Polsinelli PC - The Inside View

Meet Polsinelli, a national stalwart specializing in healthcare, real estate, and financial services who's stolen the hearts of its associates.

“We’re a full-service mid-market firm – one of the largest US-only firms,” CEO Chase Simmons cheerfully recaps during our call, “We work for some of the largest companies in the world.” With undeniable growth from its Kansas City roots in the ‘70s, the Polsinelli of today boasts over 20 offices nationwide from coast to coast. Considering the firm’s wide reach, you’re bound to find your fit amongst one of the numerous key city bases. Moreover, Simmons outlines: “We’ve got a sector focus that drives who we are, and that is real estate, financial services, healthcare, and private equity.” So, there are opportunities aplenty for ambitious folks!

With its home in Kansas City, it was the appealing combination of “driven, high-quality work and Midwestern values unlike the coastal city firms” that captured the attention of our juniors. One insider praised Polsinelli for being “a large firm that feels strong, yet with over a thousand lawyers, it doesn’t feel like a huge law firm. I know everyone I work with – it has a small firm feel with large law firm access!” Others emphasized “the deep bench of expertise and the breadth of experience I knew I would get in the healthcare space” as their reasoning for choosing Polsinelli. One business associate even cited their interview as what sealed the deal: “Everyone was super welcoming; it was not a one-way conversation. They checked off all the professional boxes, they had exciting projects and clients, and I wanted to be somewhere that I could explore.”

“We practice everywhere from New York to California – and all the states in between!”

Our interviewees gushed that “we practice everywhere from California to New York – and all the states in between!” As such, the scope of the firm’s practice received an A+ from our sources as well as Chambers USA, with over 40 rankings across 13 states and exemplary nationwide recognition for its privacy & data security:healthcare expertise. The associates on our list were found mostly in Kansas City, Denver, St Louis, and Nashville, alongside many others dotted around offices like Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Strategy & Future

“This past year has been a good and steady year of us continuing our existing strategy,” Simmons tells us. What’s the strategy? “We’ve been focusing on growing our existing offices,” he supplements, continuing, “While we’re a high growth-oriented firm, the things that are important to us, such as our clients and sectors, are pretty much the same.”

Looking at industry trends in response to the transactional slowdown, Simmons emphasizes that “as a full-service firm, that’s something we’re prepared for.” Considering the firm’s sector focuses, Simmons explains, “We just keep working on our plan knowing that the market may bounce around a little bit, as the areas we’re focused on are right for us in the long run.”

The Work

Most of the associates on our list were found in business, real estate and finance, and healthcare, with the rest spread across commercial litigation and IP. Work assignment varies by department; some groups operate on something of a hybrid staffing system, while others require associates to fill out a weekly report to indicate their availability. While some recalled having to work the hallways early on, many others highlighted the organic nature of staffing: “In your first year, a lot of it comes from shareholders and senior associates helping you acclimatize,” one shared, “and then overtime, as you get more comfortable, you reach out to others for work.”

“Being able to manage that process in a bigger way than in the past was very satisfying – I can see that progress!”

For those drawn to corporate and transactional work, the business department at Polsinelli hosts a variety of practices such as M&A, private equity, venture capital, global franchising, tax, and tech transactions & data privacy. On the M&A front, a junior outlined, “We work on some smaller deals, as well as lots of mid-market clients and bigger hospital deals.” We heard that tech transactions attorneys have their own focus on software and licensing deals, “supporting the M&A teams when they’re running a deal to provide assistance with analyzing the different parties and IP issues.” Juniors should expect to roll up their sleeves to research, perform due diligence, draft memos and ancillary documents, review and summarize contracts, eventually building up to liaising with internal specialists and clients. It was noted that “on leanly staffed deals, you can learn faster by getting that bigger role with a shareholder and clients.” As reflected by a second year, “I closed a deal two weeks ago; I was able to prepare the first drafts and worked with shareholders to review them. Being able to manage that process in a bigger way than in the past was very satisfying – I can see that progress!”

Business clients: Caraway Home, Yardstick Management, Camp Pickle Growth. Represented FFL, a private equity firm, in their acquisition of Mid State Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center in a deal worth $22 million.

