Lateral Look: Alston & Bird

Life’s a peach at this Atlanta-founded juggernaut, which has joined the billion-dollar revenue club of firms and has an array of top-notch practices in areas like corporate, finance, and litigation at its disposal.

Alston & Bird Lateral Profile 2023

Since flying its Southeastern nest in its home state of Georgia, Alston & Bird has spread its wings across the globe. “We trace our roots back to 1893 and started in Atlanta,” chairman Richard Hays tells us. “Fortunately, due to the growth of our clients, we’ve been able to develop over the years and open offices across the US, as well as in London, Brussels, and Beijing.”

A&B’s work in sectors like retail and food and beverages is lauded by Chambers USA, which also bestows plenty of nationwide kudos on areas like government contractscapital marketsfinancial services regulation and international trade. A whole host of top-tier accolades decorate A&B’s work in Atlanta, including those for corporatelitigationlabor and employment, and healthcare expertise. In Charlotte, A&B is highly respected for its IP know-how, while in New York the firm’s white-collar litigation and tax capabilities come to the fore.  

View the firm's Chambers USA rankings 

Read the firm's Inside View feature on junior associate life

Why did you join your firm? Associates say…

"Reputation for great culture; practice area interest; geography."

"It had an outstanding reputation in the Atlanta community."

"The ability to practice the type of law I wanted to do in the industry I wanted to be in, the support resources, and the team of people who are all experts in their fields."


 Strategic Recruitment Focuses 2023

Capital markets / mergers & acquisitions careers

The view from the firm: The firm’s attorneys have extensive experience with complex mergers and acquisitions, spinoffs, going-private transactions, joint ventures and similar transactions for clients in a broad range of industries, representing bidders, target companies, stockholders, boards of directors and financial advisors. Alston & Bird lawyers have been involved in all aspects of leveraged buyouts and distressed sales and can handle the acquisition and financing of public and nonpublic companies of any size.

M&A clients: Mohawk Industries; Houlihan Lokey; Spectrum Science Communications

Recent highlight: Represented communications company Cox Enterprises om a $150 million investment in Nexus Circular, an Atlanta-based recycling company focused on plastics.

Finance careers

The view from the firm: Alston & Bird has one of the leading structured finance and securitization practices in the country. It represents many of the most active issuers, originators, master servicers, servicers, trustees, fund managers, investors, domestic and foreign financial institutions, rating agencies and insurers in a variety of debt financings. The practice puts its deep bench in several leading US financial centers and in London into play to lead transactions in virtually every asset class of the structured finance and securitization markets.

Finance clients: CAPTRUST; First Community Bank; Modern Wealth Management

Recent highlight: Represented New Jersey-based wealth management advisor Pathstone Family Office in its acquisition of Texas-based advisory boutique Brainard Capital Management.

Healthcare careers

The view from the firm: The firm is home to one of the most extensive, full-service healthcare practices in the United States, with demonstrated transactional, regulatory, public policy, government investigations and litigation expertise, including former senior health policy and enforcement officials from the US Congress and executive branch departments and agencies, including the White House, Departments of Justice and Health & Human Services, and Food and Drug Administration.

Healthcare clients: Fresenius Kabi; Noramco; Friends of Cancer Research

Recent highlight: Serves as outside general counsel for the Reagan-Udall Foundation, a non-profit organisation linked to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

Intellectual property careers

The view from the firm: Alston & Bird’s IP practice is one of the largest and most highly regarded of any general practice firm in the United States. The group provides a full range of intellectual property services, including patentability and prosecution, litigation, post-grant review proceeding expertise and services, patent maintenance, counseling regarding infringement avoidance and validity and infringement studies and opinions.

IP clients: Skechers; Hilton Hotels Corporation; T-Mobile

Recent highlight: Represented Nokia, Ericsson, AT&T, and Verizon in a multi-patent litigation involving cellular telecommunication patents.

Litigation careers

The view from the firm: Alston & Bird’s attorneys have litigated in virtually every major industrialized jurisdiction around the world. The firm’s litigation experience includes antitrust, bankruptcy, construction, environmental and land development, ERISA, international trade and regulatory, labor and employment, securities, products liability and class actions.

Litigation clients: Wells Fargo; U.S. Soccer Federation; The Bank of Baroda

Recent highlight: Investigated allegations against the US Men's National Team head coach, as well as potential inappropriate behaviour towards US Soccer officials and staff.


 Career Development & the Path to Partnership



1.1 : 1


partners made in 2022

associate : partner gearing

of associates intend to make partner




felt partnership was achievable for attorneys with children felt partnership was achievable at the firm agreed partners
are nurturing
future leaders


The view from the firm: Our one-on-one mentoring program for junior lawyers is designed to guide associates through their first few years of practice. Our A&BCD Initiative focuses on group coaching and is designed to support Senior Associates in the development of the skills, knowledge and relationships necessary to succeed. Additionally, we have practice-specific skills checklists for use as a benchmarking guide through each level of development. We provide our own internal course offerings through Alston & Bird University. Our Business Development training curriculum is offered to all lawyers and our experienced Marketing Specialists are available to assist with individual business development needs and plans.


 Hours & Compensation





billable hours

average number of vacation days associates took in one year

average number of hours associates worked in one week




agreed they had a good work-life balance

said the benefits package makes the workload worthwhile

found the bonus allocation fair and transparent



1st year: $215,000

*The firm did not disclose salaries beyond this point.


The view from the firm: We provide competitive compensation and a merit bonus program with 150 pro bono hours counted toward hours-based bonus qualification. The Firm’s Flexible Time Off Policy permits all salaried attorneys to take time away from work with pay for rest and relaxation at their discretion. Our wide range of benefits, work life balance programs, and alternative work arrangements and career options are designed to address the challenges of balancing the demands of family and career and provide the support and resources our attorneys need to successfully integrate their work and personal lives at every stage of development.


 Is Alston & Bird the right firm for you?




were happy in their current role

     agreed the work is interesting

The view from the firm: Lateral hiring is critical to Alston & Bird's overall talent strategy and long-term commitment to our clients. We highly value the experience and expertise our lateral attorneys bring to the firm, and we integrate them fully as future partners and leaders. We seek highly motivated attorneys who are committed to their practice, are intellectually curious, and who celebrate a diverse and inclusive work environment. Our website job board contains current opportunities available throughout the firm and is updated in real time.

We asked survey respondents what stands out about the firm's culture?

"Diversity initiatives; pro bono exposure."

"Continuously ranked as a great place to work. Everyone is genuinely themselves. Small firm culture in a big law office."

"The people. They take their work seriously, but they don't take themselves seriously."


 Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing





reported strong performance in inclusivity training

of partners are women

of associates identify as ethnically diverse

Pro Bono




average pro bono
per US attorney    

    agreed the firm is committed to pro bono


Pro bono highlights: Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (racial and social justice); ACLU of Louisiana's Justice Lab (criminal justice reform); asylum/immigration matters



Learn more about opportunities at the firm

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