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4 Star Rating


Phelps Dunbar LLP

Main Office: 365 Canal Street, Suite 2000 | New Orleans | LA | 70130-6534
Phone: 504-566-1311 | Fax: 504-568-9130





New Orleans






Phelps Dunbar LLP Reviews view all

Reviewed on December 18, 2017

If they didn't pass up so many associates for promotions year after year there would be a lot less resentment in the office.

This firm takes such great care of their people that they rarely leave. They make every effort to see that their associates' needs are met. This makes you want to work that much harder for them.

The pay is a bit on the low side of the scale for this field. The work is difficult and the hours are long.

Former Employee

Reviewed on July 21, 2017

Promotion is also extremely competitive and always takes way longer than you hope or imagine it would. Stick it out, and you'll eventually get it in many cases, but it might take serious tenacity and time.

Phelps Dunbar LLP is the best firm and hopefully the last firm I will ever work for.

Salary ranges are on the low end of the spectrum. The work is demanding and considers necessary trade-offs with other priorities.

Current Employee



Since our founding in New Orleans in 1853, Phelps Dunbar has successfully combined valuable traditions and progressive ideas to become one of the oldest and largest firms across the South. Our firm values practices that foster creative legal analysis and provide practical solutions to legal problems. Each of our five core practice groups - admiralty, business, litigation, labor and employment, and insurance and reinsurance - features attorneys well-versed in specific matters and industries that allow us to individually tailor our services to clients' specific needs. It is our priority to understand the unique aspects and background of our clients' businesses to achieve their goals. We recognize the importance of thorough and efficient high-quality services and draw upon the various experience that our attorneys have attained in specific areas to best serve our client base. The combination of knowledge and experience at Phelps Dunbar contributes to our well founded reputation as a leader in the field of legal services. With office locations across the Gulf Coast as well as Raleigh, North Carolina and London, England, we are able to serve virtually all types of client legal needs across the Third Coast as well as nationally and internationally. Our regional capabilities ensure efficient, responsive and attentive legal solutions to a broad range of issues handled by our firm. Communication and collaboration among attorneys in different locations is valued by our firm to provide sound legal advice and quality services to our clients.

Practice Areas

Phelps Dunbar LLP practices law in the following areas and works with its clients to provide the best possible legal solutions.

Hiring Criteria

Phelps Dunbar LLP follows the set of hiring criteria outlined below.


Pro bono

Pro bono representation is well ingrained in the history of Phelps Dunbar, and to this day our firm continues to strongly encourage our attorneys to undertake pro bono work to serve the legal needs of our community while enhancing the knowledge and skills of our attorneys. The firm fully credits attorneys for the hours attributed to pro bono matters and embraces the highest quality of legal representation. Our pro bono work includes a vast case diversity in both civil and criminal matters. Past matters have included divorce, custody and adoption matters, landlord/tenant disputes, estate (succession) work, child abuse and neglect, tort defense, and consumer problems. In addition to participating in pro bono litigation procedures, Phelps Dunbar attorneys volunteer on a regular basis to assist with client interviews, intake, and referral for community pro bono efforts and programs, as well as in assisting nonprofits and community service organizations in their formation, mission fulfillment and other needs.

Pro bono work taken on by the firm comes from several different sources ensuring that our efforts reach different areas of the community. Cases that meet government-set criteria, court appointed matters, pro bono volunteer organizations, or client referral are some of the methods in which we obtain our pro bono workload. Participation in these efforts happens often at Phelps Dunbar and is, additionally, well received and respected in the firm. We value the needs of our community and favor the enrichment of both young and seasoned litigators. Our long-standing active involvement in pro bono work reflects and is consistent with the recent movement of state mandated pro bono requirements.

Several attorneys in our offices scattered across the Third Coast act as pro bono coordinators to manage and sustain our pro bono practice. Coordinators work alongside partners, counsel and associates to assign, support and aid in the diverse matters we encounter. Furthermore, our attorneys have emerged as leaders within pro bono organizations and associations. Our lawyers are members, officers and board members of programs committed to improving community legal services.

