DLA Piper at a Glance

Uppers

  • “The global presence”
  • “Brand name recognition”
  • “Work-life balance actually encouraged”

Downers

  • “Overly bureaucratic”
  • “Retention does not seem to be a valued concept”
  • “Partnership and bonuses are a mystery”

The Buzz

  • “Huge and global”
  • “Real estate powerhouse”
  • “Amorphous”
  • “The McDonalds of law firms”

About DLA Piper

With approximately 4,000 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, and former Commodities Futures Trading Commission Commissioner Bart Chilton also serve as senior policy advisors 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

February 2016
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. The firm ranked third overall in the US, where it also had the greatest increase in score from 2012 to 2016 among firms in the top 20, and second globally, where it was recognized as the biggest upward mover in the global index since it was introduced six years earlier.

Finnish-ing First

DLA Piper joined with leading Finnish law firm, Peltonen LMR, and integrated more closely with its existing office in Sweden, making it the first global law firm with a truly pan-Nordic presence, with 200 lawyers in Helsinki, Stockholm, and Oslo.

January 2016
#1 in M&A

For the sixth consecutive year, DLA Piper earned the top ranking globally for overall M&A deal volume in 2015, according to Mergermarket's  league tables for legal advisors. Additionally, Thomson Reuters  ranked DLA Piper first in global transactions in the middle-market for 2015. The rankings reflect DLA Piper's strong 2015, which consisted of 440 transactions worldwide and a significant increase in average deal size.

December 2015
L'accord de Paris

A team of DLA Piper lawyers from offices around the world attended the Paris Climate Conference on behalf of several developing countries, coalitions of governments, and non-state actors. The conference was the first time in more than 20 years of UN negotiations to aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change.

October 2015
Further Into Africa

DLA Piper expanded its presence in Africa with the launch of its own office in Casablanca, Morocco as of 5 October and Johannesburg, South Africa. These offices will complement and support the 15 DLA Piper Africa firms that were already located across the continent.

June 2015
Coming to Colombia

DLA Piper LLP announced a cooperation agreement with Martinez Neira Abogados (MNA), one of Colombia's leading law firms, to operate together as DLA Piper Martinez Neira. The agreement allows DLA Piper to establish a footprint with MNA in the fourth-largest economy in Latin America.

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DLA Piper

1251 Avenue of the Americas
27th Floor
New York, NY 10020-1104
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 2016: 4,000

  • Base Salary

    Atlanta, GA; Phoenix, AZ; Raleigh, NC; Short Hills, NJ;
    1st year: $160,000
    Summer associate: $2,788/week

    All other U.S. Offices
    1st year: $$180,000
    Summer associate: $3,076/week

    *Associate compensation is merit-based


  • Summer Associate Offers
    32 out of 35 (2Ls) (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Corporate
    Employment
    Finance
    Government 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
  • Seattle, WA
  • Short Hills, NJ
  • Silicon Valley, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Wilmington, DE
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Amsterdam
  • Antwerp
  • Bahrain
  • Bangkok
  • Beijing
  • Berlin
  • Birmingham
  • Bratislava
  • Brisbane
  • Brussels
  • Bucharest
  • Budapest
  • Calgary
  • Canberra
  • Casablanca
  • Cologne
  • Doha
  • Dubai
  • Edinburgh
  • Edmonton
  • Frankfurt
  • Hamburg
  • Helsinki
  • Hong Kong
  • Jeddah
  • Johannesburg
  • Kuwait City
  • Kyiv
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool
  • London
  • Luxembourg
  • Madrid
  • Manchester
  • Melbourne
  • Mexico City
  • Milan
  • Montreal
  • Moscow
  • Munich
  • Muscat
  • Oslo
  • Paris
  • Perth
  • Prague
  • Riyadh
  • Rome
  • Seoul
  • Shanghai
  • Sheffield
  • Singapore
  • St. Petersburg
  • Stockholm Sydney
  • Tbilisi
  • Tokyo
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver
  • Vienna
  • Warsaw
  • Whitehorse
  • YellowKnife
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