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Legal Jobs > Law Firm Profiles > Reed Smith LLP.

Reed Smith 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
Reed Smith LLP.

Reed Smith LLP.
Reed Smith LLP.
Main office Reed Smith Centre, 225 Fifth Avenue | Pittsburgh | PA | 15222
Phone 412-288-3131 
Fax 412-288-3063 
Year of establishment 1877
Number of offices 23
Largest office Pittsburgh
Number of attorneys 836
Number of associates 363
Number of partners 352
Partner: associate ratio 1.00
Percent women attorneys 39.50
Percent minority attorneys 17.70


Reed Smith LLP, a global law firm, founded in 1877 is steeped in history and is one of the country's oldest legal firms. It has more than 1,600 lawyers in 23 offices throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It is renowned for its expertise in a broad range of industrial sectors that sees it representing and counseling 13 of the world's 15 largest commercial and savings banks; 8 of the world's largest oil and gas companies and three of the world's largest pharmaceutical distribution and wholesale companies.

Reed Smith's shipping practice has been designated among the best in the world, and its advertising law practice is regarded as among the legal industries finest. Reed Smith has garnered a reputation of delivering first-rate service and developing long-term client relationships.

The firm has been identified as one of the few large law firms that put client satisfaction amongst its top priorities. The firm is known for its outstanding capabilities in dealing in complex litigation and other high-stake disputes, cross-border and other strategic transactions, and crucial regulatory matters. Based on the results of a survey of Fortune 1000 in-house counsel, the BTI Consulting Group has ranked Reed Smith among the top firms for client service eight years running.

American Industrial tycoon Attorney James Reed founded the firm in 1877 along with fellow 24 year-old Philander Knox, in the steel-city of Pittsburgh, naming it Knox and Reed. In 1881 Edwin W. Smith, George E. Shaw and Samuel McClay joined the firm.

A part of the credit for Reed Smith LLP's scaling exalted heights can go to the work-for-mutual-benefit creed that both shared with Andrew Carnegie, the man widely recognized as giving Pittsburgh its blue-collar identity. Both the founding partners forged strong ties with Carnegie and apart from representing Carnegie at the peak of his empire-building, Reed served as a charter director of Carnegie's U.S. Steel. The association with US Steel, the world's first billion-dollar corporation brought in name and fame and along with it other industrialists and financiers, prominent among them, Mellon, Heinz and Frick.

In 1922, the partnership renamed itself Reed Smith Shaw & McClay, a name that stood until shortened in 2000. In 1995 Reed Smith opened an office in New York which ultimately grew to become the firm's largest office. In 2001 it joined forces with the United Kingdom law firm of Warner Cranston, establishing the firm's international presence. 4 years later it expanded further and opened in Munich. In its 125th year of existence, it becomes a Global Top 50 Firm. In 2007 Reed Smith absorbed London-based Richards Butler, gaining some 250 lawyers, and Chicago-based Sachnoff & Weaver, the latter bringing in 130 lawyers. Over the past decade, Reed Smith has expanded rapidly, adding about 1,000 lawyers mainly via combinations with other firms.
Areas of practice

  • Advertising
  • Technology & Media
  • Antitrust & Competition
  • Appellate
  • Bankruptcy & Commercial Restructuring
  • Construction and Engineering
  • Corporate & Securities
  • Data Privacy
  • Security
  • and Management
  • Employment & Labor
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Environmental Law
  • Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits
  • Export
  • Customs & Trade
  • Finance
  • Financial Services Litigation
  • Financial Services Regulatory
  • Global Regulatory Enforcement
  • Government Contracts & Grants
  • Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense
  • Health Care
  • Hedge Funds
  • Higher Education
  • Insurance Recovery
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Arbitration
  • Investment Management
  • Life Sciences Transactions & Regulatory
  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • Pensions
  • Private Equity
  • Pro Bono
  • Product Liability
  • Public Policy & Infrastructure
  • Real Estate
  • Records & E-Discovery
  • Region-Specific Business
  • Securities Litigation & Enforcement
  • Shipping
  • Sovereign Wealth Funds
  • Sports Group
  • State Tax Practice
  • Tax-Exempt / Nonprofit Organizations
  • Transactional Tax Practice
  • Wealth Planning
Notable cases

