2022 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“Excellent culture, where sophisticated legal work meets kindness to get the work done."
“Pro bono opportunities.”
“Nothing that is not unique to working as a lawyer (tedious research, stress of responsibility, etc.).”
“Relatively low brand-recognition outside of New York.”
About Patterson Belknap
With around 200 attorneys working out of its single outpost in Manhattan, Patterson Belknap may seem like a modest operation relative to New York’s megafirms, but the firm holds its own. Handling litigation and corporate matters on behalf of clients from such disparate fields as media, financial services, banking, private equity and life sciences, the firm also represents nonprofits and foundations on a wide range of matters.
A Distinguished Career
Patterson Belknap was founded in New York City in 1919. Leading name partner Robert P. Patterson was a veteran, judge—sitting on the U.S. District Court and then the Second Circuit—and Harry Truman's Secretary of War. In the late 1940s, Patterson joined the firm that would become Patterson Belknap, joined by his Harvard classmates Vanderbilt Webb and Chauncey Belknap. Fourth and final name partner, Harold R. Tyler, joined the firm in the late 1970s. Tyler was an eminent New York federal judge, Deputy U.S. Attorney General, and a leader of the New York City Bar Association.
Big Apple Loyalty
Today, Patterson Belknap is a full-service firm with commercial law and litigation strengths across dozens of practice groups. The firm’s Structured Finance Litigation group, established at the onset of the financial crisis in 2007, has significant expertise when it comes to disputes related to residential mortgage-backed securities, CDOs, credit default swaps, and other complex financial instruments. The firm also has a growing white collar defense practice that handles sensitive government investigations, internal investigations, and parallel civil actions for large companies, nonprofits, and individuals. And the firm couldn’t have chosen a better location for its well-established art and museum practice—Patterson Belknap has worked with several of the city's largest museums, collectors, and art estates (including the Jean-Michel Basquiat authentication committee).
Patterson Belknap has also carved out a key niche with its law firm defense practice, which represents individual attorneys as well as other law firms—from small local shops to large regional and national practices. In fact, Patterson Belknap has become one of the nation's heavy hitters in defending legal malpractice and fraud claims. In addition, the firm helps other lawyers and practices settle disputes about partnership compensation, manage disciplinary proceedings, and handle conflict disclosure claims.
Committed to Doing Good
Patterson Belknap is a top-ten firm in Vault’s Top Law Firms for Pro Bono ranking, but you don’t just have to take our word for it. The firm proudly boasts that since 2004, 100 percent of the firm’s attorneys have participated in pro bono projects each year, which has earned them continuous top rankings in The American Lawyer. The firm also received Benchmark Litigation’s 2021 “Pro Bono Firm of the Year” award for its work representing a union of Department of Homeland Security officers who opposed restrictions placed on refugees seeking entry. And these are just a couple of examples from the long list of local and national awards Patterson Belknap has received for its pro bono work over the years.
We are committed to ensuring the safety and comfort of all candidates and Firm personnel throughout the interview process and beyond. To that end, we will be participating in the 2021 OCI process virtually. To the extent candidates are comfortable meetings in-person, we are happy to welcome fully vaccinated individuals to visit the office.
Why Work Here
About Patterson Belknap
Patterson Belknap’s success over the last 100 years is rooted in five core values: Excellence, Integrity, Accountability, Inclusion, and Service. These core values are demonstrated each day by our attorneys and staff, and are fundamental to how we work with each other and our clients. In celebration of the Firm’s centennial anniversary, we asked some of the people who have helped make the Firm what it is today to reflect on their experiences:
1133 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 336-2000
Managing Partner: Lisa E. Cleary
Hiring Partners: Catherine Williams and Josh Goldberg
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
150 - 250
No. of Partners Named 2021:
1,850 billable hours and 2,100 hours overall
1st year: $205,000
2nd year: $215,000
3rd year: $240,000
4th year: $275,000
5th year: $305,000
6th year: $330,000
Chief People, Diversity, and Professional Development Officer
General Recruiting Email: LegalRecruiting@pbwt.com
No. of U.S. Offices: 1
No. of International Offices: 0
New York, NY
Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
Law Firm Defense
Privacy & Data Security
Structured Finance Litigation
Tax Exempt Organizations
Trusts and Estates
White Collar Defense and Investigations
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.