Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading global law firm with over 15 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: future-focused, diversity-minded, dedicated to excellence, service-oriented, and collaborative. These values characterize the qualities we seek in attorneys and the philosophy of Akin as a whole.
In the spirit of Akin innovation, the firm created industry-first virtual reality tours to show what it's really like to work here. In these tours, we seek to provide realistic, firsthand insight into who we are as a firm. Each tour highlights various aspects of the firm as a whole and features lawyers describing some of the firm's programs and initiatives. To get started, please visit: https://www.youvisit.com/tour/akingump/
The firm was founded in Dallas in 1945, and today is home to over 90 lawyers in many of the firm’s key practices, including mergers and acquisitions, investment funds, private equity, tax, corporate finance, litigation, data privacy, and financial restructuring. Our DFW lawyers represent clients in local, national and international matters. We act as outside general counsel to organizations, lead complex transactions, advocate for our clients’ interests in financial restructurings, try high-stakes cases, form innovative investment vehicles and advise on an array of business matters.
The Dallas office’s summer program presents a realistic and meaningful picture of firm life. Summer associates have the opportunity to work on assignments similar to those performed by first and second year attorneys in a variety of practice areas. During the program, assigned work coordinators and attorney advisors ensure the summer associates receive the proper amount and variety of work. The work coordinators and attorney advisors also monitor the summer associates’ progress throughout the summer. We provide summer associates with training and development opportunities during the summer through our Summer Associate Academy, which offers programs such as legal writing, pro bono training, and a panel providing advice on judicial clerkships to summer associates, as well as an opportunity to observe and participate in real-life training scenarios by attending client meetings, depositions and hearings.
The Dallas office’s summer program seeks to provide summer associates with a proper balance of social events and challenging work assignments during their time with the firm. Summer associates enjoy a wide variety of social activities throughout the summer to get to know each other, our attorneys and the Dallas community. Our hope is to give summer associates a true sense of our office culture while showcasing the vibrant and rich culture that makes Dallas such a great place to live.
Our continuing goal is to make an offer of employment to each summer associate who demonstrates the ability to practice law at the level required by our practice. We are pleased that so many of our associates, counsel and partners are former Akin summer associates.
Akin is dedicated to the professional growth and development of its attorneys. The firm has instituted a firmwide compensation and bonus structure that is an integral part of Akin’s strategy to recruit, develop, support and recognize the hard work of our associates and counsel. This structure includes our counsel position, which recognizes the increased responsibility that our associates take on at their sixth year of practice.
It is part of our established culture at Akin that attorneys are involved in firm life. Associates and counsel participate in firm committees in each of our offices, including associates committees, diversity & inclusion councils, firm resource (affinity) groups, 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 twice per year 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 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 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, motions practice and trial advocacy. Corporate courses include programs on structuring transactions, filings, debt tender offers and corporate negotiation skills. The firm also offers four academies strategically designed to guide important transitions in a lawyer’s career. These programs include the Summer Program Academy, Fall Associate Academy, Mid-Level Associate Academy (4th year associates) and New Counsel Academy.
Since its founding, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has been committed to ensuring meaningful diversity at every level of the firm and creating a culture of inclusiveness. We believe that the various perspectives and experiences of our lawyers and business services professionals help us achieve exceptional results for our clients and brings important insights into all aspects of the firm. We are committed to recruiting talented law students, lawyers, and business services professionals, investing in career development, and partnering with clients and others to advance diversity and inclusion within the firm and across the legal profession. In order to best support our diversity and inclusion efforts, we believe that leadership commitment is essential. In addition to having Kim Koopersmith as our Chairperson, one of very few women leading a major, global law firm, the partners-in-charge of the firm’s Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Singapore offices are women. The partner in charge of one of our largest offices, Washington, DC, is African-American. The partner-in-charge of our Philadelphia office is Hispanic, and the partner-in-charge of our Irvine office is Asian-American. Two thirds of the 15 attorneys promoted to partner in January 2023 are women. To ensure that Akin’s diversity and inclusion initiatives continue to thrive and expand, a dedicated and active group of attorneys lead and participate in our firmwide and local diversity and inclusion councils, as well as our formal Firmwide Resource Groups (“FRGs”) which are intended to compliment the firm’s efforts related to recruiting, professional development, and fostering inclusive workplaces. Current FRGs include those focused on women, working parents and caregivers, people with disabilities, and those who identify as Black, Latinx, Asian and/or LGBTQ+, and their allies.
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’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 is proud of its history and growth, but above all we are proud of the professionals and business services staff who have made the firm such an incredible place to practice law. To learn more, please visit our website at www.akingump.com.