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Overview

Introduction

Nine-hundred lawyers strong with a long list of lauded practice areas, there isn’t much that Akin Gump doesn’t excel at. Transparent? Check. Making strides in diversity? You bet. Walking the wellness walk? For sure. Social types who are down to earth will fit well at the firm. Founded in Texas in 1945, Akin Gump has grown to become one of the world’s largest law firms, with more than 900 lawyers across 20 offices around the globe, operating at the intersection of public policy, business, and the law.

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2021)


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No. of Partners Named (2020)


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Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100...


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No. of Summer Associates (2021)



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Base Salary

All offices...


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No. of U.S. Offices

Vault Verdict

Akin Gump recruits a select group of associates for its summer classes, so hiring is competitive. While the firm hires from the T14, it casts a wide net beyond and also focuses on such factors as diversity, grades, and personality. Candidates should prepare for behavioral questions and should be ready to answer why they want to work at Akin Gump. The firm is not hierarchical by any means—partners are approachable and open to associate questions. Management is transparent, offering insights into firm performance, decision-making relating to remote work, and more. The culture at the firm is laid back and friendly—lawyers enjoy spending time together and also support each other on assignments and when taking time off. There is also a strong culture of mentoring, and associates can ex...

About the Firm

 

Founded in Texas in 1945, Akin Gump has grown to become one of the world’s largest law firms, with more than 900 lawyers across 20 offices around the globe, operating at the intersection of public policy, business, and the law.

From Two to 900+

The Akin Gump story began in 1945, when former FBI agents Richard Gump and Robert Strauss started up a small legal practice in post-war Dallas. Strauss went on to become chair of the Democratic National Committee, chaired Jimmy Carter’s successful presidential campaign in 1976, and worked for both the Carter and George H.W. Bush administrations. Over the past 75 years, the firm has grown from two lawyers to a global powerhouse with more than 900 lawyers.

