bar Association Fees
  • Business Casual Dress Code
  • CLE
  • Dental Insurance
  • Domestic Partner Benefits
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Family/Dependent Care Leave
  • Flexible Spending Account/Pre-Tax Option
  • Life/AD&D Insurance
  • Long-term Care Insurance
  • Long-term Disability Insurance
  • Medical Insurance
  • Medical Spending Account
  • Parental Leave
  • Parking/Transportation
  • Relocation Expenses
  • Short-term Disability Insurance
  • Sick Leave
  • Technology (Laptop, PDA, etc.)
  • Vacation Leave
  • Vision Insurance
  • Four weeks' vacation
  • New baby care leave
  • Subsidized back-up child care
  • Leave of absence for public service

Benefits Package: The firm also offers a benefit package that includes a 4 weeks' vacation; health, life, disability insurance; 401K plan; flexible spending account; spousal benefits for same-sex domestic partners; a ""gross-up"" for employees who enroll same-sex domestic partners and same-sex spouses in the Firm's health benefits plans to offset any federal, state and local income taxes that are paid on the value of the partners' benefits and to which heterosexual spouses are not subject; maternity leave for birth mothers and parental and primary childcare leaves for birth and adoptive parents; emergency child care; Bar review course; Bar exam fees; Bar Associations; EAP: pre-tax transit/parking program; technology reimbursement allowance; health club corporate membership rates.
Working for the Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP

You find everything at Pillsbury to fulfill your ambitions. You will be in daily contact with the world's greatest legal luminaries. You have an opportunity to handle leading legal issues. The firm's culture helps you make personal growth. It is easy to work hard in the firm's collaborative environs. Whether the firm's teams are formal or ad hoc, they have entrepreneurial instincts and intellectual advantage to help you reach your goal. This dynamics of the firms allows you to get the needed knowledge. Above all it is fertile ground to develop novel ideas that boost clients' business.

Pillsbury gives all the tools you need to thrive. What makes the firm different from other law firms is its appealing chemistry of teamwork, drive and mutual respect.
Pro bono

The scope and breadth of Pillsbury pro bono practice is as varied as its work for paying clients. Its pro bono practice covers everything between affordable housing and voting rights. It gives basic legal services to the poor. Pillsbury advice nonprofit organizations on matters like formation, mergers, intellectual property, real estate, and tax.

Every attorney has to work annually 25 hours for pro bono clients. The firm's associates get billable hours for all approved pro bono hours sans a ceiling.

A number of fellowships are sponsored to support equal access to justice. The firm backs Equal Justice Works, through which fellowships are sponsored in support of community groups in Washington, DC, and California. The fellowships focus on homeless and the disabled and providing information on workplace rights to immigrants.

The firm also sponsors the Stimson Fellowship, which gives incoming associates an opportunity to spend a year at a public service organization. The recipient of the fellowship gets an annual salary of $ 85,000 and benefits. At the end of the year, the recipient joins the firm.

Volunteering, charity and community participation are the corner-stone of Pillsbury Pro bono service.
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