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/
Established in 1988, the Houston office includes almost 75 lawyers from our Corporate, Intellectual Property, International Trade, Labor and Employment, Litigation and Tax 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. We are pleased that so many of our associates, senior counsel and partners 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 their integration into the firm and also aims to ensure assignments of projects that are consistent with their 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.
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.