NALP Directory of Legal Employers

Directory Year: 2023

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Professional Development

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Does your organization have a formal evaluation program in place? Yes
Evaluations Annual
Does your organization use upward reviews to evaluate and provide feedback to supervising lawyers? No


Rotation for junior associates between departments/practice groups? No
Is rotation mandatory? No

Akin’s goal is to develop well-trained, successful lawyers who have a high degree of career satisfaction and add value to the firm. We work toward this goal using a competency-based approach to professional development which provides our lawyers with clear expectations, the opportunity to develop their skills and the benefit of receiving the most meaningful evaluation of their progress. Our professional development program is anchored by four core competencies – ownership, professional excellence, service and teamwork, and client focus. In addition to the core competencies, our framework includes practice-specific benchmarks to guide our lawyers’ professional development, a fair and effective assignment process, hands-on opportunities and experiences, training programs in the skills that enable lawyers to excel, and practice-specific training to give our lawyers the tools to become outstanding practitioners in their chosen field. 

Professional development requires more than training and defined expectations, and the firm supports a culture of mentoring our associates and providing feedback and evaluations on both an informal and formal basis. The firm’s real time feedback system, Akin Thrive, allows supervising lawyers to provide feedback at the conclusion of an assignment, matter or project and the system allows associates and counsel to request feedback at any time. In addition to the ongoing mentoring and feedback received throughout the year, each attorney participates in an interactive formal evaluation process on an annual basis. The formal process includes a self-evaluation, evaluations completed by supervising lawyers, and an annual performance conference. The firm also provides training for lawyers related to all aspects of the evaluation process.

Our attorneys receive the benefit of our partners' and senior attorneys' experience through formal training programs, participation in firm committees and through formal and informal mentoring. Each first year associate is assigned a Peer Advisor to assist with the transition into firm life. All associates and counsel also receive an Akin Advisor, a partner within their practice group who will support their development in a variety of ways, including: assessing progress in achieving the firm’s core competencies, tracking progress in achieving practice group benchmarks, coaching and providing practical tips on drafting their annual self-evaluation and discussing next level specific skills for advancement. Akin Advisors also attend their year-end performance conference, including a debrief and inviting questions following each evaluation cycle, ensuring that our associates and counsel feel encouraged and supported to tackle new challenges in the coming year.

Additionally, the firm has established an annual Partner Recognition award to recognize a partner in each office who excels at mentoring and the professional development of associates and counsel.


Does your organization have a dedicated professional development staff? Yes
What are some of the types of training and professional development opportunities your organization offers? (check all that apply) In-house training programs|External firm-paid seminars|Continuing legal education (CLE)|Organized/formal mentor program|Trial advocacy training|Observation opportunities|Practice group training|Retreats|Other
What roles do counsel/senior attorneys play in the training of attorneys? (check all that apply) Presenters|Develop/design training programs|Mentoring|Supervise projects|One-on-one training
Does your organization have a coaching/mentoring program Yes
Does your organization give billable hours credit for training time? No