Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP was founded in Dallas in 1945 by Richard A. Gump and Robert S. Strauss. Akin Gump today has 20 offices worldwide and more than 900 attorneys. 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 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 1971, the Washington, D.C. office, the firm's largest, has grown to over 200 attorneys. Each of Akin Gump’s key practice areas are represented here, including our highly regarded litigation and corporate departments. In addition, our Washington appellate, public law and policy, international trade, financial restructuring, regulatory, and labor and employment practices are recognized nationally, and our lawyers are routinely sought out for their extensive expertise.
Our summer program is designed to provide summer associates a clear picture of the diversity of work and resources available to them at the firm, as well as a strong sense of what it is like to practice law and live in Washington, D.C. Summer associates have the opportunity to work on challenging assignments from all of our practice areas on projects that are similar to those performed by first and second year attorneys. We also offer special opportunities to attend congressional hearings, depositions, witness interviews, and client meetings with our attorneys. Summer associates are encouraged to work on pro bono matters and are assigned to projects that are well-suited to their interests and talents. The assignments are geared to maximize front-line responsibility on the part of the summer associates, while ensuring that they receive appropriate supervision from experienced attorneys.
We provide summer associates with many training and development opportunities during the summer through our Summer Development Series, which offers programs such as legal writing, pro bono training, presentation skills, law firm economics and a judicial clerkship advice panel. In an effort to provide both a realistic and rewarding experience, summer associates are given many opportunities to get to know our lawyers through mentoring, assignments and training, as well as through a variety of social events. Our hope is to give summer associates a true sense of our office culture while showcasing the vibrant and rich culture that makes Washington such a great place to live. Our goal is to make offers of employment to summer associates who demonstrate the ability to practice law at the level required by our firm. The success of our summer program is underscored by the fact that a large number of our attorneys were once Akin Gump summer associates themselves.
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.