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Overview

Introduction

Get your passport ready—DLA Piper has more than 90 offices around the world and is home to more than 4,000 lawyers. These lawyers work across dozens of practices, and the firm is lauded for its Data Protection, Privacy, and Security. Collaboration and professionalism are key to this firm’s collegial culture. DLA Piper advises clients across more than a dozen industries and eight major practice areas (with a host of sub-practices).

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2021)


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No. of Partners Named (2021)


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Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100...


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No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)



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No. of Summer Associates (2021)



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Base Salary

All U,S, Offices...

Vault Verdict

DLA Piper boasts a supportive, friendly environment—this isn’t a firm for big egos. Doors and phone lines are always open, and partners care about associate well-being. There is a 2,000-hour billable requirement, and while associates don’t feel pressure to exceed this amount, they have been quite busy recently. Associates are happy with their compensation for the most part and appreciate that high billers can earn above-market bonuses. They’re grateful for the recent COVID bonus, though some wish the firm had paid a similar bonus in 2020. The firm offers various tech options, and associates have found working from home throughout the pandemic to be efficient. Associates are given a fair amount of responsibility early on and feel excited about the firm’s sophisticated work. There d...

About the Firm

 

With approximately 4,300 lawyers in 90-plus offices around the globe, DLA Piper is one of the largest law firms—both by headcount and by revenue—in the world. 

From Big to Ginormous

DLA Piper is a law firm empire. Its massive growth is the result of 2005’s tripartite merger between U.K. firm DLA, Chicago/Baltimore-based Piper Rudnick, and California’s Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich—and the whirlwind of acquisitions that followed. Spurring the growth were healthy real estate, litigation, corporate, and private equity practices and the absorption of entire departments from rival firms. In September 2006, the firm cut its name from DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary to the concise DLA Piper, a change reflecting its new emphasis on global brand building. The fi...

Associate Reviews


  • Pre-pandemic, members of our group often went out to lunch together. Before and during the pandemic, there was/is an open door/open phone line policy for partners and associate alike so that members of the group can always reach out for help or advice on any topic. The day-to-day atmosphere is positive. Our group genuinely enjoys our work and working together and learning about new market developments.”
  • The atmosphere is very friendly and professional.”
  • People are very nice and really do seem to care about maintaining a collegial work environment. This was one of the prime reasons I chose to come to DLA and it has been borne out in life post-summer associate work.”
  • DLA is a very collegial place, where collaboration is encouraged. There is a sense of camaraderie among lawyers and staff alike, and the overall environment is one I would call supportive.”
  • I have developed close working relationships with several partners, and we enjoy working together. More broadly, the partnership has been transparent with us about firm performance and finances, particularly through the pandemic. Performance reviews are conducted annually against set criteria for your experience level. Each year, you also assemble a professional development plan with your mentor. That functions as another, more personalized set of criteria to gauge your career trajectory.”
  • Partners I work with are nice and care about associates' well-being. Transparency is decent, with occasional associate town halls and State of the Firm zooms, though bonus discussions this past fall were very opaque.”
  • I have enjoyed working with nearly every partner I've worked with across my projects. All of them are respectful of the associates’ time and a good number go the extra mile to take the time to provide feedback and mentoring along the way.”
  • I have strong relationships with many partners in the firm although I am only a second year. I often work directly with partners. They are understanding, reasonable, easy to communicate with, and work hard with you along the way. Reviews happen annually.”
  • Plenty of flexibility in where or when I work; 2,000 hours is [the] goal, [and there is] no pressure to vastly exceed that amount.”
  • This is BigLaw, so we have to meet our billable-hour requirement (2,000 hours), but we respect each other's lives outside of work and my team knows that there are only so many hours in a day. The key is communication and transparency. If you have a lot on your plate, you need to keep your team in the loop and try to plan ahead where possible. Also, we get billable credit for 100 pro bono hours and 30 hours shadowing senior attorneys.”
  • During the pandemic work has actually sped up, and now I'm just trying to catch my breath.”
  • Our group is busy so there's a lot of work, but it's great work.”
  • Base compensation and bonus has been market each year, and a COVID bonus (commensurate with the market) is being distributed in 2021. Bonuses are modified upward for additional hours/diligent work.”
  • DLA did not give out COVID bonuses in 2020 but did state that special bonuses would be provided in 2021, which is more in line with the market.”
  • The firm's compensation is on par with any other big firm.”
  • DLA pays top salary in all markets and bonuses are tied to performance. Bonuses are often very generous.”
  • If there is one thing this firm is known for and holds true, it's that from day one, associates are given high-level, high-visibility tasks. Within my first two months at the firm I was drafting complaints for federal court. We are given a lot of responsibility that allows us to learn and grow exponentially faster.”
  • I think that partners are willing to let me take on as much work as I am ready to handle. I think this is an important part of my ability to develop. I often [do] most of the transaction drafting with oversight from a partner.”
  • I handle a number of matters independently and am developing my own book of business. I also do substantive work for a number of established firm clients.”
  • As a mid-level associate transitioning to senior associate, I have seen firsthand how my substantive work and assignments have changed for the better. I do feel I work on matters appropriate for my level, if not a bit above my level so that I can learn a bit ahead of the curve.”
  • DLA Piper has more apps, legal tech, brief building AI apps, research aids, etc., than I know what to do with. If there is a resource that would be helpful to me, I safely can assume it is there. Transition to remote work during the pandemic was completely seamless.”
  • Although IT issues arise, the firm is always quick to address and has constant availability to work through matters with the help desk.”
  • The remote working transition has been extremely efficient and the firm has been accommodating of individual needs.”
  • Firm has adapted very well to remote work.”
  • I think the firm has done a lot, especially during COVID, to highlight all the resources it has available in this respect. In addition to regular speaker events on this topic, the firm also pays for the Headspace app and counseling resources. One thing that it has done during COVID that I really appreciated was it formed parent groups by kid age, which has served as pseudo support groups on juggling work and kids during extremely stressful times.
  • This is hard to grade because it's hard to gauge wellness and promote wellness when the nature of large law firm life is to work hard, push yourself, and produce good work product. If anything, the camaraderie between associates and partners helps me more than anything.”
  • Offering virtual counseling once a month has been a nice benefit.”
  • Our firm has a host of programs/wellness efforts, but it is difficult to take advantage when faced with our billable-hour requirement.”
  • Firm provides a wealth of professional development opportunities including mock depositions and oral arguments. First-year associates were provided with partner mentors and ‘jumpstart’ associate mentors. My associate mentor in particular has been pivotal in my early professional development and integration into the firm.”
  • The firm provides many opportunities to learn, including weekly dialogues with experienced practitioners regarding current relevant topics. Department leaders in various specialties give internal CLE courses.”
  • Most senior attorneys and some partners take it upon themselves to teach juniors and turn assignments into learning opportunities when they can.”
  • I believe becoming partner is practice group specific, but attainable. There [are] of counsel positions for those that want to transition from senior associate positions. There is a broad scope of exit opportunities from lateraling to going in-house.”
  • Pretty transparent and DLA Piper offers a whole multi-day training session for senior associates two to three years out from elevation to help them either prepare for the push for partnership or plan out what other path they plan to go down. DLA Piper also endeavors to make clear that partnership is not for everyone, and that transition to of counsel role is an ok alternative to partnership.”
  • I plan on staying with the firm for many years to come. As I mentioned previously, my team is invested in my professional growth. In addition to partnership, the firm also has set several associates up for incredible opportunities to work in-house with our clients.”

