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Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:35 pm
by PghLegalWard
I have formulated a list of the top places to work in Pittsburgh. Comments would be appreciated. There are many more firms than the ones I listed, but these are the ones I know the most about.

Top 3

1. Jones Day - Only firm that pays $160K (closest firm is $15K less); 80 attorneys in office (not overly huge); mid-west vibe in the office (not a sweatshop).

2. Cohen & Grigsby - Pay is a bit less than other large firms ($115K); very well respected in Pgh'.; strong work-life balance

3. Dinsmore & Shohl - Pay new associates $120K; only national law firm in Pgh that has not been shedding attorneys left and right; great work-life balance

Middle Tier

1. Saul Ewing - Pro: Pay is high ($145K); Con: office is run out of Philadelphia, so too much travel

2. Dickie McCamey - Pro: great if you are a male Con: awful if you are a female

Bottom 3

1. K&L Gates - Their managing partner just left the firm (Pete Kalis); over 80 PARTNERS left in the past year

2. Reed Smith - SWEATSHOP; managing partner moved his operation to NYC; firm is obsessed with being a NY firm, which doesn't bode well for associates, who often spend the night in their office; history of treating women awful

3. Buchanan Ingersoll - firm hoped a merger with a FL firm would help...it didn't; continue to have high turnover rates; pay does not compare to other big firms

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:40 pm
by Anonymous User
Not sure what the point of this thread is, but I worked at C&G and can say it's the best firm hands down in Pittsburgh in terms of work, compensation, and QOL.

I know classmates who went to many of these firms and each has its pros/cons. Dickie definitely is misogynistic. BIPC and K&L are great for patent/IP-focused individuals.

Pretty sure Saul Ewing, MLB, and Pepper don't hire right out of school.

I could probably answer any questions about these firms in that city if anyone has any.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:47 pm
by Anonymous User
PghLegalWard wrote:I have formulated a list of the top places to work in Pittsburgh. Comments would be appreciated. There are many more firms than the ones I listed, but these are the ones I know the most about.

Top 3

1. Jones Day - Only firm that pays $160K (closest firm is $15K less); 80 attorneys in office (not overly huge); mid-west vibe in the office (not a sweatshop).

2. Cohen & Grigsby - Pay is a bit less than other large firms ($115K); very well respected in Pgh'.; strong work-life balance

3. Dinsmore & Shohl - Pay new associates $120K; only national law firm in Pgh that has not been shedding attorneys left and right; great work-life balance

Middle Tier

1. Saul Ewing - Pro: Pay is high ($145K); Con: office is run out of Philadelphia, so too much travel

2. Dickie McCamey - Pro: great if you are a male Con: awful if you are a female

Bottom 3

1. K&L Gates - Their managing partner just left the firm (Pete Kalis); over 80 PARTNERS left in the past year

2. Reed Smith - SWEATSHOP; managing partner moved his operation to NYC; firm is obsessed with being a NY firm, which doesn't bode well for associates, who often spend the night in their office; history of treating women awful

3. Buchanan Ingersoll - firm hoped a merger with a FL firm would help...it didn't; continue to have high turnover rates; pay does not compare to other big firms


I'm a first year at one of your Bottom 3. Wish I saw this thread a few years back when I was deciding where to work.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:51 pm
by Anonymous User
I summered at one of these firms this past summer.

I can agree with a lot of this, but I think if you want to make a thread on Pittsburgh's legal market you might as well include info about a bunch of other firms excluded here.

I don't have much info about the following, but perhaps someone else can chime in about these firms:

Clark Hill, Babst Calland, Burns White, Fox Rothschild, Eckert Seamans. I'm sure I'm missing a few but these are the ones off the top of my head.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:00 pm
by Anonymous User
Doing a state trial clerkship this year in DC. Any shot/how can I land one of these firms for 2017? top 20%, T20.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:05 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Doing a state trial clerkship this year in DC. Any shot/how can I land one of these firms for 2017? top 20%, T20.


Do you have ties to Pittsburgh? The city, like many smaller markets, typically hires people from Duquesne/Pitt and/or T14 ppl that have ties to the city and the surrounding areas.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:09 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:I'm a first year at one of your Bottom 3. Wish I saw this thread a few years back when I was deciding where to work.

Outed as a RS associate.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:10 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Doing a state trial clerkship this year in DC. Any shot/how can I land one of these firms for 2017? top 20%, T20.


Do you have ties to Pittsburgh? The city, like many smaller markets, typically hires people from Duquesne/Pitt and/or T14 ppl that have ties to the city and the surrounding areas.


Born, raised, and my wife goes to pitt med

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:11 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Doing a state trial clerkship this year in DC. Any shot/how can I land one of these firms for 2017? top 20%, T20.


Do you have ties to Pittsburgh? The city, like many smaller markets, typically hires people from Duquesne/Pitt and/or T14 ppl that have ties to the city and the surrounding areas.

Not sure how a DC state clerkship would help in Pittsburgh but you probably have a shot since the top 10 firms have made great effort to hire people from outside the Pittsburgh area in recent years. Being from Pitt or going to school there is no longer a guarantee of landing a job in the city.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:16 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Doing a state trial clerkship this year in DC. Any shot/how can I land one of these firms for 2017? top 20%, T20.


Do you have ties to Pittsburgh? The city, like many smaller markets, typically hires people from Duquesne/Pitt and/or T14 ppl that have ties to the city and the surrounding areas.

Not sure how a DC state clerkship would help in Pittsburgh but you probably have a shot since the top 10 firms have made great effort to hire people from outside the Pittsburgh area in recent years. Being from Pitt or going to school there is no longer a guarantee of landing a job in the city.


