Laterals

Since joining DLA Piper, I have been able to scale my practice to include more high-value, cross-border transactions in addition to working with my core startup clients."

Nicole Hatcher

Corporate Associate, Silicon Valley

Nicole Hatcher

The reason for my transition to DLA Piper is that I want to be part of a firm that has local experience on the ground, a truly global platform and outstanding financial performance, but that still behaves like an upstart, entrepreneurial firm. It's clear that the firm is not just satisfied with past performance and is always looking for ways to better serve clients and improve."

Kevin Gooch

Finance Partner, Atlanta

Kevin Gooch

What drew me to DLA Piper was the breadth of experience and skill in the Real Estate department, combined with the group's collaborative approach and business-minded focus. Those are the building blocks that help make DLA Piper a top real estate group."

Bradley Levy

Associate

Bradley Levy

Our practice areas

DLA Piper is one of the largest business law firms in the world and one of the most recognized law firm brands globally. Since our firm's founding, we have established ourselves as an innovative and entrepreneurial firm that is deeply committed to our global core values of people, clients and community.

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Corporate

Our Corporate group provides sophisticated business counseling to a wide range of clients. Our associates are involved in transactions for companies ranging from startups to multinational Global 1000 and Fortune 500 companies. Our experience includes mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, public and private equity and debt offerings, venture capital and private equity investments, financings and other transactional matters. We also advise on employment and ERISA issues, and we provide cross-border services delivered through international sector teams and practices.

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Recognition

#1 Globally for announced M&A deals by volume 2010-2017, Mergermarket

Jenifer Renzenbrink Smith

Jenifer Renzenbrink Smith

Partner

Austin

What led you to practice in your group?

In college, I majored in accounting and management information systems, so I took a lot of classes focused on using technology to solve problems and working with accounting information and tax issues to inform decisions. I also had the opportunity to take several negotiations courses, which I really enjoyed. I realized through those studies that I wanted to work with innovative companies, help them grow and be involved in their strategic transactions. My practice allows me to do all of those things every single day.

What do you wish you would have known when you first started practicing?

The practice of law can be gruelling at times. It's important to find a balanced approach that is sustainable for your lifestyle and well-being over the long term. In my experience, one good way to do that is to look for and take advantage of opportunities to relax, spend time with your friends and family and do whatever makes you happy. Looking back, I realize how critical it is to choose a practice you enjoy, work with people you like and respect, focus on getting better every day, take care of yourself, and always be thinking about and implementing ways to build and strengthen your personal and professional relationships.

How would you describe the firm's culture?

DLA Piper is a collaborative, supportive environment with a broad enough platform to provide each member of our team with the opportunity to create a successful path. Although this is a global organization, it is surprisingly easy to make connections and build relationships with lawyers in other offices, practices and even other countries. The firm has an entrepreneurial, energetic focus on strategic growth, and we are constantly working on innovative ways to improve our ability to provide outstanding service to our clients.

Describe a typical day for you.

No two days are ever exactly the same in our practice, which is part of why I enjoy what I do. On a typical day, I get up in the morning and have breakfast with my husband and three boys before he takes them to school. At the office, I might work on a merger agreement, attend a board call, talk with an associate about career issues or a venture financing we are working on together, take a client to lunch and work on a budget for a new project. I usually try to get home in time to have dinner with my family and read to my kids before bed on nights when I am not entertaining clients or attending a networking event.

Jeremy Lustman

Jeremy Lustman

Partner

Washington, DC and New York

What led you to practice in your group?

Israel presented an exciting opportunity that fit perfectly with the ethos of the firm and that gives us the opportunity to help companies that are scaling from their first day and are in need of high-level legal services. The Israel country practice is a real opportunity to showcase our breadth and depth across practices, sectors and geographies. It is also a market that is gaining ever more attention globally as a center of technology, which is a keen focus of the firm.

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your practice group?

We are early adopters in the market and enjoy a strong market position. It's also a very tight-knit professional market, and we have very close relationships that we continue to foster. Also, no two days are alike, given that we are touching almost every practice, sector and geography, so I'm learning something new constantly. 

Have you found mentors here at the firm? How have they shaped your experience?

Absolutely. Aside from teaching me the importance of being meticulous in practice, attentive to detail and always responsive to clients, their vision, guidance and support encouraged me to take calculated risks, which fostered a whole new practice.

How have you progressed and evolved through your time at DLA Piper?

I've been with the firm for 13+ years. Climbing the associate ranks and then coming into the partnership, I spent six years in Washington, DC, and now have been involved with clients in Israel for 7-1/2 years. I started out as a Corporate associate, became involved in the firm's Hospitality practice in my earlier years, then had the opportunity to create an Israel practice when I began spending time in Tel Aviv.

How would you describe the firm's culture?

Incredibly entrepreneurial. The firm provides great encouragement for attorneys to chart their own course. They can certainly grow and thrive within the existing structure, but there is also great opportunity to be creative and run with one's own passions, in line with firm strategy.

Puja Vadodaria

Puja Vadodaria

Associate

Atlanta

What led you to practice in your group?

I wanted to be a transactional lawyer because I enjoy working with clients to help anticipate and resolve their business legal needs. It is exciting for me to review contracts, determine the impact of a specific provision on my client and then offer a solution or compromise that can attempt to minimize the risk or liability to my client.

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your group?

I enjoy working with my colleagues, both in the Atlanta office and other offices. I am fortunate to work with smart, experienced lawyers who excel at their profession, are readily available to address my questions and provide me work opportunities that can improve and build my skills.

What do you wish you would have known when you first started practicing?

I wish I had known the importance of putting together a system for organizing and managing working files and emails. I worked on about 50 different matters for clients in two years at DLA Piper. When a client emails you two years after a transaction about a specific correspondence, it is important that you have organized and managed all of your emails and communications in an effective manner so that you can respond. While it is never too late to get organized, it makes the process much easier if you start creating folders by client and subfolders by specific transactions on day one.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your practice in the last two years?

Monitoring and entering my time has always been a challenge. Tracking your life in six-minute intervals can be difficult, especially when you are managing several different transactions simultaneously. Our new policies and tools make it easier to manage my time and remind me to enter my time on a regular basis.

Real Estate

We have generally been recognized as one of the leading real estate law firms in the United States. We handle many of the most complex, high-profile real estate transactions in the nation. Our associates have the opportunity to work on a full range of real estate matters, including land use and development; military base closure and redevelopment; acquisitions and dispositions; joint venture and preferred equity; senior, mezzanine and construction financing; leasing; environmental; hospitality and leisure, insurance; tax; ERISA; and real estate litigation. Our clients include public and private companies, REITS, investment advisors, pension funds and endowments, insurance companies, private equity funds, governmental entities and developers. We also provide a number of cross-border services delivered through international sector teams and practice groups.

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Recognition

DLA Piper named a top 5 real estate law firm by Commercial Property Executive.

Katherine Jahnke Dale

Katherine Jahnke Dale

Associate

Chicago

What led you to practice in your group?

I found my practice group somewhat organically. I knew from law school course work and my own personal preferences that I was interested in real estate and development. Throughout the summer program and my first year spent doing the Krantz Fellowship, I got to know the Chicago Real Estate group and Land Use team and realized that I got along with them personally and enjoyed working with them. At the end of my first year, when it came time to finalize my group, it seemed like a natural fit.

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your group?

I enjoy working on exciting, complex and high-profile projects, all of which differ from each other in unique ways, that produce tangible outcomes – whether I'm working with a client to buy a property or securing entitlements to break ground on a new global headquarters. I also enjoy the people I get to work with, both internally in the firm's Real Estate group and externally with players in the real estate industry.

Have you found mentors here at the firm? How have they shaped your experience?

I have found a number of mentors at the firm – through both formal and informal channels. Right off the bat, my  associate Jump Start Connection mentor and partner career advisor were invaluable in helping me to find my bearings and hit the ground running. Since then, I've identified additional mentors through my day-to-day work, involvement in firm committees and other opportunities. These mentors have had a huge impact on my practice and experience at DLA Piper in that they push me to be a better lawyer and associate and teach me new and different ways to approach problems.

