History

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, was founded in 1977 by eight partners and eight associates, several of whom had practiced together since 1966. The first Ogletree Deakins offices to open were in Greenville, South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia in 1977. Since then, the firm has grown substantially. Now, with more than 800 attorneys in than 52 offices, the firm provides full-service labor and employment law representation for employers throughout the country.

Overview

At Ogletree Deakins, we understand that clients have choices among labor and employment counsel. Why should you choose Ogletree Deakins? 

We represent employers.

  • We represent employers of all sizes and across many industries, from small businesses to Fortune 50 companies.

We offer distinguished labor and employment counsel.

  • We are proud that our firm was named the “Law Firm of the Year” in the Labor Law – Management category in the 2017 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings.
  • We have more than 195 attorneys listed in the 2017 edition of Best Lawyers in America.
  • Our lawyers have received many other accolades for their experience in labor and employment law.

We provide coverage throughout the United States, and in Canada, Europe, and Mexico.

  • We have more than 52 offices, located in 28 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and in Canada, Europe, and Mexico.
  • Our lawyers are admitted to practice in over 45 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, England, France, Germany, Australia, Mexico, and Canada.

We offer rates and rate structures that meet clients’ needs.

  • We have representation agreements with major corporations based on alternative fee arrangements structured for their situations.
  • We routinely offer tailored alternative fee arrangements to interested clients.

We are committed to diversity and inclusion.

  • We believe our diverse group makes us better—as lawyers, and as people.
  • Our lawyers are involved in numerous diverse bar associations and programs.
  • We pride ourselves on creating inclusive workplace environments where our attorneys develop and thrive.

We offer value added client service.

  • We provide multiple seminar programs, briefings and webinars for our clients.
  • We keep our clients updated with newsletters and e-alerts on new developments.
  • We conduct client assessment surveys to assess and improve our performance.

The Ogletree Way. We constantly strive for improvement in our internal processes, through such initiatives as Legal Lean Sigma training for key firm leaders and administrative staff, and development of best practices for efficiently and effectively handling employment litigation and discovery.     

Ogletree Deakins—Employers and Lawyers, Working Together®

Professional Development & Inclusion

Ogletree Deakins is proud to have a tradition of professional development and inclusion.

In our 52 offices across the United States, and in Mexico, Canada, and Europe, lawyers of diverse gender, age, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, sexual orientation, and physical abilities have significant positions of responsibility. These positions include seats on the Board of Directors, the Compensation Committee, and more than a dozen leadership roles as office managing shareholders and practice or industry group leaders. 

Why This Matters and Our Commitment

We believe that professional development and inclusion are integral to our outstanding performance and exceptional client service.

We are committed to having a highly talented, vibrant workforce that reflects the growing diversity of our communities and our clients, and that can bring their diverse talent to bear on all client matters.

We believe that such a workforce is able to contribute unique perspectives and creative approaches. This, in turn, generates the highest quality of legal service and serves the needs of our clients and the communities where we live and work.

Professional Development Steering Committee

The Ogletree Deakins Professional Development Steering Committee is comprised of a group of committed shareholders who work collaboratively with the Professional Development and Inclusion (PDI) Department to create and systematically implement best practice professional development initiatives.  The Committee is assisted by Professional Development Ambassadors located in each office as well as our firm-wide Associate Focus Group.

Learn more here.

Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee

The Ogletree Deakins Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee (DISC) guides the firm in creating programming and initiatives to recruit, hire, develop and advance diverse attorneys within the firm.

The DISC works collaboratively with the PDI team and Diversity Ambassadors located in each office.

Learn more here.

What We Do

Practice Groups and Industry Groups

Today’s employers are faced with myriad federal and state laws and regulations that govern the workplace.  In order to comply with these laws and to provide a positive workplace, employers must dedicate tremendous resources to labor and employment law issues.  At Ogletree Deakins, our more than 800 lawyers in 52 offices across the United States, and in Canada, Europe, and Mexico work daily with employers in connection with their workplace needs. From traditional labor issues, to employment litigation, to workplace safety, to employee benefits and other areas, Ogletree Deakins has experienced professionals in all areas of labor and employment law who provide efficient, client-focused service.  Our labor and employment law practices are complemented by thriving practices in immigration, construction, and commercial litigation.

Innovations

Our innovations serve in-house counsel’s and human resources professionals’ needs for technology and tools related to compliance with federal and state laws, litigation, legal project management, and workplace training.

Overtime Solutions Center

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued the new final overtime regulations that will affect all U.S. employers subject to the FLSA.  These revisions, which became effective on December 1, 2016, include a number of sweeping changes to current overtime exemptions, including significant increases to the minimum salary that employees must be paid to be considered exempt under the executive, administrative and professional exemptions.  Ogletree Deakins’ Overtime Solutions Center is intended to provide the latest news concerning the overtime regulations and provide additional resources for employers in this important area. 

Programs

Ogletree Deakins is committed to providing educational programs specifically designed for in-house counsel, human resources professionals, and business leaders. The firm offers webinars, multi-day national seminars, and half-day and full-day local programs to keep clients abreast of key developments and issues affecting employers. 

Learn more here.

Careers

Ogletree Deakins enjoys a long tradition of legal excellence based on high quality work and outstanding attorneys and staff. We are fully committed to the importance of diversity within the workplace and are proud of our record. (See Our Commitment To Diversity). We encourage high achievers who share our singular focus on providing the highest level of legal services to our clients to consider a career with Ogletree Deakins.  

Learn more here.

Lateral Attorneys

We provide opportunities to work with some of the largest and most influential businesses in the country. We look forward to hearing from currently practicing labor and employment attorneys with impeccable credentials and experience.  Ogletree welcomes applications from qualified candidates who are interested in our traditional associate, of counsel and shareholder roles.

Counsel Track Attorneys

We have special counsel, counsel and senior counsel opportunities that offer non-traditional paths for experienced attorneys that may be interested in project based work or lower billable hour requirements.  These unique part-time and full-time roles are for those who want or need flexible hours during the work week, including the option to work from home on most occasions.  Counsel track attorneys will often times be expected to perform all the duties of a traditional law firm associate, but may not have the billable hour expectations of our on-track attorneys.  Joining the Firm in a counsel role or moving into a counsel track does not permanently place one on a non-traditional path.  Counsels can move into traditional roles based on their work product, ability to work a full-time traditional schedule and Firm needs in their local office.

Entry-Level Associates

Our beginning associates are immediately involved and challenged in all aspects of our cases and supported by the mentoring and supervision of more senior attorneys. Recent law school graduates with exceptional transcripts and legal internships are invited to submit resumes with transcripts and writing samples. 

Each year we recruit for Entry-Level Associates at several diversity career fairs.

Summer Associates

Every summer, several of our offices choose to employ a few outstanding law school students who participate in research projects, opinion letters, depositions, witness interviews and a wide variety of other assignments. We provide mentors, project evaluations and social activities for a challenging and rewarding learning experience.

Ogletree Deakins in the News

Read all about or firm’s latest news, awards, activities and achievements.