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Reed Smith LLP

At a Glance


“Number of hours.”

“Lack of control over assignments.”


“The compensation.”

“Paychecks only once a month.”

“Hours can be demanding.”

About Reed Smith LLP

A Pittsburgh native long intertwined with the city’s industrial kingpins, Reed Smith joined the crowd in globalizing via international mergers in the 21st century. With litigation at the forefront, the firm’s practice strengths also include cross-border transactional and regulatory work.

Steel City Origins

Reed Smith LLP’s rise to prominence can be at least partly credited to a symbiotic relationship with an American industrial tycoon. Attorney James Reed, who founded the firm in Pittsburgh with Philander Knox in 1877, cultivated strong ties with the man most singularly responsible for giving Steel City its blue-collar identity: Andrew Carnegie. In addition to leading the firm’s representation of Carnegie at the peak of his empire-building, Reed served as a charter director of Carnegie’s U.S. Steel. Other industry titans followed Carnegie’s lead in enlisting the burgeoning outfit, and names such as Mellon, Heinz, and Frick soon graced the firm’s client roster.

Edwin W. Smith and other partners joined the firm in the 1880s, and in 1922, the firm adopted the name Reed Smith Shaw & McClay. In more recent years, a series of strategic mergers has resulted in the firm as it is today, with nearly 1,800 attorneys worldwide and the simpler moniker: Reed Smith.

Making Its Mark

While known for its litigation prowess, Reed Smith is a full-service shop, serving corporate and commercial clients on litigation, transactional, regulatory, and other matters. It also fields multi-disciplinary industry groups dedicated to clients in the life sciences/health care, media and entertainment, energy and natural resources, transportation, and financial services sectors. According to the firm’s internal stats, it represents more than half of the world’s 100 largest companies, including top oil and gas companies, auto manufacturers, commercial and savings banks, and pharmaceutical distributors.

Reed Smith has a leading Insurance Recovery practice, acting on behalf of policyholders regarding catastrophic property losses, products claims, securities litigation, and cyber losses. The firm also reviews clients' insurance policies and advises them on negotiating data privacy and security liability insurance policies.

The firm has a stand-out Labor and Employment practice that handles everything from discrimination issues, executive compensation, labor law, pensions, wage and hour, and unfair competition. The firm also works together with clients to develop global HR strategies and to execute global investigations.

Reed Smith’s Health Care practice is another highly regarded area for the firm, which handles litigation, regulatory, and transactional matters. The firm is experienced in a range of health care sectors—from health insurance to life science, and more.

They also work in the entertainment and media space, advising clients from the worlds of advertising and marketing, film and television, music, sports, technology, telecoms, internet, social media, video gaming, interactive, and beyond.

Their international arbitration capabilities have grown over the past several years, now forming a cornerstone of their overall disputes offering.

School’s (Not) Out

Reed Smith is committed to educating its attorneys and staff. In 2004, the firm established Reed Smith University (RSU) through the University of Pennsylvania. The curriculum covers legal skills, leadership, business development, technology, and professional support. RSU is one part of the firm’s CareeRS program, a method of formal training unique to Reed Smith and aimed at covering 12 “competencies” that the firm believes makes for exceptional lawyering and providing developmental opportunities to attorneys.

News & Awards

  • Reed Smith helped achieved a complete defense win in 2022 involving three of the S.’s largest wholesale distributors of prescription drugs.
  • In 2008, Reed Smith secured a unanimous jury verdict on behalf of Wyeth Corp. in a diet drug (Fen-Phen) trial in Philadelphia, the first‐ever defense verdict in this type of case.
  • Reed Smith represented Hugh Caperton in 15-year case against Massey Energy (Hugh M. Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co.). Caperton ultimately prevailed; along the way, the U.S. Supreme Court disqualified a West Virginia judge who received large campaign contributions from one of the parties.
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Framework, 2022—Bloomberg Law
  • Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion, 2022—Disability Equality Index
  • Best Law Firms for Women, 2022—Seramount
  • Corporate Equality Index, 2022—Human Rights Campaign
  • Inclusion Blueprint Champion, 2021—Diversity Lab 
Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith Centre
225 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: (412) 288-3131

Firm Stats

Global Managing Partner: Alexander Thomas
Total No. Attorneys (2022):
1.5K - 2K
No. of Partners Named 2022:
Billable-Hour Requirement:
1,900; 2,000 for bonus eligibility

Base Salary

1st year: $215,000
Summer Associate: $205,000 annualized

Employment Contact

Christine Tallon
Director of U.S. Legal Recruiting
(215) 549-0319

No. of U.S. Offices: 17

No. of International Offices: 13

Major Office Locations

Austin, TX
Century City, CA
Chicago, IL
Dallas, TX
Houston, TX
Los Angeles, CA
Miami, FL
New York, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Pittsburgh, PA
Princeton, NJ
Richmond, VA
San Francisco, CA
Silicon Valley, CA
Tysons, VA
Washington, DC
Wilmington, DE I Abu Dhabi
Hong Kong

Major Departments

Crypto & Digital Assets
Energy & Natural Resources
Entertainment & Media
Environmental, Social & Governance
Financial Industry Group
Global Corporate Group
Global Commercial Disputes
Global Regulatory Enforcement
Insurance Recovery
International Arbitration
Labor & Employment
Life Sciences Health Industry
Real Estate
Records & E-Discovery
State Tax
Tech & Data
White Collar Investigations
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.