Describe a typical day for you.

For better or worse, I don't really have a typical day. It depends on client needs and where projects on which I am working are in their lifecycles. There are some days that I spend in back-to-back meetings or public hearings. On other days, I may be working in the office most of the day on a number of different projects. I often find myself attending community meetings in neighborhoods throughout the city, which gives me the opportunity to get to know the various stakeholders for any given project.

Guy Flynn

Guy Flynn

Partner

Baltimore

What led you to practice in your group?

Going back to 1991 as a 1L summer associate at Piper & Marbury (one of DLA Piper's legacy firms), I've always been intrigued by the complexity of real estate deals and by the multiple areas of experience within the real estate practice – from dirt law to financings to tax law to M&A law to environmental law to workouts and beyond. There's never a dull moment!

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your group?

The opportunity I get each day to work with great clients and colleagues. Helping our clients solve their most urgent problems is incredibly rewarding, but so is the teamwork required of my colleagues and me to achieve those results.

Have you found mentors here at the firm? How have they shaped your experience?

I've been extraordinarily privileged to have great mentors at the firm over the years. For example, Don McPherson was the chair of the Baltimore office's real estate department when I joined the firm. He taught me the substantive law I needed to know, provided me with the client and firm contacts I needed to develop and extend my business network and entrusted me to learn and work without micromanagement. To this day, I rely on Don (now a retired partner) as a mentor and often turn to him for advice.

Describe a typical day for you.

A typical day involves a mix of client and colleague phone calls and meetings, reviewing and drafting legal documents, consulting and interacting with the other members of my team and doing something each day to attract new business – whether having lunch with a client prospect or passing along a useful tidbit of industry information to a longtime client for whom I might not have a current matter pending. There are also any number of administrative functions I deal with each day. Equally important, I start each morning in the gym and end each evening in my music room mixing records from my 55,000-strong LP collection.

Litigation

We are dedicated to finding the most advantageous dispute resolutions for our clients. To do so, we leverage our extensive experience and judgment from thousands of national and international controversies to develop business-driven solutions. This includes case management of multiparty high-exposure cases to trial and resolution. Our associates have the opportunity to prosecute and defend substantial, multi-faceted, multi-district litigation for some of the world's leading companies. In addition to handling arbitrations, mediations and other forms of dispute resolution, our lawyers have designed and implemented sophisticated dispute resolution programs for many of our Fortune 500 clients. We also provide a number of cross-border services delivered through international sector teams and practice groups.

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Recognition

Recognized as a "powerhouse" law firm for class actions and complex commercial litigation by BTI Consulting Group in the BTI Litigation Outlook 2018 report.

Mason M. Hubbard

Mason M. Hubbard

Associate

Washington, DC

What led you to practice in your group?

Throughout law school, I was always drawn to litigation. When I summered at DLA Piper, it became clear that the Litigation group was indeed a great fit. I was impressed not only by the people but also the variety and caliber of work available within the group.

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your group?

The bulk of my work consist of corporate investigations. Through this, I get to collaborate very closely with the client and in-house counsel. I love learning the ins and outs of the business and seeing our recommendations take effect in real time.

Have you found mentors here at the firm? How have they shaped your experience?

I have found wonderful mentors, at various stages in their careers, at DLA Piper. I have always been impressed by how readily my mentors make time to offer guidance.

How would you describe the firm's culture?

Two of DLA Piper's platforms that drew me to the firm were our international scope and our commitment to pro bono. Through my years of working at the firm, I have found that these are not mere marketing claims, but an accurate representation of DLA Piper's capabilities and commitments. I have had the pleasure of working on New Perimeter projects globally and working with various offices around the world. I have found both to be enlightening and energizing experiences.

John Huh

John Huh

Partner

Philadelphia

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your group?

I enjoy working with the other members of the Litigation group. All of the teams that I work on have people who are bright (smarter than me), hardworking and supportive. The benefit of working with people who are smarter than you is getting to learn something new almost every day. But more importantly, the people I work with are fun and enjoyable to be around. You spend more time with your colleagues during a workday than you do with your family, so, for me, it is very important to have such colleagues.

What led you to practice in your group?

I became a litigator because I like the challenge of finding creative solutions to complex and difficult problems. I also enjoy successfully navigating clients through high-stakes litigation and government investigations, which can give clients bad headaches. It's rewarding when I can provide clients with peace of mind. I chose to center my practice around antitrust law because it keeps me on my toes intellectually, and antitrust provides me with opportunities to work with clients on non-litigation matters, such as compliance procedures and antitrust clearance for potential deals.

What do you wish you would have known when you first started practicing?

The importance of building relationships, both within and outside of the firm. It is never too early to start developing your network. It takes time to build a strong network, but having one is a necessity for nearly every career path.

Have you found mentors here at the firm? How have they shaped your experience?

I was fortunate to have incredibly supportive and wonderful mentors from the outset. My mentors have given me invaluable advice over the years, with my best interests as their top priority. They have helped me grow professionally and personally, and I still regularly seek their guidance today. A piece of advice that one of my mentors gave me when I was a very junior associate was to show everyone the same respect and professionalism that would be shown to a client. That advice continues to shape my career.

Cara Vasquez

Cara Vasquez

Associate

Houston

What led you to practice in your group?

I was a debater in high school and an oral advocate in law school. Litigation seemed like a natural fit. Fortunately, before law school, I worked for a general practitioner in my hometown and was exposed to a lot of different practice areas. That experience helped me quickly narrow the list. After my 1L year, I interned in DLA Piper's Houston office and was thrown into a case that was a few months out from trial. One of my earliest big assignments was to take the first stab at a motion to exclude the other sides' expert. I had no idea how to go about doing that. I would certainly not want to read that draft now, but that internship made my summer associate decision an easy one.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your practice in the last two years?

After wrapping up an arbitration at the end of 2015 − one that engulfed all of my availability for three years − my plate was almost completely empty. When a big matter finishes, building back up can be more difficult than anticipated. Being "slow" was not something I knew how to handle. Yet 2016 turned out to be one of the most professionally rewarding years I've had at DLA Piper. I brought in clients for the firm, handled a few small matters on my own for other offices that resolved favorably, and was staffed on another arbitration right before the hearing and was able to assist with its victory. It is important to take advantage of the downtime when you have it, because it rarely lasts long.

Have you found mentors here at the firm? How have they shaped your experience?

So often in big law we describe the associate track with terminology straight out of a video game, such as "level up" and "getting over the wall." Without a great mentor, navigating associate life would be like winning a Mortal Kombat round and simply bowing when "Finish Him" appears on the screen. Mentors already knows the best moves because they have either been there, simply bowed and learned a different finishing move, or they had someone else teach them and can now pass on their knowledge. My mentor is now a senior associate at the firm and was my assigned Jump Start Connection when I started as a first year. (Apparently, your Jump Start Connection is supposed to mentor for your first year only, but we did not get that memo.) As I move through my fifth year, I continue to rely on her for career advice, life advice and case-specific advice daily. Without a mentor, I would have fewer connections, career experiences (such as solo hearing experience as a first year) and practice pointers.

Describe a typical day for you.

The common answer to this is: "there is no typical day." That's mostly true. However, as I have gone up the associate ladder, my typical-atypical day has greatly changed. As a young associate, your schedule is more unpredictable because you are frequently given last-minute projects, from multiple people, on cases that you do not manage. As a mid-level, that really changes. More of your day is spent on the phone and in meetings and you have a better idea of what the future holds. Sure, there are still surprises, but they are far fewer as you progress.

Finance

We advise on all aspects of financing, across borders, sectors and financial products. With one of the largest teams of dedicated finance lawyers in the world and an established local law firm network, we help our clients to realize their financial strategies in whichever markets they do business. Our clients include the full range of market participants, whom we often support on first-of-a-kind deals and in new markets. We share knowledge and skills in deals involving, for example, lending and borrowing, debt securities, derivatives, funds, portfolios and FinTech solutions, as well as energy, infrastructure and other projects.