  • With a heritage of more than 135 years behind them Reed Smith have notched up some remarkable triumphs. Some of the more notable cases are as under:
  • In an ongoing case on behalf of Merck and its more than 1,000 cases related to its groundbreaking product NuvaRing, a Reed Smith team engaged in a no-settlement strategy obtaining the right to conduct complete, exhaustive discovery in 19 bellwether cases. The motion practice has achieved the dismissal of claims, summary judgment wins and more than 70 cases have been dismissed.
  • Reed Smith represented Essex Woodlands, a global health care growth equity and venture capital firm, in a strategic partnership with Smith & Nephew, the largest UK-based medical device company, to fund the spinout of Smith & Nephew's Biologics and Clinical Therapies division and develop a leading global orthopedic biologics company, named Bioventus.
  • In April 2012 Reed Smith served as lead counsel for US-based Federated Investors in its signing of a
Awards and recognitions

Reed Smith's work has been noted by industry observers. The Lawyer named Reed Smith its runner-up for U.S. Law Firm of the Year, and The American Lawyer named the firm "Litigation Department of the Year" in the product liability category. The Deal highlighted Reed Smith's commercial restructuring and bankruptcy practice as among the most active. Asian-Counsel named Reed Smith's Hong Kong office "Firm of the Year" in two categories, Commercial Transactions and M&A.
In May 2012 Reed Smith LLP was named a 2012 "Top Ten Family Friendly Firm" by Yale Law Women (YLW). The firm was selected in recognition of its "leadership in developing and implementing family-friendly policies and practices." Earlier In 2011 and 2012 it was recognized as one of only three firms to qualify for all six requirements of the Women In Law Empowerment Forum's (WILEF) Gold Standard Certification, which reflect a firm's percentage of women in partnership, leadership and top compensation ranks.
In June 2009 it was ranked 1st out of 411 law firms by The BTI Client Relationship Scorecard for building and maintaining client relationships.
Hiring criteria

With 23 offices across the United States and around the world, Reed Smith actively recruits talented legal professionals in a variety of positions including attorneys, paralegals and legal support staff.

Reed Smith's compensation programs emphasize merit-based criteria. Its associate compensation package includes market competitive, merit-based salaries, associate 401(k) plans, profit sharing, individual discretionary bonuses, individual production bonuses, origination bonuses as well as employee and other benefits.

Apart from the general hiring criteria, it seeks in its candidate's exceptional academic achievement, participation in law school activities (law review, moot court, etc.) prior work experience, strong interpersonal skills and commitment to the Pittsburgh market.

Reed Smith LLP feels that with a legal practice straddling the globe and spanning the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, they are a body as diverse as the dissimilar community they are privileged to serve. Yet they believe that their diverse structure does not translate into true diversity unless there is full integration of the unique talents and perspectives of every aspect of their business.

Reed Smith adheres rigidly to its core values of Integrity, Quality, Teamwork & Respect, Performance, and Innovation & Improvement. This they say is what drives them to the heights that they have attained. The firm priority is to recruit, retain and promote individuals not just without regard to their race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status or physical challenge, but because of the unique qualities and the value they bring to the firm and its clients.

The firm has a vibrant Women's Initiative Network (WINRS) to promote the successful development and advancement of their women lawyers.
Summer associate program

Reed Smith offers law students first-rate work in a challenging and busy atmosphere where their contributions count from day one. Summer associates will become immersed in law firm life by completing assignments relating to actual client situations. Each assignment presents a fresh opportunity for summer associates to hone their research, writing, judgment, communication and analytical skills.

The firm offers its summer associates numerous chances to participate in both formal and informal training programs, such as: managing partner's forum, mediation and mergers and acquisitions clinics, law firm economics, cross-cultural training and legal writing. Summer associates also have numerous opportunities to participate in pro bono and community service projects.

