Executive Q&A from Arnold & Porter LLP
What types of personalities thrive at your firm?
Many different types of personalities thrive at our firm. We value diversity and try to maintain an environment in which people are comfortable being themselves. We share a commitment to excellence in the practice of law and to public service and pro bono work.
What are some of the most interesting new developments at the firm?
The American Lawyer ranked Arnold & Porter on its A-List of law firms in 2010, which is the seventh time the firm has made the list since its inception in 2003. Arnold & Porter has also been recognized for eight consecutive years on FORTUNE's “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. Our firm has appeared numerous times on Working Mother magazine's list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers.”
The firm has also been recognized for its inclusive and comprehensive diversity initiatives. Arnold & Porter LLP has repeatedly received the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's Thomas L. Sager Award, which is given regionally to law firms to recognize extraordinary commitment to diversity. The Washington office won the 2008 award for the Mid-Atlantic Region, and our Washington and New York offices have collectively received this award eight times.
The Human Rights Campaign included the firm on its 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 lists of LGBT friendly workplaces in corporate America. The HRC Corporate Equality Index examines workplace policies and benefits for LGBT employees. Testimony before the American Bar Association, along with documentation of the firm's commitment to a welcoming environment for LGBT lawyers, is also available for download on the firm’s web site.
Number of attorneys: Approximately 650+ attorneys firm-wide
Number of attorneys: Approximately 700 attorneys firm-wide
Number of Summer Associates 2010: In 2010, we had 46 summer associates in our domestic offices (27 in DC; 10 in NY; 4 in LA; 2 in Denver; 2 in San Francisco, and 1 in Northern Virginia)
Number and location of offices: 8 (Washington, DC; McLean, VA; New York, NY; Denver, CO; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; London, England; and Brussels, Belgium)
What type of training do new associates receive?
Arnold & Porter LLP invests significant resources in the development of our attorneys to ensure that they are and continue to be highly experienced and productive lawyers. A dedicated Director of Professional Development and a team of professional staff oversee the training and development of all of our attorneys. With their help, the firm strives to provide a comprehensive approach to associate career development and advancement through: (1) formal training in legal and core skills with in-house programs and external continuing legal education (CLE) options; (2) on-the-job training through a variety of work assignments, pro bono cases, and opportunities to observe experienced attorneys; and (3) career development through retreats, a formal mentoring program, and guidance from two highly-skilled career development counselors.
Click here for more information on the Firm’s Professional Development Programs.
At which law schools do the majority of summer hires come from?
Our 2010 summer associate class included students from 27 law schools. Schools with multiple representatives included American, Columbia, Duke, Georgetown, George Washington, Harvard, Indiana, University of California - Berkeley, University of Michigan, University of Southern California, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt and Yale.
Click here for the Firm’s 2010 On Campus Interview Schedule.
What advice would you give to someone interviewing at your firm?
Be yourself and ask lots of questions!
How are associates assigned to practice groups?
Associates are assigned to practice groups based on the needs of the firm. Where possible, associate practice group preferences are taken into account. Some associates are members of more than one practice group.
What's the most fun part of life of this firm?
Our lawyers work in an open environment where candor, intellect, and individualism are valued. Social opportunities include evening social hours, weekly pizza parties and a variety of formal and informal events that foster not only strong working relationships, but life-long friendships. Participation in firm social events is completely optional.
How is your law firm organized?
Our firm is organized into practice groups, as opposed to departments. Many attorneys are members of more than one practice group, and our practice groups work closely together.
How do associates receive their assignments?
Each practice group has an assignment partner or partners who provide assignments to associates. In addition, over time, associates often seek assignments directly from partners with whom they would like to work. Each new associate receives an assignment partner with whom they work to obtain assignments within their practice group or area(s) of interest.
Please describe your firm's diversity and recruitment and retention programs.
Diversity is a core value at Arnold & Porter LLP.
Arnold & Porter seeks, through its diversity policy, to promote the treatment of every person with dignity and respect, value the contribution that each person makes as an individual, enable our colleagues to be comfortable being themselves, and encourage every person to realize his or her potential. The firm believes that each individual has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal opportunity.
The firm's diversity efforts are overseen by a firm-wide Diversity Committee consisting of partners, associates and administrative staff. The Diversity Committee assists in developing and implementing policies and initiatives that are intended to promote a diverse workforce at all levels of the firm.
We participate in a variety of minority job fairs. We have firm-sponsored peer groups for minorities, women, and gay and lesbian lawyers.
Arnold & Porter LLP has repeatedly received the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's Thomas L. Sager Award, which is given regionally to law firms to recognize extraordinary commitment to diversity. The Washington office won the 2008 award for the Mid-Atlantic Region, and our Washington and New York offices have collectively received this award eight times.
Click here for more information on the Firm’s Commitment to Diversity.
What is the main focus of your firm's summer associate program?
The Summer Associate Program at Arnold & Porter LLP is our single most important source of associate hiring.
We hire summer associates with the expectation that they will be asked to join us as associates, and virtually all of our past summer associates have received offers. Summer associates at Arnold & Porter view first-hand the firm's strong commitment to excellence, diversity, pro bono work, and professional development.
Click here for more information on the Firm’s Summer Associate Program.
What perks and benefits do attorneys at your firm receive?
Arnold & Porter provides four weeks vacation, six weeks paternity/18 weeks maternity leave; financial assistance for those adopting a child; subsidized medical/dental insurance; dependant/health flexible spending accounts; 401(k); profit sharing; an Employee Assistance Program; paid life and short-term disability insurance; and long -term care insurance.
Click here for more information on the benefits the Firm provides.
Does your firm do a lot of pro bono work?
Arnold & Porter has one of the world's leading law firm pro bono programs.
Doing pro bono work has been a core value of Arnold & Porter since the firm's founding. Our pro bono commitment is a key part of who we are as a firm and is the reason many of us have made our professional home here.
While many law firms have upgraded their pro bono programs in recent years, we have shown a level of commitment that very few can match. We have consistently ranked in the top five pro bono firms in the annual pro bono survey of The American Lawyer, and the firm and its lawyers have won dozens of awards in recent years, including the American Bar Association's prestigious 'Pro Bono Publico' award.
Our commitment to pro bono is as broad as it is deep. We have no single 'signature' project -- our program is as diverse as the interests of our lawyers and our obligation to work for justice. Of course, we have a heavy load of 'impact' cases -- such as our representation of mentally ill prisoners seeking appropriate treatment at the notorious 'Angola Prison Farm' in Louisiana, and our precedent-setting lawsuit against a 'mail order brides' agency that brought young women from around the world to the United States and matched them with physically abusive men -- a case that led to federal legislation bringing these agencies under government regulation. In 2010, we produced a prominent report for ABA’s Commission on Immigration on “Reforming the Immigration system” that garnered stories in The New York Times. Our cases involve the death penalty, political asylum, election reform, and international human rights. In addition to handling high-profile cases, we represent many poor individuals, such as families facing eviction, women who have been the victims of brutal domestic violence, and people who have been wrongfully denied government benefits.
Our work covers the full range of our lawyers' skills, including transactional work and counseling for non-profits and non-governmental organizations. Our firm policy encourages our lawyers to devote 15 percent of their time to pro bono work. Each year, we honor two firm lawyers who have distinguished themselves through their pro bono work by permitting each to select a pro bono legal services provider to which the firm makes a contribution of $15,000 in that lawyer's honor.
Click here for more information on the Firm’s Pro Bono Program and to view our Pro Bono Sampler.