Agreed that going to Pitt and Duquesne in no way lands you a job in Pittsburgh. I didn't know about firms trying to hire people from outside the city, so that is interesting.

To the poster above, your ties are obviously more than sufficient. I would spend time trying to contact alumni in Pittsburgh, networking with people in the city at the firms, etc.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:18 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm a first year at one of your Bottom 3. Wish I saw this thread a few years back when I was deciding where to work.

Outed as a RS associate.


I have also heard only terrible things about Reed Smith. Anecdotal but I did a screener with RS last year (for NY) and the partner interviewing me was by far the worst experience I had in OCI. He was on his phone half the time, he was a braggart, and it was clear he actually hated his work.

I have friends that interviewed at Reed Smith Pittsburgh, and if they had other options they took them, since they had really bad perceptions of the firm as well

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:25 pm
by Anonymous User
Can anyone talk more about Buchanan? I have an offer that I am strongly considering.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:49 pm
by Anonymous User
I'm interviewing for a PA SSC clerkship, do the Pittsburgh firms care?

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:48 pm
by Anonymous User
Is this an overall ranking? I'm curious to hear people's thoughts on the above firms specifically relating to corporate work.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:02 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:I'm interviewing for a PA SSC clerkship, do the Pittsburgh firms care?


Off topic, but are you interviewing for next year?

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:09 pm
by PghLegalWard
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm a first year at one of your Bottom 3. Wish I saw this thread a few years back when I was deciding where to work.

Outed as a RS associate.


I have also heard only terrible things about Reed Smith. Anecdotal but I did a screener with RS last year (for NY) and the partner interviewing me was by far the worst experience I had in OCI. He was on his phone half the time, he was a braggart, and it was clear he actually hated his work.

I have friends that interviewed at Reed Smith Pittsburgh, and if they had other options they took them, since they had really bad perceptions of the firm as well


I have friends who were Summer Associates at Reed Smith. They were in the office until 1am on the regular. If that is how they treat Summer Associates, I can only imagine how they treat their actual associates.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:12 pm
by PghLegalWard
Anonymous User wrote:Can anyone talk more about Buchanan? I have an offer that I am strongly considering.


The firm is a joke....in the late 90s they hired around 40 summer associates...half of them got laid off during the financial crisis. This used to be the place to be, but it has become a landing strip for people who cannot make it at the big firms. It used to be a Pgh based firm...now they are expanding their reach into Florida. Their numbers are down, their salaries are down compared to others, and their reputation is shit. Used to be considered up at the top of local places like C&G and Babst. Now the reputation is about as putrid as Burns White.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:15 pm
by PghLegalWard
Anonymous User wrote:I summered at one of these firms this past summer.

I can agree with a lot of this, but I think if you want to make a thread on Pittsburgh's legal market you might as well include info about a bunch of other firms excluded here.

I don't have much info about the following, but perhaps someone else can chime in about these firms:

Clark Hill, Babst Calland, Burns White, Fox Rothschild, Eckert Seamans. I'm sure I'm missing a few but these are the ones off the top of my head.


None of the firms you mentioned, except for Burns White, consistently has a summer program. Occasionally, Fox Rothschild and Clark Hill will. I have heard good things about Fox Rothschild - good attorneys, good work, and good compensation.

Babst and Eckert have really pigeonholed themselves recently and only hire laterals. It is disappointing that two of the city's biggest employers do not hire young associates. At the same time, it is probably good for clients, who do not need to pay high hourly rates for some newbie to learn the job.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:25 pm
by 1styearlateral
PghLegalWard wrote:Babst and Eckert have really pigeonholed themselves recently and only hire laterals.

This is generally true although there are exceptions. I know people who were hired here right out of school at both firms.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:12 pm
by Anonymous User
I'm not from Pittsburgh or interested in the Pittsburgh market, but I thought these rankings were interesting/helpful. I would love to see something like this for other smaller markets. I've been looking at firms in another secondary market and seeing a list like this would be super helpful (I know it's subjective, but there's so little information available about small markets that anything helps).

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:01 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Not sure what the point of this thread is, but I worked at C&G and can say it's the best firm hands down in Pittsburgh in terms of work, compensation, and QOL.

I know classmates who went to many of these firms and each has its pros/cons. Dickie definitely is misogynistic. BIPC and K&L are great for patent/IP-focused individuals.

Pretty sure Saul Ewing, MLB, and Pepper don't hire right out of school.

I could probably answer any questions about these firms in that city if anyone has any.

I know 2016 grads who are starting at Pittsburgh offices for Saul, MLB, and Pepper this fall. Saul and MLB had OCI at Pitt.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:07 pm
by Anonymous User
I hear Saul Ewing is sort of miserable. The people I know there have to travel a lot, since the office is primarily a subsidiary of its major office in Philly. To say it is even a satellite office is to do satellite offices across the nation a disservice. It has about 15 attorneys in Pittsburgh.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:09 pm
by PghLegalWard
Anonymous User wrote:Is this an overall ranking? I'm curious to hear people's thoughts on the above firms specifically relating to corporate work.


I think the top three above are your strongest in terms of corporate work. K&L leads the way relating to IP. Reed Smith leads the way in unhappiness.

Clark Hill is essentially where you go to commit career suicide, as the firm is going nowhere.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:32 am
by Anonymous User
Whats busy in PGH right now? Im the DC clerk looking to network in, and I have some time to do it.

Re: Pittsburgh Legal Market

Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:45 am
by drs36
Employment law is big in Pgh right now. Corporate is also pretty busy. Lit, not so much.