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Recognition

One of the top five most innovative law firms in North America by the Financial Times in its Innovative Lawyers 2017 report.

Jennifer Dinsmore

Jennifer Dinsmore

Associate

Baltimore

What led you to practice in your practice group?

DLA Piper's Finance group was a natural fit for my interests and experience, having worked as a CPA prior to law school and earned a joint JD/MBA degree. As a summer associate at the firm, while cycling through a variety of practices, I sought out opportunities to work on finance deals and learned to approach financial transactions from a legal perspective. I quickly came to appreciate the challenge and complexity of the finance deals I worked on, as well as the talented attorneys and collegial environment of the group, and was delighted to be placed there full time when I returned as a permanent associate.

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your practice group?

DLA Piper's Finance group is a well-integrated team, spanning numerous national and international offices and sub-specialties. This structure has allowed me to work with a wide range of clients and partners over the years and to build a strong internal and external network. I have also gained experience with a variety of finance transactions, from small venture loans to large bank, private equity and public market financings.

How have you progressed and evolved through your time at DLA Piper?

Like most new associates, I quickly realized there is a steep learning curve involved in the transition from law school to becoming a practicing lawyer. I was fortunate to join a group of lawyers who took care to mentor me and teach me not only the substantive legal aspects of their practice but also the just-as-important intangibles, such as managing teams and dealing with clients and opposing counsel. This guidance, as well as plentiful opportunities to observe my mentors in action, allowed me to quickly progress from assisting routine tasks to managing increasingly complex transactions and teams.

Describe a typical day for you.

On a typical day, I will be working with clients, opposing counsel and DLA Piper attorneys on various stages of multiple deals at the same time. This may involve setting up deal teams and checklists and negotiating preliminary term sheets for a deal just getting started; lengthier negotiations of and revisions to key financing documents for a deal in full swing; and/or coordinating closing documents and deliverables for a deal that is ready to close. Juggling all of these matters has taught me the importance of time management, prioritization and organizational skills, as well as the importance of working with a good team.

Brooke Kerendian

Brooke Kerendian

Associate

Chicago

What led you to practice in your group?

I was always interested in transactional law. Fortunately, I was a first-year associate during the pilot year of the New Associates Chicago Group, which meant that first-year associates were not assigned to a practice right away and instead could work in various areas during our first year. Some of my first assignments were with the Real Estate Capital Markets group, and I enjoyed both the substantive work and the experience of working with and learning from the people in the group, so it was a very natural transition for me to join that practice.

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your group?

One of the things I enjoy most is the variety. I practice securities law and corporate law, handling matters for both public and private companies of varying sizes, which has helped me develop as a more well-rounded attorney.

Have you found mentors here at the firm? How have they shaped your experience?

I have found wonderful mentors here, both through the formal career advisor program and organically through conversations with other colleagues. I have learned so much from these mentors, who have helped me find my own style in practicing law through the examples they set of how to provide high-quality legal work and excellent service to our clients, create strong relationships with current and prospective clients, work effectively with colleagues and opposing counsel, and mentor others.

Describe a typical day for you.

As I often tell law students, the thing that took the most getting used to when I started practicing was how atypical my days are! I was someone who always wrote out to-do lists and worked my way through them, checking each item off as I went. While I still have my to-do lists, I know now that the most typical things about my days are: (1) there will be calls and e-mails from clients and/or colleagues that will cause me to add to and re-prioritize my to-do list; and (2) in spite of that uncertainty, somehow everything that needs to be done always gets done.

Ryan J. Moreno

Ryan J. Moreno

Partner

New York

What led you to practice in your group?

Simply put, the people that work in my group. They are hard-working, intelligent and dedicated professionals but also understand the need for and benefit of a good work-life balance. As a junior associate, I was looking for senior attorneys who would invest in me and my career, and I was lucky enough to find that here. Most folks in our group are usually willing to take some extra time out of their day to teach an associate a concept or issue rather than just give someone a markup to turn.

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your group?

I enjoy getting to work with different private equity funds and banks on many types of transactions that arise from the breadth and quality of work that we get. While I focus on the technology, financial services, manufacturing and consumer goods industry sectors, I've had the opportunity to work with many other types of companies, which gives me a solid base of experience to handle any finance matter.

How have you progressed and evolved through your time at DLA Piper?

I've been with DLA Piper my entire career as an attorney. When I began, my practice was more of a mix between general corporate/M&A work and finance work, which was very beneficial to the development of my practice. As a result, I am very familiar with and understand the many different issues that can arise in an acquisition or divestiture and how they relate to the finance side of the deal. Having the opportunity to get my feet wet in a couple of different practice areas helped me figure out what I was best suited for long term.

Restructuring

Our restructuring lawyers have significant experience advising clients on investigation, enforcement, litigation and asset recovery on a multijurisdictional basis. We advise on all matters relating to public and private companies in underperforming and distressed situations. We manage assignments from the mid-market to the largest national and international restructurings and insolvencies. Our experience also extends to any contentious issues arising from restructurings and insolvencies. DLA Piper serves a diverse client base that includes debtors, lenders, government entities, trustees, shareholders and senior executives, as well as distressed debt and asset buyers and investors.

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Recognition

Recognized in the area of restructuring and insolvency by the IFLR 1000 in the publication's 2018 rankings of the world's leading financial and corporate law firms and lawyers.

Jamila Willis

Jamila Willis

Associate

New York

What led you to practice in your group?

I got lucky. In law school, we were asked to choose between corporate or litigation work, and I didn't know much about practices outside of these areas. At the beginning of my third year in law school, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. It was all over the news and I thought the coverage was incredibly interesting. As a result of the filing and the economic climate, the number of restructuring opportunities increased. I was offered a position as a restructuring associate and jumped at the opportunity.

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your practice group?

I love the pace and spontaneity. Bankruptcy cases and distressed deals move quickly. Someone once described corporate restructuring to me as the emergency room of practice groups. Every case and every day is different.

What do you wish you would have known when you first started practicing?

There was so much I didn't know when I first started practicing, so the list is long. Most of all, I wish I knew how quickly time would fly.

How have you progressed and evolved through your time at DLA Piper?

The Corporate Restructuring group here at DLA is small and associates truly get a lot of responsibility and substantive experience. When I started practicing, I was very timid and reserved. Practicing at DLA Piper has not only made me a stronger lawyer, it has made me a more confident lawyer.

Oksana Koltko Rosaluk

Oksana Koltko Rosaluk

Associate

Chicago

What led you to practice in your group?

Everything started at 9:00 am on a Tuesday many years ago with a discussion of "fresh start" and "automatic stay" in my bankruptcy law class in law school. I fell in love with the subject matter instantly. To explore this area further, I applied for an externship with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. After working in judge's chambers and observing cases in the courtroom, I was determined to pursue this area of the law. Thus, when I interviewed with DLA Piper, I voiced my interest in corporate restructuring; as a summer associate, I tried to work on as many bankruptcy matters as possible to establish solid working relationships within the group. As I had hoped, when I received an offer, I was placed in the Restructuring group.

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your group?

The primary reason why I am so passionate about restructuring is its sweeping reach into all areas of the law: in addition to the overarching Bankruptcy Code, restructuring lawyers deal with all aspects that a business does – employment, employee benefits, tax, environmental law, finance, corporate, litigation. For example, because debtors often sell assets in their bankruptcy case, we are deal lawyers; because bankruptcy financing is very frequent, we are also finance lawyers; because most of the dealings need to be approved by the court through a motion practice (and because other constituencies may not agree with the requested relief), we are also litigators, arguing motions, defending or conducting depositions, engaging in discovery and drafting appellate briefs. This is the beauty of bankruptcy practice – its multifaceted dimensions. To add to this, because DLA Piper is a global firm that knows no borders, many of our clients have operations all over the globe, so the aspect of international law is added to the complexity and richness of the bankruptcy practice. One chapter 11 debtor case may bring together more than 50 lawyers across groups and jurisdictions.