Over in the esteemed real estate and finance practice, Polsinelli covers “bankruptcy, capital markets, financial services, and litigation. The real estate division is the more dirt-adjacent practice,” involving the likes of “construction, environment, straight real estate acquisitions, dispositions, licensing, zoning and titling,” an insider outlined. Sources recalled working on a variety of deals for student housing, apartment complexes, retail, agricultural, and healthcare deals. “We do a lot of acquisition and disposition work, as well as working with developer clients by reviewing site plans and establishing associations, getting everything set up for when they do build,” a junior explained. So, “when I first started out, I was preparing closing documents, building familiarity with transactional documents, due diligence, and getting the first cut at documents, reviewing them with partners,” one interviewee detailed, adding that “now, I’ m actively running point on certain deals.” Insiders valued “the trust partners have given me in managing client relationships by allowing me to communicate directly on very complex matters. I’ve really enjoyed the experience, and it’s given me a strong base of understanding as to who my clients are.”

Real estate and finance clients: Midland States Bank, Bridge33 Capital, Platform Ventures. Assisted Flint Development in the sale and acquisition of over 50 properties over a 12-month period in a matter valued at $1 billion.

The nationally renowned healthcare practice is structured by its litigation, alignment & organization, and operations offerings. “Our biggest clients include homecare organizations and hospital clients. Another pillar includes the likes of telehealth, behavioral health, and talk therapy providers. Sometimes, we have an influx of clients who are doing Medspa and Botox, which is an interesting gray area that isn’t a regulated scope of practice,” an associate enthused. Operations focuses on maintaining ongoing healthcare related operations and reimbursement matters, with associates “acting as regulatory specialists.” After interviewees raved about the cross-group collaboration available to healthcare juniors, we were told that litigators work on reimbursement disputes, a lot of which are commercial insurance based. While tasks vary depending on the matter, juniors listed research, drafting, due diligence, and answering client questions as typical activities, on top of which litigators mentioned getting involved in preparing briefs and cross examinations for depositions. Of this, a junior praised, “I’ve found everything challenging – in a good way – and not one of those challenges has been something I couldn’t handle or be mentored through,” adding that “I wanted to be intellectually challenged.”

Healthcare clients: University of Washington, Friendship Senior Options, Universal Health Services. Acted as counsel for Northwest Senior Housing in a regulatory and restructuring matter arising as fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Career Development

Fresh-faced juniors kick off their time at the firm paired with either a senior associate or shareholder mentor within their practice. Sources affirmed that organic mentorship extends beyond this though: “I’ve had good experiences with people taking an interest in my career, having regular conversations about where I am and what’s ahead. I’ve also been encouraged to join organizations that will benefit my career.” As junior lawyers, first and second years can take advantage of up to 50 shadow hours. “It’s a nice perk that can be used as billable credit to attend client calls and pitches to see how partners interact with clients to generate business. It’s a way of getting us involved!” this associate hailed. Alongside CLE, associates have access to Polsinelli Library, a wealth of training presentations and ‘how to’ guides.

“Polsinelli is invested in me and my training, with the view in mind of me staying for the long-term.”

All these support structures are in place for juniors in the buildup to the formal ‘Polsinelli Path’ program for fourth years and above. One junior clarified: “You’re paired with a path finder (each associate selects their own path finder – either a shareholder or a practice group leader!) who helps you navigate the path to partnership, in-house placements, or whatever else you want to aim towards.” Our interviewees mentioned looking forward to this “more intentional formal training” where associates receive guidance and feedback from their mentors for both short- and long-term career goals. All this shapes why associates felt that “Polsinelli is invested in me and my training, with the view in mind of me staying for the long-term.”

Polsinelli is recognized as an Excellent Performer in retention in our 2024 survey.


“The culture is largely influenced by the firm’s distinctive Kansas City Midwestern roots.”

“One of the things I really appreciate is the collaborative and welcoming culture,” an insider applauded, with another source commenting that “the culture is largely influenced by the firm’s distinctive Kansas City Midwestern roots.” Others echoed this by stressing that “it’s about the small things. You can talk to others about how you’re doing professionally and personally, which builds a lot of trust. Everyday, someone asks about how you are or is telling you about something – like a cool concert they’re going to and inviting you to that, or just knowing things about each other’s lives and families.” And on that note, we heard that “teams are respectful of family obligations; if you need to take time off or have appointments that pull you away from normal business hours, as a team, we’ll cover for each other.”

