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.

The compensation program is integrated with CareeRS, Reed Smith’s professional development program. The CareeRS program provides a competencies-based approach to development that identifies what is expected of Reed Smith associates at various career stages and what it takes to advance from Junior to Mid-Level to Senior Associate, and from there to partnership.

Associate Compensation Components

Merit-Based Salary

Starting salaries for entry level Associates vary according to the city in which the Associate’s Reed Smith office is located. 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.

Bonus Program with Profit-Sharing Component

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. The program has two components.

  1. The Profit-Sharing Component is based on achieving 2,000 chargeable plus credited pro bono hours; the payment amount depends on the firm’s overall profitability and the Associate’s “level” assignment (Junior, Mid-Level, or Senior).
  2. The Discretionary Performance Component is designed to reward Reed Smith Associates, above and beyond the Associate’s base salary, based on overall performance and contributions. Bonus awards are made on the recommendation of the Associate’s Practice Group Leader. There is no minimum billable hours requirement for a discretionary performance bonus.


  • Reed Smith maintains a Flexible Benefits Plan under which Associates may select from among an array of benefits. Reed Smith pays part of the monthly premium costs, and the Associates pay their share with pre-tax dollars. Full-time Associates and part-time Associates working 60 percent or more of a full-time schedule are eligible to participate in all benefits. Reed Smith extends benefits coverage to the families and domestic partners of its employees.
  • Reed Smith provides generous paid time off for its Associates, including paid vacation, holidays, and sick time.
  • Reed Smith also provides paid Maternity, Paternity and Adoption leave benefits to Associates after six months of service. Reed Smith also provides subsidized back-up child and adult care to our partners and employees through Bright Horizons.
  • Reed Smith maintains an Associate 401(k) Plan, to which Associates may make pre-tax contributions to save money for retirement.
  • Reed Smith pays the annual attorney license fee for all Associate, Counsel and Fixed Share Partners.
  • Reed Smith’s dress code is “business casual.”
  • For Fixed Share Partners and Counsel, Reed Smith maintains compensation programs, which feature 401(k) plans, bonus programs and employee benefit plans.

Please contact us for more detail on these programs.