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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.