What do you wish you would have known when you first started practicing?

There are two things I wish I would have known on day one in the office. First, business development starts early, in college actually. As we, lawyers, are moving up in our careers, so are our peers in business. Although it will take time for our business counterparts to reach levels of authority to be able to give us their business, we need to develop relationships early, so our future business relationships are strong. My rule now is to meet for lunch or breakfast with one of my peers or a new acquaintance at least once a week. I wish I had started this practice much earlier in my career. Second, I wish I had started on day one to keep a notebook of cases and their key issues, even if I did not work on them directly, so I can refer to them in my subsequent cases. It is essential to know where to turn for a precedent.

Describe a typical day for you.

Because I think that life is too short and too beautiful to spend one-third of it sleeping, I wake up at 4 am I get to the office early, so I can have a head start before e-mails and calls start to flow. I start working on the train, primarily sorting through all of my e-mails from the prior day. Overall, days are unpredictable, requiring reprioritizing tasks at hand. On any one day, I usually work on about three cases. A larger portion of my day is spent on conference calls, both internal (with partners, associates or paralegals) and external (with clients, financial advisors or opposing counsel). Most of my substantive work is done early in the morning or after 5 pm when things become less hectic. On the train ride back home, I enter my time for the day. I try to get home by dinner time (which is late in my household), so I can have an evening with my two beautiful kids, but I log back in to tidy up loose ends after my kids go to sleep; my day ends around midnight.

Adam Lanza

Adam Lanza

Associate

New York

What led you to practice in your group?

I wanted a career that would bring a variety of work and fresh challenges every day. In the Restructuring group, that is certainly the case; it is a practice area that is part transactional and part litigation and, therefore, allows me to experience the best aspects of each of these work streams. There are always new and interesting issues that arise and require close attention and quick turnaround to meet clients' needs.

Have you found mentors here at the firm? How have they shaped your experience?

Everyone I have worked with at DLA Piper has helped shape my career. The benefit of DLA Piper's national practice and collaborative working environment is that I am given the opportunity to work with attorneys from all over the country and pick up a wider variety of knowledge along the way from each one. I benefit from having both partners and associates who are willing to spend their time to help, advise and mentor for the benefit of my development, and I believe this is something that separates DLA Piper from other firms.

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your group?

The variety of matters. Restructuring touches all industries and, in my short time here, I have been able to work on matters in a variety of sectors, such as oil and gas, retail, finance and hospitality, among others. We also have a strong commitment to pro bono work and I have been able to dedicate significant time to this.

What do you wish you would have known when you first started practicing?

As a new associate, I think it's easy to feel a sense of urgency to respond to issues and get work out as quickly as possible. I have found that while turning work around quickly is important for clients and colleagues, close attention to detail and quality of work are equally important. I would say that slowing down and finding that balance between working quickly and with quality is the goal, and this is something that I am improving as I develop through my career.

Employment

With market and economic shifts, new technology, globalization and global mobility, a demand for more flexible workforces and ever-increasing scrutiny of compliance and ethics, the employment and labor challenges for companies are greater than ever. DLA Piper's Employment practice advises clients worldwide on employment legislation, helping them meet their workforce objectives. We partner with our clients, wherever they do business, to find solutions and manage risk in relation to their employment, incentives and pensions legal challenges and objectives.

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Recognition

Recognized as a "standout" in complex employment litigation and everyday employment litigation by BTI Consulting Group in its recently published BTI Litigation Outlook 2018 report.

Ute Krudewagen

Ute Krudewagen

Partner

Silicon Valley

What led you to practice in your practice group?

Mostly a coincidence. Being an LL.M. with a foreign law degree and without the traditional J.D. and summer law clerk experience narrowed my options quite a bit when I started practicing in the US. After much searching, I was lucky enough to get a job offer with a global law firm focusing on global trade issues, the corporate aspects of global reorganizations, data privacy and German legal issues. I helped out the employment team when a team member went on maternity leave, and realized that practicing in the area of global employment would permit me to continue having a global practice, while focusing more on the human aspects of the workforce rather than things like share certificates, asset purchase agreements or tax structures (although my knowledge of those things is now extremely helpful).

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your practice group?

DLA Piper's employment group is very diverse. Our attorneys may be litigators, advisors and counselors working with startup clients or on big M&A transactions. They may also be executive compensation professionals figuring out the latest 409A issues or nuances on how tax reform impacts executive compensation. They may be union lawyers addressing labor issues, or attorneys, like me, with a focus on a global employment and transactional practice. 

What I enjoy most about my practice is that it is truly global. By 10 AM, I probably will have received emails from more than a dozen jurisdictions around the world and might have been on calls with clients and colleagues in just as many. While many issues are recurring, others are fresh and unique, and I get a thrill out of dealing with the less common jurisdictions.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your practice in the last two years?

Most companies go global much earlier than they did just a few years ago, while scrutiny by regulators has been rising.  So we have more and more clients coming to us for global employment advice. We also need to keep up on trends in employment laws as they develop across the globe: how to tackle gender pay issues with a workforce that crosses borders, how to address the employment and privacy challenges of modern technology (like biometrics or wearable devices) and how to address employment issues in an increasingly mobile world. All of this keeps us on our toes. More often than not, certain issues will come up in multiple jurisdictions across the globe, and we really enjoy working with clients on finding strategies to tackle these challenges in a manner that is not only local law compliant but also makes sense with the client's culture and values.

Describe a typical day for you.

It is long but rewarding. I start my day around 5AM at my kitchen table; this lets me catch my European colleagues early enough to still get some work done, my APAC colleagues just before their bedtime for any late-night emergencies, and my LatAm colleagues before they jump into their day. My regular workday in the office starts after my kids are off to school. I usually handle around 10-20 phone calls a day – client emergencies, scheduled diligence calls on transactions, whatever comes my way. The rest is about working with my team on everything else, like employment contracts, global policies, transaction agreements and email advice. I usually don't know when I start my day what issues will end up on my desk by the end. And if I find some "free" time between all of this, I love getting involved in DLA Piper's very active pro bono community – we work on global employment matters with some wonderful global nonprofits and help with immigration clinics. We also take part in some of New Perimeter's global initiatives.

Cherelle Glimp

Cherelle Glimp

Associate

New York

What led you to practice in your practice group?

I was attracted to the human element of employment law and the personal narratives that underlie each matter we handle. When we pull the proverbial curtain back on most of our employment cases, we see the gamut of the human psyche − ambition, fear, love (most often, lust), disappointment and aspiration, to name just a few. It's an interesting exercise to contextualize these different emotions and use them to tell a compelling story to advocate for our clients.

What do you wish you would have known when you first started practicing?

Like many young lawyers, when I first started practicing law, I sometimes experienced what's been described as the imposter syndrome: the nagging, unproductive fear that one day, I'd be exposed as a fraud. What I've learned is that making mistakes and asking for help doesn't make me an imposter or a fraud. The practice of law is just that − a practice. This is a liberating way of approaching my work because it helps me embrace the mindset that there is always something else to learn. It's also a reminder that mistakes are not personal shortcomings. I'm practicing.

I'm reminded of a quote by Les Brown, "Practice makes improvement. You can always better your best." 

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your practice group?

DLA Piper's labor and employment group handles a variety of substantive matters across myriad industries. We advise our transactional colleagues on the employment implications of mergers and acquisitions, draft agreements pertaining to almost every aspect of the employment relationship, counsel clients on how to comply with federal and state employment laws (in a constantly evolving legislative, political and cultural climate) and advocate on behalf of our clients in court and other dispute resolution fora. It's truly a diverse, multi-dimensional practice.

How have you progressed and evolved through your time at DLA Piper?