Legal Jobs in New Orleans and Near Locations

Phelps Dunbar LLP Awards and Recognitions Write a review

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business

The Best Lawyers in America

Best Lawyers and U.S. News & World Report

Super Lawyers

Diversity Write a review

Phelps Dunbar recognizes that diversity within our firm provides us with outstanding resources to serve our diverse and growing client base. Our multifaceted legal backgrounds, business experience and commitment to the law have contributed immensely to the firm's recent success in business growth, client service and community participation. Phelps Dunbar is proud of its accomplishments in diversity and is committed to being the market leader among law firms throughout the country. We are dedicated to diversity at all levels throughout the firm, in our society and the communities that sustain our operations.

Since 2002 Phelps Dunbar's efforts to increase minority and women hiring and retention throughout the firm have been acknowledged by others. Specifically, Phelps Dunbar received the first Defense Research Institute (DRI) National Diversity Award in 2002, which recognized the firm's outstanding diversity achievements and commitment. And, we continue to receive awards today. We have held top rankings in a national survey of minority hiring conducted by Minority Law Journal which ranked Phelps Dunbar as one of the top firms having the highest percentage of African American lawyers. Multicultural Law Magazine has listed Phelps Dunbar in the following diversity categories: Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity, Top 25 Law Firms for African Americans, Top 100 Law Firms for Women and Top 50 Law Firms for Partners.

These efforts are a credit to the work of the firm's hiring committee, as well as contributions by the firm's partners and associates. Our attorneys are the key factor in Phelps Dunbar's diversity accomplishments. Collectively, they play an integral part in law firm recruiting and retention of top-level talent through mentoring and leadership roles within the firm as well as with numerous professional and civic organizations. We are active and aggressive in our approach to hiring a diverse array of attorneys based on talent, accomplishments, and experience. In the same regard, Phelps Dunbar does not discriminate based upon gender, race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability or sexual orientation in hiring, promotion or any other aspect of employment.

With a commitment to strengthen diversity in the workplace, Phelps Dunbar has teamed with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), an organization comprised of chief legal officers and managing partners from leading corporations and law firms around the United States. The LCLD is dedicated to making significant, tangible progress on diversity by developing specific goals, implementing measurable metrics and rewarding definitive results. Our firm is also a supporting member of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's Firm Affiliate Network. Through our membership, we participate in efforts to advance the hiring, retention, and promotion of diverse attorneys in legal departments and law firms.

Summer associate program

Phelps Dunbar provides law students opportunities to work at the law firm through various programs that provide a realistic view of the practice of law and how to best service client legal needs. Depending on the office, practice and present needs of the firm, Phelps Dunbar coordinates summer associate programs and law clerking opportunities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Florida, Alabama and North Carolina.

The firm's traditional summer associate program is committed to providing law students a variety of experiences focused on strengthening skills essential to our legal practice. In several of our offices we host a traditional summer program which lasts six to seven weeks during the first-half of the summer. This program allows students to become involved in the day-to-day activities of a law firm practice, including research and writing, attending depositions, investigations, hearings, motions and trials, and corporate and commercial closings. Projects are assigned to summer associates to allow them the opportunity to work in multiple practice areas and groups within the firm. Throughout the program, partners and associates act as mentors to provide the summer clerks with informal evaluations and advice, as well as to help acclimate the student to the firm, practice area and office. Summer associates are provided opportunities to meet our clients and participate in training programs throughout the summer geared to help enhance their skills. Additionally, in an effort to become acquainted with our attorneys on a personal basis, the firm sponsors a number of social and professional functions that allow for interaction in non-work environments.

In addition to or in lieu of the traditional summer programs, Phelps Dunbar has alternate opportunities for the law students to gain exposure to the law firm. Phelps Dunbar hires law clerks when practice groups or offices have additional hiring needs. These opportunities allow students to work during the school year or for intervals in the summer for offices and practices that require additional support. Phelps Dunbar works directly with the law schools to recruit students for these positions and the firm works with each law clerk to determine a mutually agreeable schedule. Similar to our summer program, the law clerk experience allows students to gain exposure to a law firm environment, become involved in the daily activities of an established legal practice, and work side by side with experienced attorneys.


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