One-Stop Shop

Associate Reviews


  • Very relaxed and down to earth—the type of firm where people get drinks after work and hang out with each other during the day chatting if people are free.”
  • Not a strong sense of hierarchy—staff are respected and valued as much as attorneys are, and junior attorneys have strong personal bonds with partners. Generally laid back—not a ‘white shoe’ firm. We take the work extremely seriously but tend not to take ourselves too seriously.”
  • Culture is definitely one of Akin's strong suits. Pre-COVID, social events were very common (both formal and informal), and during COVID, there has been a sustained and concerted effort to maintain regular social events via Zoom.”
  • Akin's culture can be summed up in one word: collegiality. The people here enjoy spending time with each other both in and out of the office, and they care about each other’s lives/families. During my summers and as a first-year associate, I've had multiple chances to see attorneys cover for each other when someone needed help to get something done or was taking days off. The attorneys also have a highly respectful relationship with the non-attorney staff, who are generally very accommodating of any requests.”
  • Individual partners are often very approachable and willing to help associates at the firm. Akin's firm leadership stands out with respect to its transparency and setting a positive tone from the top. The firm has performance reviews once a year, but actively encourages more informal feedback throughout the year.”
  • I've been very happy with my relationships with partners, many of whom are now friends. Our firm chair, Kim Koopersmith, is an excellent leader and is transparent about firm performance and initiatives.  Promotion criteria and procedures are known. Written and in-person performance reviews are conducted annually.”
  • Associates are well respected by partners, with a high emphasis across the firm on associate-first initiatives. Firm leadership is amazing and remains highly transparent regarding the firm's financial performance throughout these unusual times as well as with respect to plans to reintegrate into an in-office working situation.”
  • I have always been treated extremely well by all partners and feel that partners are accessible as well. I feel comfortable asking partners questions as they are all extremely kind and have made an effort to get to know associates. Transparency is a priority at Akin Gump and I feel that the firm is transparent all the way from the top down.”
  • “[The] billable-hour [expectation is] very reasonable, with lots of flexibility for pro bono, recruiting, diversity & inclusion, etc. I have a lot of work, but it isn't unreasonable and it doesn't feel overly burdensome.”
  • We have been very busy as a firm, so the hours have been longer than usual, which has been tough over the past year. The firm has made consistent efforts to hire laterals and bring in solid classes of junior associates, so I'm hopeful it will ease up a bit. I feel like I have flexibility about where I work, especially since COVID has happened and it's become apparent that we can still continue to be productive working from home.”
  • I am grateful for the support and flexibility that I have been given by the firm over the past year while working from home. I have been able to maintain a manageable schedule. Yes, that means some late nights and early mornings. But I can count on one hand the number of times that I have not been able to sit down for dinner with my toddler at 6:00 p.m. I think that's pretty remarkable for big law.”
  • I dislike the unpredictability of work hours at times. Some weeks/months will be really busy and non-stop, while others will be a bit slower. It can be disorienting at times while working from home, as I'm someone who likes to be consistently busy during the day and taper off in the evening (unless on deals that require me to work late, which I have no problem doing). The lack of consistency is sometimes tough.”
  • The special bonuses as a result of the pandemic have helped me to feel appreciated and seen during a very strange time. Overall, I feel my compensation is commensurate with my contribution to the firm, and it makes me feel like it is worth the hard work.”
  • I never doubt Akin is going to match moves in the compensation market, and it always does so quickly. Akin's billable-hours target also includes pro bono, client development, innovation, recruiting, and diversity initiatives.”
  • Our firm was one of the first to offer spring and fall bonuses during the COVID pandemic, which was nice.”
  • Very happy with compensation/billable-hours relationship.”
  • As a third-year associate, I now spend most of my time on substantive legal work, including responsibility for first drafts of complaints and motion practice.”
  • The work is awesome. I'm a litigator and have gone to trial, taken depositions, and am lead strategist/drafter on briefs.”
  • … Generally, the work I am doing in consistent with my level of a second year associate. I do everything from preparing signature pages and other administrative tasks to reviewing legal documents, conducting diligence, drafting ancillary documents and assisting deal teams generally.”
  • I get incredibly high profile and challenging work with significant clients. In my industry this could not be a better opportunity.”
  • The firm provides a full monitor and docking suite to set up home office workstations, and the IT staff is available and active to help with problems that arise.”
  • Even before COVID, the firm provided a full suite of work-from-home gear if you wanted it, and many of us had all we needed. All the technology I've needed has shown up, and everyone has bent-over-backwards to make technology work.”
  • Certain software can be frustrating to use, but for the most part, the technology has been dependable and IT services is extremely responsive and tries to address issues quickly.”
  • The firm's transition to remote working was seamless.”
  • “We have a ‘Be Well’ program that encourages wellness efforts of all different types. You can earn points by completing activities, and the firm offers escalating monetary bonuses at the end of the year for attorneys and staff who have point totals at various levels.”
  • “We have lots of virtual programs, but I think most of the support I feel from the firm regarding my mental health comes from feeling like I am heard and respected. The firm leadership acknowledges that this time is very hard for associates, especially parents, and has made me feel empowered to take breaks where necessary. I have not felt unable to take time for myself or make sure I am taken care of, and that to me is the most important thing to retention.”
  • “They offer a huge amount of wellness programs. Additionally, a meditation room was recently installed at our office, which shows the firm's commitment to the cause. Our chairperson, Kim Koopersmith also regularly highlights the importance of wellness in her town halls to the firm.”
  • “I think Akin is way ahead of the curve on this. We have a career counselor and sessions with her are kept in confidence. We have a mental health counselor. We have lots of training and sessions emphasizing mental health and wellness. I think it's been a lifesaver for many during the pandemic.”
  • The first two years are heavy on formal training with the group conferences held on topics for junior associates. The years after [transition] to mentoring, sponsorship and informal training as associates are groomed for future positions at the firm. I have a senior associate mentor and a partner mentor each of whom mentor me with respect to navigating the ins and outs of the firm (both objective and subjective) in order to make sure I make the decisions that best suit my individual career interests and ambitions.”
  • The onboarding process was very helpful to get us back up to speed on the administrative side of things at the firm, and the corporate practice group has also worked to provide us with several training sessions to cover the basics of corporate work. However, Akin really excels at informal, on-the-job training. Senior associates and partners are happy to spend the extra time to teach younger associates how to handle different tasks, and they are great about not just explaining the ‘how’ but also the ‘why.’ The firm does assign mentors to each new associate, which can be useful especially at the start, but informal mentoring relationships have also played a large part in my learning thus far.”
  • Akin has numerous mentorship programs targeting various groups of associates. In particular, the firm has created diversity-focused mentorship circles that have greatly benefited diverse attorneys during remote work this past year. Firm Resource Groups, including the Womens' FRG, also sponsors a mentorship program.”
  • There are many formal training opportunities and experiences available for associates. Like most things, you get out of both the formal and informal training what you are willing to put in.”
  • I think partnership is realistic, if you really want it. You can also become a senior counsel and go the non-partner route. Akin Gump also has a phenomenal alumni program, which regularly shares in-house jobs (with Akin Gump alumni contacts) to current attorneys.”
  • I believe that I have realistic chance to make partner with this firm. They are very transparent about the path to partnership and I believe that I have the skill and support to succeed. The firm has non-partner roles (counsel and senior counsel) and they are valued team members.”
  • Promotion to partner is not realistic in my group/office but senior attorneys can and do transition to great roles elsewhere (mainly government, in-house, or partner at smaller firms). I plan to transition shortly. We held a panel recently with alum who departed in the last year or two to talk about career planning outside of the firm, tips, and thinking strategically. It was very well-received.”
  • The firm is pretty serious about helping senior associates figure out their next steps.”
  • Pro bono hours count as billable with no annual cap. I have been able to work on transactional pro-bono matters including a bond financing and credit facility for a network of charter schools, as well as advocacy for prisoners being denied their civil rights, and immigration advocacy for DACA recipients.”
  • If I could give an 11, I would. Akin is extremely committed to pro bono work, and I believe that firm leadership understands pro bono work is not only emotionally fulfilling, but also perhaps the most professionally rewarding type of work junior lawyers can do.”
  • Pro bono hours count as billable hours. I'm working on an asylum case, my third veteran's disability appeal, and just launched a pro bono partnership in Dallas with Advocates for Community Transformation. I've also worked on voting rights matters and homelessness policy research.”
  • I am very proud of our pro bono program, led by Steve Schulman. Pro bono counts as billable hours, and attorneys can work on a diverse array of pro bono matters. I focus my pro bono efforts on counseling non-profits on labor and employment issues and immigration cases.”
  • I think Akin has been doing a phenomenal job at recruiting and retaining diverse candidates. It seems like it's a top priority for our firm that everyone enthusiastically supports.
  • The firm has a wide range of firmwide resource groups, which have monthly meetings and host frequent events. We recently had bystander training hosted by our Asian Pacific Islander resource group, which was extremely helpful and was very well attended. We get billable credit for diversity related activities, but our firmwide resource groups are so popular, I think people would attend regardless.”
  • I think the firm has very active affinity groups that are a great resource. I appreciate recent efforts to get allies involved in these affinity groups as well.”
  • As a woman, I am able to look up to female partners who utilized flexible working arrangements and continued to be promoted and provided with good development opportunities. I feel I can take advantage of such an arrangement in the future, if needed, without sacrificing my opportunities for promotion.”