Early on, a mentor told me: "take ownership of your matters." It took some time for me to understand what this means and how to put this advice into practice as a new lawyer. Now that some time has passed, I view taking ownership as the ability to anticipate what a partner or client will need before they request it; it means treating every draft as if you were the last person to review the document before it gets filed. Taking ownership means going the extra mile to make someone else's day a little less overwhelming (even if that task is administrative in nature). It means caring about the work in front of you, and that includes the seemingly unimportant details.

Regulatory and Government Affairs

Many of our lawyers and other professionals in this group have held senior elected, appointed and staff positions in all branches of the federal government and in numerous state governments. Others have important experience in the corporate world. We leverage this experience to successfully advocate for our clients before legislative and executive branch decision makers as well as independent federal agencies. We also provide a number of cross-border services delivered through international sector teams and practices.

Hear from our lawyers

Recognition

Financial Times named DLA Piper one of the top five most innovative law firms in North America.

Melanie Garcia

Melanie Garcia

Associate

Washington, DC

What do you wish you would have known when you first started practicing?

I wish I had known that it takes time to develop your own style and approach, and that adopting someone else's doesn't always work. Watching what makes partners and other associates be successful is an invaluable learning experience, but over time I have realized that instead of trying to directly adopt their work styles, it is essential that I learn what about their individual approaches works for me and what I need to do differently. There are so many skills I've learned from observing others, but in order to be an effective lawyer, it's equally important that I be myself. The more genuine I am in my interactions with my colleagues and clients, the stronger our relationships are.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your practice in the last two years?

As I've taken on more responsibility within my team, I've transitioned to a role where I often assign work to other associates, and where I am expected to both manage that work and provide feedback to my colleagues. Learning to take on that role − from providing clear instructions at the beginning of an assignment (which requires knowing what you want) to providing effective feedback (which I'm still working on) to seeking feedback about my own leadership − has been a challenge. But it is important to me to learn to be a more effective leader in order to cultivate a strong, cohesive team that can better serve our clients.

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your group?

I am fortunate because I both like the people I work with and the work that I do. I am part of a great team of partners and associates who are supportive of one another in our professional and personal lives and who get to work on interesting projects every day. Because I am a nerd, I enjoy analyzing complex fact patterns and providing economic sanctions guidance to our clients − especially (as a Cuban American) when projects involve Cuba sanctions. I also love being able to work on client matters that impact or are impacted by the major issues being discussed in Congress in areas like infrastructure.

Have you found mentors here at the firm? How have they shaped your experience?

Yes. I've been incredibly lucky to work with partners and of counsel who have taken a real interest in my career and in providing me guidance. Not only have these relationships taught me more about the firm and about being a better lawyer, but knowing that good lawyers have my back and believe in the work that I do makes me more confident in my abilities.

Adam Baas

Adam Baas

Of Counsel

San Francisco

What led you to practice in your group?

Practicing environmental law provides me with a good balance between the law, science and business, all of which interest me. When I was in law school, I struggled to determine whether my interests lay in environmental or business law. I liked the science and the connection to the earth that environmental law provides, and I also liked the economics and the connection to how our society operates that business law provides. I stumbled upon my answer when, as a very young associate just starting out, I handled several matters involving small wineries with storm water issues. Two were upset that their neighbor was capturing storm water before it could reach their vines and another was upset that its neighbor was allowing runoff to soak its vines after traveling across a fermenting/bottling facility and picking up unwanted contaminants. Sitting in these client meetings, walking the facilities and applying the law to how the water flow and contaminants within that water affected the wineries' operations made me realize that I can satisfy both interests within a single practice. I was fascinated to learn and experience that my work for these clients had not just involved the science of water flow and storm water contamination, but had changed the financial stability of these clients' operations and potentially saved jobs and the companies' future outlook. I’ve sought to make this positive connection in every matter I've handled since.

What do you wish you would have known when you first started practicing?

This is a people profession. And it's absolutely not just who you know that can help you get ahead… but who you know who can help you better serve your clients, help another colleague or teach you something about your practice area that you otherwise would not have known. I tell most young lawyers I meet these days (and who are interested) to get out in the legal community and meet people, go to bar association events, join young lawyer social groups, stay connected with co-counsel or even opposing counsel (if they warrant your respect) when a matter is over, learn the clerks' and other staff members' names at the courts you practice in, get to know the governmental regulators you work with and stay connected to all of them. Also, be open to helping others without expecting anything in return – because, the less you make your network about quid pro quo, the more you will actually get back from these relationships down the line. For instance, you may ask your network for a recommendation or tip on a job opening once or twice (if that) during your career, but you’ll be asking them for advice on how to better serve your client's needs, better understand a new or different facet of law, better advance your arguments before a particular judge, better convince a regulatory body that your client's request should be granted, better connect you with an attorney that can handle a referral and dozens of other questions for years to come. So start creating your network now. These types of relationships take time.

Have you found mentors here at the firm? How have they shaped your experience?

As a recent lateral, I have not found a mentor per se, but I've certainly found individual leaders within the firm who have stepped up to help shape my experience and ultimate success. I've been at the firm for less than three months and can say with conviction that I've been met with open arms and that the people and firm culture have exceeded my expectations. Two individuals have played a key role in this experience – one a practice sub-group leader and the other a regional group leader. True to the culture of the firm, they have expended time and energy to explain and advance the firm's goals to me, emphasized and connected me to the firm's global reach, ensured that the firm's resources are matched with my practice needs, connected me with compatible attorneys and practice groups within the firm and highlighted how my practice, skills and experience fit with the firm's goals and people. This entrepreneurial and team work environment is exactly what I was looking for when moving my practice to DLA Piper and, thus far, these two individuals have helped shape my experience in a very positive way.

Christine Daya

Christine Daya

Associate

Washington, DC

What led you to practice in your group?

The intersection between law and policy is what I like most about the International Trade, Regulatory and Government Affairs practice. Much of the daily news – both domestic and international – impacts our work in one way or another, and it’s exciting to be part of a field that is so dynamic.

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your group?

In addition to the relevant nature of our practice in relation to current events, I very much enjoy practicing in the Government Affairs group because of the people. I have been privileged to work with wonderful partners, of counsels and associates since I started at the firm, and they have made the job enjoyable – even on my most challenging days.

How have you progressed and evolved through your time at DLA Piper?

I have kept an open mind about the type of work I want to do since I started with DLA Piper, and that has led to many interesting opportunities in different areas of law that I had not previously considered. Even after 3.5 years with the firm, I'm still learning new types of work within my group, and I've been able to take on additional responsibilities and leadership roles within cases.

How would you describe the firm's culture?

DLA Piper's global reach is an integral part of its culture. Even though each office location and each group within an office may maintain a slightly different culture, they tend to collaborate well together when such opportunities arise. That global and collaborative nature is one of the firm's greatest assets.

Intellectual Property & Technology

Our Intellectual Property group has an almost unrivalled global reach. Our associates are involved in every aspect of assisting companies protect their brands, patents, trade secrets, designs and other intellectual property. We also have the depth of experience needed to assist our clients in maximizing the value of their patent portfolios. Working closely with our IP lawyers, our Technology and Sourcing lawyers focus on the development, protection, exploitation and use of technology-related assets throughout the various stages of a company's growth and the sourcing of strategic assets and services for use in a company's operations. The IP group also is home to our Franchise practice. The majority of our franchise clients are franchisors and distribution companies, but we also represent multiple outlet, area development and master franchisees, as well as franchising joint ventures, on a wide variety of franchising, distribution, corporate, real estate, technology, finance, environmental, tax and other matters. We also provide a cross-border services delivered through international sector teams and practices.

Hear from our lawyers

Recognition

Our Intellectual Property and Technology practice is ranked as a Tier 2 by Chambers Global 2018.

Jacob Anderson

Jacob Anderson

Associate

San Diego

What led you to practice in your practice group?

My interest in patent litigation began with internships and courses during law school. I do not have a technical background, but found the interplay between the central legal and technical issues involved in patent cases compelling. As a summer associate, my experiences working on substantive assignments with colleagues and my exposure to the refreshing and collegial culture confirmed that I wanted to join the group.