Social events go all out in the summer (we heard about football games and attending the local annual Rodeo), many of which are held for clients and incoming summer associates. It was highlighted that in Kansas City, “we have little perks with restaurants and bars so as an associate, you can go out with others and unwind.” More casually, we were told that across the firm, there are plenty of regular lunches, which contributes to “the culture of people being so friendly – especially with a lot of office presence!”

Hours & Compensation

Billable hours: 1,900 target

Needing to hit the 1,900 target to secure their bonus, interviewees agreed that it’s “achievable,” but as one insider mentioned, “it was hard when the market slowed down last year; this year, there has been plenty of work though, so there are no issues related to that!” As well as a steady workflow, the various buckets of pro bono, DEI, mindfulness, and shadow hours were seen as positive structures in place supporting that goal. Compensation-wise, the bonuses are lockstep for the first three years and then become individualized after that; of this, an insider commented, “I appreciate it, as we’re pretty well-compensated for the work we do.”

Overall, sources mentioned aiming to bill between seven to nine hours a day, with survey respondents working a weekly average of 45.4 hours. As explained by one interviewee, “it’s a pretty good cycle. I have good time in the mornings and evenings when my time is protected.” But of course, “there are days where it’s more intense with lots of early mornings,” another insider added, “but it’s the exception rather than the rule.” The hybrid working policy was described as “interesting. There’s no formal policy that says you need to be in a certain amount of time, but the firm is trying to aim for people to be in office more regularly as it’s harder to develop relationships remotely.”

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

“Polsinelli is taking an active role,” an associate said of the firm’s diverse representation. Sources highlighted representation of women amongst the associate and partner ranks – with just under 30% of partners and around half of associates being women – but indicated that work still needs to be done when it comes to DEI, a common viewpoint in BigLaw. As part of the firm’s initiatives, diverse candidates have access to the Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship Program. Last year, Polsinelli achieved Mansfield 6.0 Plus Certification and has since committed to the 7.0 program.

Associates can credit up to 50 hours towards DEI participation like affinity group activity or attending talks and events as billable. Many were keen to highlight the LGBTQ+ Resource Group, which is “very active when it comes to events such as Pride Month and different ones across the country, including the Lavender Law Conference (which is massive – and they sponsor it!)." Other groups include the Black Resource Group; the Latin Alliance, Asian and Pacific Islander; and the Women’s Empowerment Committee. An insider told us that “the Women’s group enjoyed a ‘how to read a wine menu’session and afterwards, they sent everyone a bottle as a gift!”

Pro Bono

Good news! Up to 50 hours of pro bono can count towards the billable target at Polsinelli, but as this insider confirmed, “It’s not a problem to go over the 50 hours – it just needs to be approved beforehand.” There are pro bono coordinators at the firm who provide associates with an array of opportunities to get involved in, and many of our sources were keen to highlight the community aspect of their work with local legal aid clinics. Although, it was mentioned by a few associates that pro bono was “an area we could improve on” in terms of how easy it is to get involved and how cohesive the pro bono culture is across the firm. That said, all the pro bono participants expressed feeling “very comfortable” taking on pro bono matters. In fact, an interviewee even told us about bringing their own matter in with the firm’s support!

Pro bono hours   

  • For all (US) attorneys: undisclosed
  • Average per (US) attorney:  undisclosed

Get Hired

OCIs and Callbacks  

Polsinelli participates in OCIs at over 20 universities across the country. Members of the firm’s Strategic Recruiting and Hiring Committee and university alumni who practice at Polsinelli all conduct interviews; the number of interviews depends on how many applications the firm receives, ranging from one to 20 interviews per OCI event.   

The firm also attends diversity-driven careers fairs, including Lavender Law. 

Those who make it to the callback stage complete between 2-4 30-minute virtual or in-person interviews with partners and associates. The firm encourages in-person interviewing when feasible but is understanding of the student's time commitment between interviews and the beginning of law school classes. 

Top tips: “Demonstrate superior academic credentials; strong work ethic; and exceptional writing and analytical skills,” an insider at the firm told us, adding: “We look for demonstrated leadership ability in prior work and academic experience, and well-rounded, personable individuals who are self-motivated and confident in their abilities.”   

