What Does Patterson Offer?

Sara A. Arrow (Class of 2015)
Emma Ellman-Golan (Class of 2017)
Christopher Wilds (Class of 2015)

We have one location in New York City on purpose. It allows us to share our knowledge and experience, creating a collaborative culture that benefits our clients, our attorneys and our staff.

All of our lawyers are committed to serving clients both nationally and globally. The practice combines deep varied litigation and appellate experience in fields such as commercial law, intellectual property (patent, trademark and copyright), false advertising and unfair competition, media, employment, law firm defense, product liability, securities, white collar crime and corporate investigations, with a unique transactional and counseling practice that includes corporate, tax, employee benefits, trusts and estates and real estate law, as well as the City's leading tax-exempt organizations practice.

Professional Development

Junior associates at Patterson Belknap routinely handle what many other firms save for senior associates or even partners. It's not unusual to defend a deposition during your first or second year or pick up the phone to find a client on the line. The variety of work—from discrete, fast-paced litigation and general counseling to high-profile, complex cases and transactions—gives our attorneys a wide variety of skills and experience.

Training and Career Development

One of the best ways for new associates to learn is by doing. In becoming a great trial lawyer, there's no substitute for getting on your feet in court and conducting your first argument or examination of a witness. Likewise, seeing a deal through to closing provides true insight into transactional practice.

At the same time, the Firm recognizes the importance of, and provides, more structured training and guidance. The Firm has a robust in-house training program and supports many outside programs as well. Our goal and hope are that each of our associates becomes an outstanding lawyer who excels in providing client service and upholding the standards of our profession.

New Associate Orientation

The Firm provides new associates with a week-long orientation to Patterson Belknap and the practice of law. Some of the program segments taught by our partners include "The Business of Running a Law Firm," "Pro Bono and Public Service Commitments," "Learning the Mechanics and Management of Legal Practice" and "Introduction to Research and Writing Skills." Other segments introducing new associates to the "how to" practicalities of the Firm's information systems, library and other features are guided by firm administrative directors and managers.


Mentoring relationships often develop naturally between partners and associates who work side-by-side on legal matters. But to provide further support, each new associate is paired with an associate mentor. Mentors provide professional and practical advice to associates transitioning into the Firm. Mentoring continues after the first year and addresses issues arising at each stage of an associate's professional development. In addition, through the Firm’s “Associate Learning Group” (ALG) program, associates meet in groups of six with a partner for periodic mentoring. Associates are given responsibility for directing and planning events for their respective groups. .

Review and Feedback

First and second year associates are reviewed every six months. More senior associates joining us from clerkships are reviewed after six months at the Firm. Thereafter, all associates are reviewed annually each Fall. The review process is thorough. Written reviews are collected from the partners and senior attorneys with whom an associate has worked and are summarized by a member of the Associates Review Committee. Two partners then meet with each associate to review in detail the Firm's assessment of the associate's work. In addition to these formal reviews, associates receive informal feedback as they work directly with senior attorneys.

Continuing Legal Education

Associates are encouraged to attend seminars and conferences in their areas of interest. These may take place outside or inside the Firm—or even online. Many of our own partners and associates teach CLE seminars. The Firm is recognized as an accredited provider by the New York CLE Board, and all lawyers can earn required CLE credits through the Firm's in-house training program. We also bring outside experts to the Firm to conduct seminars in areas such as legal writing, oral advocacy, communication skills, deposition practice and negotiation strategies. Informal continuing legal education often occurs at monthly departmental luncheons.

Career Advancement

Internal promotions are based on merit, and decisions are made by the entire partnership. We are proud that many of our partners started their legal careers at the Firm and rose through the ranks to partnership.

For associates who wish to speak to someone outside the Firm about career questions or issues, the Firm provides free anonymous consultations with an outside professional career counselor.

Alumni Network

The Firm is proud to count among its alumni talented lawyers who have served both private and public interests throughout the world.


  • District Attorney’s Office (Manhattan District Attorney)
  • FTC’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection
  • Internet Bureau of the New York Attorney General’s Office
  • NYC Civil Court (Judge)
  • NYC Department of Consumer Affairs
  • NY Attorney General’s Office (Deputy Attorney General)
  • NY State Public Service Commission (Commissioner)
  • NY State Education Department (Counsel and Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs)
  • The State Chancellery (President of Georgia)
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office (U.S. Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (Judge)
  • U.S. Department of Justice – Antitrust Division
  • U.S. Department of the Treasury (Deputy Tax Legislative Counsel)
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (Secretary)
  • U.S. District Court, SDNY (Judge, Magistrate Judge)
  • U.S. Patent Office (Administrative Patent Judge)


  • ABC, Inc.
  • Amazon.com Inc.
  • American Civil Liberties Union, Inc.
  • Avon Products, Inc.
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
  • Con Edison
  • Center for Democracy & Citizenship
  • Christian Dior, Inc.
  • Columbia Law School
  • Ford Foundation
  • Home Box Office, Inc.
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Legal Services for Children, Inc.
  • Lucent Technologies
  • Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Inc.
  • Marriott International, Inc.
  • Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
  • The Mount Sinai Medical Center
  • NBC, Inc.
  • New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
  • NY Legal Assistance Group
  • New York Stock Exchange, Inc.
  • New York University School of Law
  • Priceline.com Inc.
  • Rockefeller Group, Inc.
  • Sanctuary for Families
  • Siemens Corporation
  • Silverstein Properties, Inc.
  • Sony BMG Music Entertainment
  • Spotify
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • The New York Times Company
  • Time Warner, Inc.