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your practice group?

The problem solving and the people. Cases are typically staffed with a team of talented trial lawyers spanning multiple offices across the country. This dynamic team provides countless opportunities to share case management ideas and strategies and is extremely rewarding. In addition, the problems that we solve are intellectually stimulating because each case presents a different universe of technology and products to explore. Unique to cases and firms of this stature, practice members also challenge associates to take ownership of numerous facets of case assignments, leading to more rapid development of professional skill sets.

What do you wish you would have known when you first started practicing?

Colleagues do not simply pay lip service to the expression "my door is always open." In fact, practice members often are receptive to discussions concerning assignments or case strategies, and requests to observe more advanced litigation activities are usually well received. As a junior associate, it is easy to focus on completing seemingly discrete assignments without context. Capitalizing on opportunities to engage colleagues accelerates the learning curve for appreciating the big picture − building the strongest possible case for the client at trial.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your practice in the last two years?

My biggest challenge as a junior associate has been effectively communicating with colleagues to better manage their – and my own – time commitment expectations for assignments. Simply stated: proper time management makes life easier.

Yasmin Ghassab

Yasmin Ghassab

Associate

Boston

Have you found mentors here at the firm? How have they shaped your experience?

I have. Given the interconnectedness of DLA Piper's offices, there is no geographical limit on potential sources of mentorship. I have been lucky to find mentors with diverse backgrounds and experiences. The value of these mentors cannot be overstated – these are the people with the experience to prevent you from making the big mistakes, and when you do inevitably slip up, to help you recover.

Describe a typical day for you.

The beauty of practicing in the IPT group is that there is no typical day. DLA Piper's clients vary in every quantifiable way, and our attorneys have the experience to handle that. As a midlevel associate, I get to benefit from that experience. On any given day, I can be found participating in a mediation, researching the subject matter of a patent (subjects that range from toys and trampolines to optical physics and LTE technology) or drafting a necessary motion or letter. I'm always learning something new.

What do you wish you would have known when you first started practicing?

I wish I would have better understood the value in putting yourself, and your ideas, out there. In law school, because students are evaluated based on one exam or paper, it felt like too great a risk to make creative arguments. When I was a first-year associate, I viewed briefs and meetings almost as if they were exams – because I was so worried that I might write or say something wrong, I only shared ideas that I was absolutely certain were right. This fear of embarrassment was a disservice to myself and to the team. Now, if I have an idea for a creative argument, I share it. I wish I could say they have all been brilliant (they have not), but I have written more than a few successful motions stemming from a conversation that started with "This might sound weird, but what if we…"

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your practice in the last two years?

I think most attorneys can agree that the greatest challenges they have faced in their practice have been unrelated to the practice of law. Sometimes these challenges are exciting, but sometimes they are not. They are challenges that, without the support of colleagues and mentors, can threaten one's ability to practice. Whatever an attorney faces, it is absolutely vital he or she have a team that can both support the attorney and clients in his or her absence. Time and time again, I have seen my colleagues at DLA Piper willingly take on extra responsibilities in order to allow others, including myself, to mourn the loss of a loved one, recover from an injury or celebrate the birth (or birthday) of a child. Most challenges cannot be avoided, but a strong team can always make them easier to handle.

Carissa Bouwer

Carissa Bouwer

Associate

Sacramento

What led you to practice in your group?

During law school, I participated in an intellectual property clinic and immediately knew I wanted to practice in that field. As a summer associate at DLA Piper, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with attorneys in the IP group and specifically the trademark and copyright group.

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your practice group?

On any given day, I will work on trademark or copyright matters for 15 to 20 different clients. We work with clients in a variety of industries, from wine and online consumer products to B2B software enterprise solutions and platforms for programmers. Many of our clients are creating cutting-edge technology or breaking new ground, and it is fascinating to have a front-row seat to exciting developments and changes in so many different industries. I also really enjoy helping our clients build valuable assets through development and protection of their brands.

How have you progressed and evolved through your time at DLA Piper?

I have gained an enormous amount of substantive knowledge and experience during my time at DLA Piper. However, one thing I did not expect when I started was the deep appreciation I have developed for teamwork. My practice is very team oriented − partners, associates, paralegals, file clerks and secretaries all play a daily role in helping to provide clients with the very best service. We also work on teams across practices to make sure every legal need of our clients is met quickly and efficiently.

Describe a typical day for you.

On an average day, I will have a call with a startup client to explain the trademark clearance and prosecution process. I will likely receive several emails from clients asking whether a third-party trademark is infringing on their rights or whether the marketing department can post something on social media. I may spend an hour drafting a cease-and-desist letter and then several hours investigating and drafting a comprehensive clearance search report for a client's new brand. It is also likely that I will have a call with opposing counsel to negotiate a settlement agreement or discuss an opposition pending before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Tax

We handle clients' tax issues anywhere in the world. In the United States, we provide sophisticated and creative tax and business planning advice and dispute resolution representation on all federal, state and local matters. Our clients choose us because we offer one-stop shopping, from assistance with structuring complex transactions to defending positions before the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Tax Court and federal and state courts. We also provide cross-border services delivered through international sector teams and practices.

Hear from our lawyers

Recognition

Financial Times named DLA Piper one of the top five most innovative law firms in North America.

Sibel Owji

Sibel Owji

Partner

San Francisco

What led you to your practice group?

My decision to focus on international tax was affected by both my educational and personal background. By the time I decided to focus on international tax and pursue an LL.M. degree in Taxation, I had already practiced in another country for six years and had an LL.M degree in Comparative Law, which gave me a good understanding of international law and an appreciation of the differences between the legal systems, cultures and laws of different countries. In addition, the mind-provoking, global and puzzle-like nature of international tax was an important factor motivating me. My practice area enabled me to establish myself as a trusted business advisor to my clients. Providing business solutions on a global scale, including not only tax but also legal, operational and business aspects, makes my practice very rewarding and exciting.

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your group?

This is a difficult question because there are many aspects about my practice that I truly enjoy. That said, providing effective business solutions and the ability to work together and partner with my clients to implement those solutions and make a positive impact on their business is what I enjoy the most. Whether the clients are startup companies or big public companies, I greatly enjoy assisting them with achieving an optimal and effective global structure from legal, tax and operational perspectives while addressing their business needs.

How have you progressed and evolved through your time at DLA Piper?

I joined DLA Piper in 2007 and I've had an exciting and rewarding journey. I have been able to challenge myself every day professionally by working on sophisticated and complex projects and transactions as well as partnering with extremely smart clients and colleagues, which has translated into significant professional growth and furtherance of my career. These meaningful experiences and achievements also provided me with the honor of serving as the co-head of DLA Piper's International Tax practice.

How would you describe the firm's culture?

Diverse, collaborative, entrepreneur, collegial, creative.

Mike Silva

Mike Silva

Partner

Miami

What led you to your group?

I started focusing on international tax because I wanted to work on the cross-border business transactions people read about when they pick up the Wall Street Journal. I quickly learned that my international tax practice is much broader than helping multinational corporations with their tax minimalization. Here in Miami, my international tax practice encompasses planning for a wide spectrum of businesses and individuals. In addition to assisting closely held businesses with cross-border investments in United States real estate, the purchase and sale of operating businesses and the use of bilateral tax treaties, I've assisted individuals with cross-border estate planning, pre-immigration tax planning, and representation before the IRS. In my practice, I am confident that I will consistently be challenged and rewarded by helping clients navigate the scope and complexity of international tax.

What do you enjoy most about your group?

I enjoy the variety and the dynamic nature of the work, which allows me to be learning constantly. I cannot say that I have ever been bored with my work. I also appreciate knowing that I give people peace of mind by helping them plan for future life events.

What do you wish you would have known when you first started practicing?

I wish I would have understood that the tax code and the law of trusts and estates is not something that can be mastered in a day or even a year. As a young associate, one should realize that becoming a successful lawyer is a process and that a career involves a lifetime of learning.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your practice in the last two years?