 

  • One hundred pro bono hours count as billable hours. Pro bono projects include asylum cases, domestic violence survivor assistance, census hotlines, election protection hotlines, veterans' discharge statuses, and name changes for transgender clients.”
  • Our pro bono group is very active and constantly seeking participation. My pro bono matters are treated exactly the same as the billable matters, except associates bear greater responsibility in drafting, etc. DLA has an amazing fellowship where two, highly qualified, first year associates spend their whole first year exclusively doing pro bono work. I do not know of any other firm that offers something like that.
  • DLA is highly committed towards pro bono. I have been working heavily on compassionate release pro bono work.
  • The firm has a pro bono coordinator and regularly promotes its pro bono opportunities.”
  • The firm develops programming, including panels with our clients, roundtables with our own colleagues, and trainings in collaboration with NYU Professor Kenji Yoshino on diversity and inclusion.”
  • I think there is an emphasis on diversity in recruiting and hiring, but that focus is missing when it comes to promotions and making partners. …
  • The firm has been excellent to [me] during my parental leave and through my decision to go onto a reduced hours alternative work arrangement.”
  • I think the firm is transitioning to really putting effort into this space. I was interviewed by a few women partners and one partner who was also a person of color. There is much awareness raising and programming for improving awareness of and respect for diversity in the firm's workplace. However, again, for me this boils down to actually hiring people of diverse racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender to all high-level positions in the firm. I hope they continue to improve.”

Hiring Process & Interview Questions

  • I believe my firm is looking for bright, humble, creative, and well-rounded individuals. We are not a cut-throat environment, even if we are a competitive firm. So, there is a certain type of ‘gunner’ individual, that I feel would not fit in well at DLA at all.”
  • The hiring process at our firm is not school related; rather [the firm focuses on], prior experience and whether [the associate] is a fit for this specific position and whether the associate would fit well in our firm culture (e.g., good attitude, sociable).”
  • Behavioral questions.”
  • “Why do you want to work at DLA? What do you think you can bring to the firm? What experiences and mentoring opportunities are you looking for?”
  • “As a lateral, the firm asked about work experience and prior transactional scope to ensure the work was commensurate with DLA's deal size.”

Why Work Here


DLA Piper is one of the largest business law firms in the world and one of the most recognized law firm brands globally. We are an innovative and entrepreneurial firm, deeply committed to our values: our people, our clients and our community. We invite you to meet our people and learn more about life at DLA Piper.

Diversity at DLA Piper

"DIVERSITY & INCLUSION At DLA Piper, our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) mission is to emerge as a leader through insight, innovation, diversity and inclusion. We will put our people first as we work to deliver excellence in service to our clients. We accomplish this by working with firm leadership to integrate our goals and concepts into the way in which the Firm manages its people and business. OUR COMMITMENT Our D&I efforts are initiated and led from the very top of the global firm by our senior..."

Getting Hired Here


  • As a lateral, the firm was very supportive of bringing me into the culture and providing a similar track to other associates.”
  • I was quickly integrated onto our larger projects, which helped [me] meet the team as well as contribute from day one.”
  • Warm welcome from everyone so far.”

Hiring Process & Interview Questions

  • I believe my firm is looking for bright, humble, creative, and well-rounded individuals. We are not a cut-throat environment, even if we are a competitive firm. So, there is a certain type of ‘gunner’ individual, that I feel would not fit in well at DLA at all.”
  • The hiring process at our firm is not school related; rather [the firm focuses on], prior experience and whether [the associate] is a fit for this specific position and whether the associate would fit well in our firm culture (e.g., good attitude, sociable).”
  • Behavioral questions.”
  • “Why do you want to work at DLA? What do you think you can bring to the firm? What experiences and mentoring opportunities are you looking for?”
  • “As a lateral, the firm asked about work experience and prior transactional scope to ensure the work was commensurate with DLA's deal size.”

Perks & Benefits