Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading global law firm with 20 offices and more than 900 lawyers and advisors in the United States, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Our legal work is varied and interesting and offers exciting and challenging opportunities to practice law in one of the world's largest law firms. Our firm was founded in Dallas in 1945 by Richard A. Gump and Robert S. Strauss and is defined by five core values: collegiality, commitment, excellence, integrity and intensity. These values characterize the qualities we seek in attorneys and the philosophy of Akin Gump as a whole. Akin Gump has also maintained a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusiveness at all levels.
Established in 1988, the Houston office includes over 70 attorneys from our Energy and Global Transactions, Intellectual Property, Labor and Employment and Litigation practices. Our Houston attorneys focus on a broad range of sophisticated, multijurisdictional transactions and cases that are often on the leading edge of legal, technological and business developments within the energy, manufacturing, biotechnology, chemical, information technology, health care, aerospace and telecommunications industries.
Our Houston summer associate program offers law students up-close exposure to the practice of law in Houston – one of the world’s most sophisticated business environments. Summer associates work on assignments similar to those performed by first and second year attorneys, and also participate in a variety of social activities, which allow them an opportunity to get to know our attorneys on a more personal level and to see all that the city of Houston has to offer. The summer program serves as the Houston office’s main avenue of employment, and we are pleased that so many of our associates, senior counsel and partners (including our Hiring Partner John Goodgame) are former Akin Gump summer associates.
Each summer associate is assigned to a three-person mentoring team – a partner, a mid-level associate and a junior associate – that helps facilitate his or her integration into the firm and also aims to ensure assignments of projects that are consistent with his or her practice interest and career goals. Our summer associates receive challenging work assignments and also participate in a variety of pro bono matters. We work hard to provide summer associates with real work experiences and meaningful opportunities, which may include listening to oral arguments before a judge, participating in the negotiation and execution of major transactions, observing client meetings, attending transactional closings and conducting witness interviews. Our goal is to make offers of employment to every summer associate who demonstrates the ability to practice law at the high level required by our clients.
Akin Gump is dedicated to the professional growth and development of its associates. The firm has instituted a firmwide compensation and bonus structure that is an integral part of Akin Gump's strategy to recruit, develop, support and reward our associates. This structure includes our counsel position, which recognizes our associates who are on partnership track at their sixth year of practice.
It is part of our established culture at Akin Gump that attorneys are involved in firm life. Associates and counsel participate in firm committees in each of our offices, including associates committees, diversity committees, hiring committees and pro bono committees. In addition, a group of associates and counsel representing all offices and associate class years serves on the firmwide Chairperson’s Associates Committee. This group meets on a quarterly basis with the firm’s chairperson to discuss relevant issues and participate in setting firm policies. We believe that the active involvement of our associates and counsel in so many areas fosters a deep commitment and connection to the firm and its members.
At Akin Gump we believe that the very best training is imparted when our lawyers handle actual matters. Ideally, all of our associates will learn best by working closely with more-senior lawyers on projects that are crucial to our clients. We also work to ensure that our lawyers are allowed to stretch their abilities in their assignments as early as possible.
Akin Gump’s professional development program is anchored by four core competencies – ownership, professional excellence, service and teamwork, and client focus. The firm offers a comprehensive formal training program carefully calibrated to each associate’s stage of development and area of practice. Our formal training complements the firm’s competency framework and includes a core curriculum of skills and practice-specific training. We offer courses on a wide variety of subject matters, including, among others, legal writing, corporate drafting, finance and accounting, oral communication and leadership, business development and management skills training. In addition, we offer a comprehensive advocacy curriculum complete with workshops on deposition skills, discovery and motions practice. Corporate courses include programs on structuring transactions, filings, debt tender offers and corporate negotiation skills.
All levels of management champion the firm’s commitment and policy of encouraging associates and counsel to participate in pro bono practice as part of their on-going workload. Akin Gump’s pro bono practice is led by Pro Bono Partner Steven Schulman. We recognize that attorneys, especially those less experienced, more junior lawyers, obtain valuable experience on pro bono matters. Under the firm’s competency-based approach to professional development, pro bono plays an important role in further enhancing associate and counsel professional development, and the firm works to ensure that our pro bono program provides opportunities consistent with the competency model.
Akin Gump is proud of its history and growth, but above all we are proud of the professionals and support staff who have made the firm such an incredible place to practice law. To learn more, please visit our website at www.akingump.com.