Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP at a Glance

Uppers

  • “High-quality work”
  • “People are supportive”
  • “Work-life balance”

Downers

  • “The level system”
  • “High stress”
  • “Salaries for mid-level and senior-level associates are below market”

About Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Drinker Biddle is a national, full-service law firm providing litigation, regulatory, and business solutions to public and private corporations, multinational Fortune 100 companies, and start-ups. Founded and headquartered in Philadelphia, the firm has branched out into major U.S. cities through it's more than 160 year history, including New York, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Dallas. The firm provides a range of legal services in various industries, including health care, financial services, insurance, energy, retail, education, and pharma and life sciences. Major clients include AT&T, Kellogg Company, Urban Outfitters, Comcast, and Travelers. Drinker Biddle has grown strategically and carefully, for example, in 2017 the firm added an office in Dallas along with 23 lawyers.

Historical Footprint

Founder John Christian Bullitt arrived in Philadelphia on Inauguration Day of 1849 and opened the firm as Bullitt and Fairthorne, and although the moniker has changed, over the decades, the firm has been involved with numerous iconic and household names. Drinker has a long history with the University of Pennsylvania. In 1881, partner Samuel Dickson became a member of the University's board of trustees, a position he held until his death in 1915. He also served as counsel to the University, a role the firm held onto for several years after his death and then regained again in 1927 when Henry Drinker became the school's attorney.

In 1871, the firm presided over the creation of Drexel, Morgan and Co.-an investment bank that would later become JP Morgan. Drinker also assisted Georg von Trapp (of the legendary von Trapp Family) in 1939 in sorting out visa issues at Ellis Island and with other legal matters during World War II.

Also during World War II, the firm was called upon to negotiate a compromise on a tax lien and reorganize a shipping yard that would prove critical to the American war effort. In the post-war era, Henry Sawyer III, a veteran of the war who had helped develop the Marshall Plan, represented several clients called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. The firm stood by the American Civil Liberties Union in defending those accused of having communist sympathies in spite of the firm's strongly conservative leadership.

The firm's contemporary practice is aimed at providing elite services on a national, and, increasingly, international scale. While the firm expands its horizons, it still stays true to its roots.

Leaders in Associate Training

In 2009, while some firms postponed associate start dates or rescinded offers, Drinker Biddle created a groundbreaking training program, now in its ninth year. For the first three months of their employment, incoming associates have no billable obligation-their only "job" is to learn. An interactive curriculum that addresses practical skills and practice-specific experience is followed by apprenticeship opportunities with experienced colleagues on client matters.

Pro Bono Focus

Pro bono work is a strong facet of the firm culture at Drinker Biddle. Pro bono hours are credited the same as billable hours up to 6 percent of the lawyer's actual billable hours for purposes of bonuses and other compensation, with exceptions liberally granted. In practice, nearly all pro bono time is approved.

Associates can get involved in existing programs, as well as bring their own matters of interest to the firm. There is partner supervision on all matters and approved pro bono time is equally as valuable as billable work when considering bonuses and advancement. The firm encourages its lawyers to fight for the causes that interest them and appeal to their sense of justice. It does not screen cases on ideological grounds and works for a variety of causes, such as individuals who cannot afford counsel, organizations fighting for justice in the community and inmates on death row.

IN THE NEWS

May 2017
Leaders in Law

Drinker Biddle was recognized as a leading firm in 27 practice categories and more than 60 of its attorneys were honored for their excellence in the legal profession by Chambers and Partners, a client and peer reference-driven guide to the world's top lawyers.

February 2017

Don't Mess with Texas

With the arrival of 23 lawyers, Drinker Biddle opened its Dallas office enhancing the firm's nationally recognized business litigation, products liability, class action, and insurance teams. This office has significant experience working with clients in the insurance, automotive, pharmaceuticals, life sciences and health care industries.

December 2016
Best Places to Work

For the third consecutive year, Drinker Biddle's New York City office was named one of the Best Places to Work in New York City by Crain's New York Business.

Corporate Equality

Drinker Biddle received a score of 95 out of 100 on the 2017 Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality conducted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

September 2016
Diversity & Inclusion

Counsel Maria Lewis was named Chair of the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Committee, while partner Rachel Ryan was appointed Vice Chair. Maria and Rachel are spearheading the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, which includes objectives for recruiting, retention, assignment management and overall lawyer development.

Career Counseling

Maria Lewis was also named as Drinker Biddle's Career Counselor. In this role, Maria is a confidential resource to our non-partner lawyers and serves as sounding board and advisor regarding career planning and development.

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Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

One Logan Square, Ste. 2000
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 988-2700

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman & CEO: Andrew C. Kassner
  • Executive Partners: Mary Devlin Capizzi, Robert C. Juelke, Michael W. McTigue Jr.
  • Hiring Partner: Justin O. Kay
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 600

  • Base Salary

    Chicago, DC, LA, NY, SF
    1st year: $180,000
    Summer associate: $3,462/week

    Other Offices
    1st year: $160,000
    Summer associate $3,077/week


  • Summer Associate Offers
    23 out of 24 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Antitrust • Corporate Restructuring • Class Actions • Corporate • Customs and International Trade • Education • Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation • Environment and Energy • Financial Services • Government and Regulatory Affairs • Health Care • Information Governance and eDiscovery • Insurance Litigation and Coverage • Insurance Regulatory and Transactional • Intellectual Property • International • Investment Management • Labor and Employment • Litigation • Lobbying, Policy and Advocacy • Privacy and Data Security • Products Liability and Mass Tort • Real Estate • Retail • SEC & Regulatory Enforcement Defense • Tax • Telecommunications and Mass Media • The Telephone Consumer Protection Act • White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations 

Major Office Locations

  • Philadelphia, PA (HQ) • Albany, NY • Chicago, IL • Dallas, TX • Florham Park, NJ • Los Angeles, CA • New York, NY • Princeton, NJ • San Francisco, CA • Washington, DC • Wilmington, DE London (Drinker Biddle & Reath (U.K.) LLP)