With access to so many interesting clients, the challenge has been to select in which direction I wanted to build my practice. In other words, DLA Piper's global platform produces so many amazing opportunities that it is hard to choose, but I suppose that is a good problem to have.

Witold Jurewicz

Witold Jurewicz

Associate

New York

What do you enjoy most about practicing in your group?

I am fortunate to learn from a global network of tax lawyers who are willing to collaborate and share their technical knowledge. The Tax group is also committed to using technology and trainings to allow me to become a more well-rounded lawyer. The group organizes monthly tax lunches on current issues and structuring techniques. Every year, the group organizes a training retreat to hone the soft skills needed to excel in today's business environment. DLA Piper's technology is also unparalleled.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your practice in the last two years?

In the last two years, there has been a tremendous change in the global tax environment. This has meaningfully impacted how clients structure transactions and do business. While it's been a challenge, it has also been part of the excitement of working at a global firm. I have been fortunate to navigate these changes with the bright, creative and responsive professionals in our global group.

How have you progressed and evolved through your time at DLA Piper?

Over the years, I've had increased responsibility over managing projects. As a result, I am able to focus beyond the minutia of regulatory changes and see the big picture of the business issues affecting my clients. In keeping up with market trends, I've been able to bring clients creative solutions and stay ahead of the issues.

Describe a typical day for you.

I start every morning with a walk through Rockefeller Center, across the street from our office. I'm alongside commuters, tourists and street vendors filling Sixth Avenue before I slip into the office. My work spans the global firm platform and different time zones; I might have a call with our Paris office in the morning to structure a fund's United States investments and one with our Silicon Valley office in the afternoon with a software startup. I'll usually walk down the hall to bounce ideas off a colleague or collaborate on a pitch for a New York-based multinational company. My typical day is typical New York: fast-paced, diverse and exciting.

Career progression

Junior Associate

I spent my first three years as a litigator. I focused my efforts on learning the procedural and substantive aspects of the law. By my third year, I second chaired my first trial in a civil proceeding (I previously second chaired a trial while a member of the Judge Advocate General Corps for the US Marine Corps). My early mentors echoed the lesson my father taught me, which is that the Rolodex I would build in my 20s and 30s would carry me through the later years of my career.

Midlevel Associate

After spending 3.5 years as a litigator, I decided to change course by becoming a transactional lawyer focused on intellectual property and technology matters. My introduction to transactional work was a trial by fire. I was responsible for drafting changes agreed by the parties at the table. At times, this meant drafting real-time at the table. While not at the negotiation table, I spent time reviewing old deals to better understand alternative provisions and how the partners in the group would handle a particular issue in a deal.

Senior Associate

I started to focus on the business of law and the path to partnership. With the support of the firm, I pursued speaking and writing opportunities, and focused on building my internal and external client opportunities. I oversaw younger associates and increasingly supported partners and associates in other practice groups. While that first year of practice is a tough transition, being a senior associate is the most challenging period – you have to balance developing your own way while continuing to serve the needs of those who helped you get this far.

Partner

Now my focus has shifted from doing the day-to-day work to generating business. I am supported in most of this work by junior attorneys. I also have responsibility for the performance of the entire practice group in my role as a practice group leader. I, of course, do not do this alone and have a great group of partners with whom to collaborate, but I am responsible for ensuring they have the resources and support necessary to advance their individual practices as well as the overall performance and market visibility of the group.

Junior Associate

I began my legal career as a litigation associate in a large New York law firm. After gaining some exposure to transactional work, I realized my interest really was in corporate law, so I transitioned to becoming a corporate attorney. My primary role as a junior corporate associate was to support more senior lawyers by organizing and conducting due diligence review, controlling the document checklists, preparing ancillary documents and coordinating signing and closing logistics. I also participated on client calls and attended client meetings to get a more full picture of the deals.

Midlevel Associate

After 5 years in New York, I decided to return to the Bay Area. It was important to me to join a firm with a strong corporate practice, which is why I chose Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich (one of DLA Piper's predecessor firms) in Silicon Valley. I took a leading role managing all aspects of the transaction or project at hand, including participation in negotiations and supervision of junior associates. My interaction with clients increased, and I began to attend board meetings more frequently.

Senior Associate

By the time I was a senior associate, I was serving as the lead lawyer on deals and managing key aspects of client accounts. I supervised junior and mid-level associates in the preparation of documents and led negotiations on transactions. Most of my work had limited oversight from partners.

Partner

I still serve as the lead lawyer on many transactions and supervise a number of corporate matters, but I primarily focus on key portions of the transactions and spend more time on strategic counseling. I also focus on client development and firm administrative matters. It was important to me to invest in the future of the firm, so I looked for ways I could contribute. To that end, I co-chair the Northern California Corporate Group and the Silicon Valley Diversity Committee and serve on the Silicon Valley Hiring Committee and the National Policy Committee.

Professional development

We invest in our people by providing a comprehensive talent management strategy that seeks to develop our core competencies – leadership, client impact, professional excellence and interpersonal effectiveness. Our formal training begins with litigation and transactional boot camps for entry-level associates. Mid-level associates, senior associates and recently elected partners take advantage of multi-day intensive management and leadership academies. Because learning is ongoing and learning styles differ, we offer both in-person training and opportunities for virtual participation. Partners are one of our greatest assets, and you'll have plenty of opportunities to learn from them. Each associate is assigned a Career Advisor, but you will find that informal mentors abound. Our Shadowing Program encourages associates to learn from their colleagues. An associate-driven opportunity, it provides billable hour credit to observe senior lawyers conducting high-value legal activities with other firm lawyers and clients.

Read below for an inside view of one of the mid-level training academies.

Day 1
Morning

After a warm welcome from senior firm leaders, the highlight of the first morning was hearing directly from clients on how best to effectively partner with them and support their needs.

Day 1
Afternoon

The afternoon and evening was packed with great information, including a workshop on how to build our own personal brand and a chance to network with our colleagues.

Day 2
Morning

This session focused on project management – everything from creating a budget to how to appropriately staff matters.

Day 2
Afternoon

Building on the morning session, the day concluded with how to mentor more junior associates and provide effective feedback.

Day 2
Conclusion

We left the Academy with stronger connections to our colleagues across the firm and new tools to help us continue to build our practice and leadership skills.

It begins here

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Pro bono

DLA Piper has a long-standing and deep commitment to giving back to our communities. This commitment exists at every level within the firm and is truly ingrained as part of the firm's culture. We believe that we have a special responsibility to the communities where we live and work, and we take that responsibility seriously.

Pro Bono Statistics (2017)

Pro Bono Statistics (2017)

Our Pro Bono Signature Projects

Our Pro Bono Signature Projects

Teaming with our Corporate Clients

Teaming with our Corporate Clients

We are proud to collaborate with our corporate clients and with academic institutions, foundations and nonprofit organizations to increase the scope of our impact. This chart highlights some of our pro bono partnerships. To learn more about our pro bono partnerships, click here.

2017 – 2018 Award Highlights

2017 – 2018 Award Highlights

Pro bono clinics created by DLA Piper (2010–2017)

Pro bono clinics created by DLA Piper (2010–2017)

DLA Piper provides access to justice to those who need it most through the creation of legal service clinics. We partner with local providers to make an impact and bring positive change to under-served individuals and communities.

New Perimeter

New Perimeter

New Perimeter, our global pro bono initiative, provides long-term pro bono legal assistance in under-served regions around the world to suppport access to justice, social and economic development, and sound legal institutions. New Perimeter aims to support women's advancement as an overarching goal. For more information, please visit www.newperimeter.com.

Diversity and Inclusion

DLA Piper approaches diversity and inclusion differently than others in the legal industry. Diverstiy and inclusion are integral to our core values and our efforts on these fronts are motivated by the fundamental belief that not only does this make good business sense, it is also the right thing to do. Click below to learn more.