A majority of the summer associates are considered for offers and a large percentage of the associates want to continue their careers at Reed Smith. Respondents say that the experience they garnered was invaluable and they relished the opportunity to learn from partners and associates who helped them to focus on what they really wanted to do. They say that it taught them the value of relationships. The firm says that many of their nearly 1600 lawyers were Reed Smith summer associates who stayed because of relationships built with clients and colleagues.
Salary & benefits

Reed Smith's goal is to attract, retain, develop, motivate, and reward high quality attorneys in each of its offices. To this end, Reed Smith maintains a compensation program which emphasizes "total compensation" within a merit-based system.

Starting salaries for entry level associates vary according to the city in which the associate's Reed Smith office is located. Reed Smith's starting salary ranges from $115,000 to $160,000, depending on the office. Thereafter, salaries are adjusted based on merit as a result of the annual performance evaluation process, through which the Associate's performance and progress with respect to published competencies are assessed. Salary adjustments are effective January 1 of each year.

Reed Smith rewards outstanding Associate performance in each calendar year through its Associate Bonus Program. Associates hired on or before October 1 in a given year are eligible.

  • Y1 $0-$145,000.00

  • 401(k)/IRA/Other Retirement Plan
  • 529 College Savings Plan
  • Bar Association Fees
  • Business Casual Dress Code
  • Child Care Subsidy
  • CLE
  • Dental Insurance
  • Domestic Partner Benefits
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Family/Dependent Care Leave
  • Flexible Spending Account/Pre-Tax Option
  • Health Club Membership
  • Life/AD&D Insurance
  • Long-term Care Insurance
  • Long-term Disability Insurance
  • Medical Insurance
  • Medical Spending Account
  • On-site Child Care - Emergency
  • Parental Leave
  • Parking/Transportation
  • Profit Sharing
  • Relocation Expenses
  • Short-term Disability Insurance
  • Sick Leave
  • Technology (Laptop, PDA, etc.)
  • Vacation Leave
  • Vision Insurance

Benefits Package: Health, dental, life & disability insurance; 401(k) Plan; Flex.Spending Accts.; Pretax Transit Prog.; gym membership; 4 wks.vacation (5 wks. after 4th yr anniv.);18 wks. primary caregiver leave; 5 wks. secondary caregiver leave; New Mother's Room; off-site & emergency child care; Flex-Time program and Telecommuting program; Employee Assistance Program; moving expenses; broker fee; bar review tuition; NYS bar exam fee; one bar membership dues annually; travel & lodge for Bar Exam/Albany; law school matching gift program.
Working for the Reed Smith LLP.

Although Reed Smith works from multiple locations, the firm's lawyers are linked by more than technology. All share a common culture, with core values supporting Reed Smith's firm-wide commitment to add value, achieve excellence, and promote professional development. These foster a workplace in which diversity and inclusion, pro bono service and community support are manifest. As the firm continues to grow, it remains sharply attuned to its core values, which define its professional character as well as what clients can expect from Reed Smith lawyers, who live these values every day. Reed Smith strives to create an environment were all feel welcomed, valued and respected, where one can grow professionally, without fear of being discriminated against. It will be a matter of status and standing to work in one of the world's leading law firms.
Pro bono

Reed Smith is a proud charter signatory to the Pro Bono Institute's Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge, devoting more than three percent of its billable time to pro bono work. The firm is also a founding member of Advocates for International Development and a signatory to the United Kingdom Joint Protocol for Pro Bono Work.

In 2011, 67 percent of lawyers in its U.S., European and Middle Eastern offices did pro bono work valued--if calculated at normal billable rates--at more than $25 million. The firm performed more than 60,000 pro bono hours in 2011.

The firm is proud of its pro bono efforts and has received prominent recognition and awards for its pro bono efforts.

The firm is also active in community work that does not require legal assistance. These include delivering hot Holiday meals to those suffering from AIDS, conducting clothing and gift drives for the homeless and lower income people, repairing houses of elderly and disabled people and other similar altruistic projects.
In the news

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