Why Work Here


Our Firm

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading global law firm providing innovative legal services and business solutions to individuals and institutions. We are one of the world’s largest law firms, with more than 900 lawyers and professionals in 21 offices. Our firm’s clients range from individuals to corporations and foreign governments.

We were founded in Texas in 1945 by Robert Strauss and Richard Gump, with the guiding vision that commitment, excellence and integrity would drive the success of the firm. We incorporated those qualities into the firm’s core values as we grew into an international full-service firm positioned at the intersection of commerce, policy and the law. This dedication to the advancement of these values guides relationships within the firm and, most importantly, with its clients.

Diversity at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

"At Akin Gump our long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion reflects our belief that we all thrive when we bring together people with different perspectives and experiences in an environment where collaboration generates ideas, innovation, and creative solutions. We are also committed to professional development and building sense of community that fosters understanding, respect, and a sense of belonging. Leadership Commitment We are very proud to be one of very few major, global law firms to have a woman,..."

Getting Hired Here


  • Because our summer classes are very small and our culture is important, the firm is quite selective in its hiring.
  • Our firm is looking for well-rounded individuals who can add to our community. We are looking for people who excel academically and add diversity to the firm. When interviewing, we are generally screening for whether the person's personality is a good fit. I think the firm generally hires from top schools and prefers journal and clerkship work (although it is not required).”
  • The firm is very selective, and most new associates were successful at elite law schools. Beyond credentials, the firm prefers dedicated, friendly people.”
  • The firm seeks out the attorneys who will best fit the needs of the section/office and are highly motivated to succeed. Although the firm does have certain schools where it targets its recruiting efforts, the firm does welcome a diverse range of educational backgrounds.”
  • Behavioral questions, such as: ‘Tell me about a time that you failed at something, and explain what you learned’; or ‘Tell me a time where you had to make a difficult decisions, and explain how you went about making the decisions’”
  • Why do you want to come to a firm like Akin? What do you think makes an attorney effective? How do you work on a team?”
  • We're taught to ask questions that elicit stories that touch upon qualities we want, like leadership, collegiality, and sound judgment.”
  • The firm likes to ask about challenges candidates face, as well as how candidates took personal responsibility to solve these challenges.”
  • Really like that I was assigned a lateral mentor to ask my questions to and provide candid advice.”
  • The firm has done an excellent job integrating me and my group that came from another firm. I already knew several attorneys at this firm, but even the wider firm has tried very hard to include me.”
  • The firm had a great training regimen to onboard alone as a lateral.”

Perks & Benefits