DLA Piper at a Glance

Uppers

  • “Work with talented attorneys around the globe”
  • “Compensation”
  • “Collegial atmosphere”

Downers

  • “Very large”
  • “Billable requirement”
  • “Lack of transparency”

About DLA Piper

With approximately 4,200 lawyers in 90+ offices around the globe, DLA Piper is one of the largest law firms-both by headcount and by revenue-in the world.

Hunting and Gathering

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 hacked its name from DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary to the concise DLA Piper, a change reflecting its new emphasis on global brand building. The firm's 2011 merger with DLA Phillips Fox in Australia pushed the firm over the 4,000 attorney mark, bringing the already super-sized firm from huge to gigantic. Since then, the firm also has combined with Davis LLP to bring its platform into Canada.

Equity for Everyone

As banks cut credit lines, many law firms are reformulating the ways they fund their operations. In November 2008, DLA announced that the firm would eliminate the "income partner" distinction and concept, meaning that all partners would vote, have an ownership position in the firm, contribute capital as part of a graduated equity partner structure and be part of a single compensation system. Coupled with a reduction in monthly payments to some U.S. equity partners, the move was designed to significantly reduce the firm's credit exposure and allow the firm to fund a greater percentage of business operations without outside financing. "We want every partner to act like and feel like an owner of the business even if it's only partially so," said Francis B. Burch, Jr., the firm's then Global Chairman. "We have found with a large class of income partners, there's a tendency on the part of some people to behave and think like an employee as opposed to someone with a vested interest in the long-term success of the firm."

Government Gurus

After leaving the firm in 2009 to become President Barack Obama's special envoy for Middle East peace, former Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell returned to the firm in 2011 as chairman emeritus. In May 2008, TIME magazine named Senator Mitchell as one of "The World's 100 Most Influential People." The annual list profiles visionaries spanning politics, business, arts, and science, who have transformed the world in some way. During his 14-year Senate career, Mitchell led the successful 1990 reauthorization of the Clean Air Act; authored the low-income housing tax credit program; was instrumental in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act; chaired the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland; and was a leader in ratifying NAFTA and WTO regulations. Prior to his stint under the Obama administration, Mitchell had been chairman of the global board of DLA Piper and led a team of DLA Piper lawyers in the highly-publicized investigation into steroid use in Major League Baseball, culminating in the release of the "Mitchell Report."

DLA Piper is home to a number of other former public servants and policy makers. Former Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss joined the firm in 2014 and is a partner residing in both the Atlanta and Washington DC offices. Senator Chambliss served in the Senate on behalf of Georgia from 2003 to 2015, and served as a Georgia Congressman from 1995 to 2003. In the Senate, he was the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry (chairing the committee in 2005-2007) and the ranking Republican on the Select Committee on Intelligence. Former Congressman and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood also serves as a senior policy advisor to the firm. Governor Jim Blanchard-who served as a United States Ambassador to Canada, the Governor of Michigan and a member of Congress-is a partner in the Government Affairs Practice Group in the Washington, DC office and former Delaware Governor Michael Castle is a partner in the Wilmington office.

IN THE NEWS

March 2017
Southern Expansion

DLA Piper announced a cooperation agreement with Pizarro, Botto & Escobar in Peru. In addition, in December 2016, the firm announced a cooperation agreement with Bahamondez, Alvarez & Zegers in Chile. DLA Piper now has a presence in five major markets in Latin America, which also includes offices and relationships with firms in Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia.

February 2017
Branded

DLA Piper was recognized as one of the strongest law firm brands in the US and the world in Acritas' Law Firm Brand Indexes, ranking third globally and fifth in the US.

January 2017
#1 in M&A

For the seventh consecutive year, DLA Piper earned the top ranking globally for overall M&A deal volume in 2016, according to Mergermarket's league tables for legal advisors. Mergermarket also ranked the firm first for Technology, Media & Telecommunication; Pharma, Medical & Biotech; and Consumer transactions. The rankings reflect DLA Piper's strong year, which consisted of more than 470 transactions worldwide valued at approximately US$126 billion.

November 2016
Combination in Canada

DLA Piper combined with Dimock Stratton, one of Canada's preeminent intellectual property and technology firms. Specializing in IP litigation and the acquisition, licensing and portfolio management of patents, trademarks, and copyrights, this combination significantly enhances the firm's leading global IP practice and its ability to help clients across a wide range of sectors and industries.

July 2016
¡Hola Puerto Rico!

DLA Piper announced a new office in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Comprised of lawyers with deep roots in Puerto Rico and extensive experience on a wide range of public and private transactions, the office expands the firm's growing presence and capabilities in the Americas.

June 2016
Artificial Intelligence

DLA Piper partnered with Kira Systems to implement an artificial intelligence tool for document review during the due diligence process for M&A transactions. It is anticipated that this innovative technology will do for corporate transactional work what e-discovery has done for litigation by making due diligence faster and more efficient, and mitigating risk throughout the process. This groundbreaking partnership was also recognized by the Financial Times in its 2016 North America Innovative Lawyers report.

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DLA Piper

1251 Avenue of the Americas
27th Floor
New York, NY 10020
Phone: (212) 335-4500

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Co-Chairmen (Americas): Roger Meltzer & Cameron Jay Rains
  • Co-Managing Partners (Americas): Stasia Kelly & Michael S. Poulos
  • National Hiring Partner: Christina L. Martini
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 4,200

  • Base Salary

    Atlanta; Phoenix; Raleigh; Short Hills
    1st year: $160,000
    Summer associate: $3,076/week

    All other U.S. Offices
    1st year: $180,000
    Summer associate: $3,461/week

    *Associate compensation is merit-based


  • Summer Associate Offers
    32 out of 33 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Corporate • Employment • Finance • Governmental Affairs • Intellectual Property & Technology • Litigation • Real Estate (including Real Estate Capital Markets) • Restructuring • Tax

Major Office Locations

  • Albany, NY • Atlanta, GA • Atlantic City, NJ • Austin, TX • Baltimore MD • Boston, MA • Chicago, IL • Dallas, TX • Houston, TX • Los Angeles, CA (2) • Miami, FL • Minneapolis, MN • New York, NY • Northern Virginia, VA • Philadelphia, PA • Phoenix, AZ • Raleigh, NC • Sacramento, CA • San Diego, CA (2) • San Francisco, CA • San Juan, PR • Seattle, WA • Short Hills, NJ • Silicon Valley, CA • Washington, DC • Wilmington, DE Aarhus • Abu Dhabi • Al Khobar • Amsterdam • Antwerp • Bangkok • Beijing • Birmingham • Bratislava • Brisbane • Brussels • Bucharest • Budapest • Calgary • Casablanca • Cologne • Copenhagen* Doha • Dubai • Edinburgh • Edmonton • Frankfurt • Hamburg • Helsinki • Hong Kong • Jeddah • Johannesburg • Kuwait City • Kyiv • Leeds • Liverpool • London • Luxembourg • Madrid • Manama • Manchester • Melbourne • Mexico City • Milan • Montreal • Moscow • Munich • Muscat • Oslo • Paris • Perth • Prague • Riyadh • Rome • Seoul • Shanghai • Sheffield • Singapore • St. Petersburg • Stockholm • Sydney • Tokyo • Toronto • Vancouver • Vienna • Warsaw • Whitehorse • Yellowknife