Summer program

Offers 2023: 41  

Summer associates will work alongside associates and partners for ten weeks across different practice areas. Students get involved in all sorts of tasks, like drafting motions, examining data to help formulate strategies for clients and analyzing the probable outcome of cases.   

There are multiple social events and training sessions to increase networking opportunities: “The goal of our summer associate program is to encourage students to drive initiatives, cultivate relationships and to provide first-hand law firm experience,” a representative of the firm told us. It’s worth noting that Polsinelli has a high return rate when it comes to summers joining as full-time associates.  




Polsinelli PC

Main areas of work:

Finance, Health Care, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Litigation, Real Estate, Corporate & Transactional 

Firm profile:

Polsinelli is an Am Law 100 firm with more than 1,000 attorneys in over 20 offices nationwide. Recognized as one of the top firms for excellent client service and client relationships, Polsinelli is committed to meeting our clients’ expectations of what a law firm should be. Our attorneys provide value through practical legal counsel infused with business insight, offering comprehensive corporate, transactional, litigation and regulatory services with a focus on health care, real estate, finance, technology, private equity and life sciences. 


On Campus Interviews in 2024:
Baylor Law School
Belmont University College of Law
Georgetown University Law Center
Loyola Law School - Los Angeles
SMU Dedman School of Law
St. Louis University School of Law
Texas A&M University School of Law
UCLA School of Law
University of Georgia School of Law
University of Iowa College of Law
University of Kansas School of Law
University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
University of Southern California Gould School of Law
University of Tennessee College of Law
University of Virginia School of Law
Vanderbilt University Law School
Washburn University School of Law
Washington University School of Law

Job/Career Fairs:
Lavender Law Career Fair
Loyola Patent Law Program 

Summer associate profile:

Polsinelli looks for motivated self-starters who have excellent academic credentials, and superior writing, communication, and problem-solving skills. Polsinelli values team-oriented individuals from a variety of backgrounds who share the entrepreneurial spirit of the firm. 

Summer program components:

Polsinelli’s summer associate program provides law students an opportunity to work alongside associates and shareholders for ten weeks. Roles and responsibilities of a summer associate include, but are not limited to, drafting a variety of legal documents such as motions, memos, and organizational documents; interpreting laws, rulings, and regulations; examining legal and other data to determine strategies for clients; and analyzing the probable outcomes of cases, negotiations and other legal transactions. Summer associates will gain exposure to a variety of practice areas and will participate in training and educational programs designed specifically for their integration and professional enrichment. Additionally, summer associates will attend a summer associate retreat and have the opportunity to meet attorneys from throughout the firm at social events.

Social Media:

Recruitment Website: https://www.polsinelli.com/careers/summer-programs
Twitter: https://twitter.com/polsinelli
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PolsinelliPC
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/polsinelli_law/?hl=en
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/polsinelli/mycompany/ 

This Firm's Rankings in
USA Guide, 2023

Ranked Departments

    • Corporate/M&A (Band 3)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 2)
    • Healthcare (Band 5)
    • Labor & Employment: Highly Regarded (Band 1)
    • Construction (Band 2)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 4)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 2)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 3)
    • Real Estate (Band 2)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 3)
    • Healthcare: Pharmaceutical/Medical Products Regulatory (Band 4)
    • Intellectual Property: Patent Prosecution (Band 2)
    • Healthcare (Band 4)
    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 4)
    • Healthcare (Band 3)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 5)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 4)
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Band 3)
    • Healthcare (Band 3)
    • Real Estate (Band 3)
    • Healthcare (Band 1)
    • Insurance (Band 1)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 1)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 2)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 2)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Band 2)
    • Real Estate (Band 1)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 2)
    • Environment (Band 2)
    • Labor & Employment (Band 3)
    • Real Estate (Band 3)
    • Healthcare (Band 3)
    • Corporate/M&A (Band 3)
    • Healthcare (Band 5)
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Band 2)
    • Franchising (Band 4)
    • Healthcare: The Elite (Band 4)
    • International Trade: Intellectual Property (Section 337) (Band 4)
    • Privacy & Data Security: Healthcare (Band 1)
    • Healthcare (Band 3)
    • Intellectual Property (Band 4)
    • Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 2)

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WATCH: Learn more about the firm's culture