Key Differentiators

DLA Piper acknowledges that a strategic approach led from the top and integrated into the day-to-day business operations and management metrics is necessary to achieve measureable and sustainable results. Here are some key differentiators in our approach to diversity and inclusion:

  • The efforts are initiated and led from the very top of the global firm: the Office of the Chair.
  • The creation and implementation of specific action plans tailored to the priorities, needs and culture of each practice are led by group leaders.
  • Diversity metrics for demographics, recruitment, promotion and utilization are received by firm leaders on a quarterly basis.
  • In Summer 2017, 140 firm leaders participated in interactive inclusion training customized for DLA Piper and delivered by NYU Law School's Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. This nteractive training is currently being rolled out to all US lawyers.
  • Existing resources at the firm from various departments including Diversity and Inclusion, Professional Development, Marketing, and Recruiting will be aligned to actively support the implementation of the practice group diversity and inclusion action plans.
  • Positive contributions to the implementation of the diversity and inclusion action plans will be rewarded in connection with compensation decisions.
  • Practice group leaders are held accountable for diversity and inclusion results and implementation of their action plans.

Mentoring and Sponsorship

  • Champions Program: This program pairs newly promoted diverse partners with influential senior-level partners who serve as their sponsors. The goal is to raise the profiles of these newly promoted partners, facilitate their practice development and positively impact the retention rate and success of new partners.
  • Executive Sponsors: Executive Sponsors have been appointed to each resource group to champion their objectives to the highest levels of the firm. The Executive Sponsors are members of the Executive Committee and are responsible for providing strategic direction to their resource group, its leaders and its members.
  • Associate Office Hours: In this initiative, senior lawyers in the resource groups host "Office Hours" providing associates the opportunity to speak with them about ways to maximize the feedback that is shared during the annual review process.

Professional Development

  • Shadowing Program: This program provides opportunities for associates to obtain billable hour credit by observing senior lawyers conducting high-value legal activities with other lawyers and/or clients. Associates are encouraged to seek out opportunities such as trials, depositions, negotiations, closings, arbitrations, client meetings and pitches. Shadowing hours count towards the annual associate billable hour requirement.
  • Associate Talent Management Program: The firm uses a merit-based compensation system that addresses many of the goals of the diversity and inclusion strategic plan by providing all associates with a well-defined career road map for success at the firm, thereby establishing a more systematic and holistic basis for providing feedback and recognizing and rewarding performance.
  • Marbury Institute: The Marbury Institute is dedicated to teaching all lawyers the highest standards of the legal profession through a speaker series focusing on topics critical to understanding the practice of law in the world today. Part of the Institute's programming is the D&I Series, featuring industry leaders sharing their perspectives on diversity, the practice of law and business. The presentations are given for CLE credit and are open to clients.
  • Resource groups: The firm's resource groups (the Leadership Alliance for Women, Lawyers of Color and Iris) strategically focus on (1) the development and promotion of diverse lawyers through maximizing their opportunities for business generation and leadership, and (2) providing relevant resources to the practice group leaders in connection with the implementation of their diversity action plans.
  • Diversity and inclusion specific opportunities for education and training include the following:
    • Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Speaker Series: Through our partnership with NYU School of Law's Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, the firm sponsors a speaker series featuring leaders from academia and the public and private sectors on a range of topics relating to diversity and inclusion.
    • Firmwide Live Training: Also through partnership with NYU School of Law's Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, we are currently rolling out diversity and inclusion training for all US offices. The workshops combine the social science on best practices in recruitment, retention, development and promotion with a live case study methodology involving a troupe of actors.

Promotion to Partnership and Leadership

  • DLA Piper fosters equal access to advancement opportunities by supplying transparency with regard to the matriculation criteria and the potential pathways and available resources for implementation of individualized career plans.
  • DLA Piper is a signatory to the Mansfield Rule, a national initiative developed to increase diversity in leadership and governance roles, partner promotions and lateral positions. DLA Piper is committed to sourcing and considering a candidate pool for all of those positions that is at least 30 percent diverse.
  • Women Emerging Leaders: This program is aimed at helping junior female partners become strong business developers, rainmakers and leaders. The initiative works to provide opportunities for strategic enhancement of business development skills, allow for a better understanding of leadership within the global firm and effectively reward, engage and attract women lawyers.

Work/Life Integration

  • Flexible Work Solutions (FWS): DLA Piper's flexible work strategy acknowledges the realities of integrating a career with other life priorities. Options include reduced hours, full-time flex, and a ramp-up policy that allows lawyers who have been on leave to return to a full-time schedule. As of February 1, 2017, over 8 percent of DLA Piper's lawyers work a reduced hours schedule, and six FWS lawyers have been promoted to partner in the past four years. Eleven percent of the 2016 class of new partners work reduced hours.
  • New Parent Career Coaching: This virtual program provides lawyers with confidential, professional one-on-one support for transitioning into parental leave, reintegrating following the leave, and continuing to manage career and family once back at work. Certified coaches help new parents navigate the challenges of parenthood while thinking strategically about their careers and realistically about their competing priorities.

Community and Client Partnerships

  • DLA Piper is proud to partner with clients on secondments, professional development, civic engagement and pro bono projects.
  • We partner with numerous organizations to improve diversity and inclusion in the legal industry, including the following:
    • NYU School of Law's Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging: DLA Piper has partnered with the Center to provide bespoke training and access to cutting edge research and thought leadership. The Center seeks to do "paradigm-shifting work at a critical time in history, in which rapid demographic changes are creating increasingly diverse national and global communities."
    • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity: DLA Piper is a founding member of the LCLD, an organization of corporate general counsel and law firm managing partners dedicated to creating a diverse legal
      profession.
    • Diversity and Flexibility Alliance: The Alliance studies work/life issues and solutions to address challenges around creating inclusive environments that develop and promote diverse lawyers. DLA Piper has partnered with the Alliance and its predecessor for nearly ten years to support the enhancement of its Flexible
      Work Solutions program.

Diversity Pipeline Development

DLA Piper's pipeline development efforts seek to identify, mentor and develop diverse students who aspire to careers in the law. We contribute to various diversity scholarship programs and encourage active participation through mentoring, speaking engagements and serving on boards. The firm has also provided office space and resources to some of its pipeline partners, such as the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Here are a few examples of our work in this area:

  • DLA Piper Undergraduate Internship Program: This six-week paid summer internship gives students a broad view of what it is like to work in a large law firm and encourages them to begin developing professional networks.
  • Just the Beginning, A Pipeline Organization: JTB offers free educational pipeline programming for students in middle school, high school, college and law schools with a mission to inspire underrepresented, underserved and at-risk students and increase the diversity in the legal profession. DLA Piper actively supports its high school to college pipeline program.
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Programs: Through its partnership with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, the firm hosts 1L students in its offices each summer, as well as participates in the law school mentoring program, the Fellows and Pathfinders program and the mentoring program for 2Ls.
  • Diversity Scholars program at the University of Maryland School of Law: This program awards scholarships to diverse students based on academic achievement, financial need and the recipients' ability to contribute to the diversity of the school's student body and the legal profession.

Awards and Recognitions

DLA Piper is on a journey and, like most law firms, it still has some distance to travel, but with the combination of innovative approaches and best practices, here are some examples of ways in which the Firm is achieving best-in-class results:

  • Almost 40 percent of the firm's sector/industry leaders are women.
  • One quarter of the office managing partners are diverse.
  • In 2017, almost 60 percent of the partner promotions were diverse lawyers (an increase from 55 percent in 2016, 45 percent in 2015 and 33 percent in 2014).
  • In 2017, and for the fifth time, DLA Piper received the Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF), which recognizes the leadership roles achieved by women equity partners.
  • In 2017, and for the sixth time, Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyer's Best Law Firms for Women named DLA Piper one of the 50 Best Law Firms for Women in recognition of its many programs that attract, retain and promote women lawyers.
  • Each year on its Diversity Scorecard, American Lawyer ranks the top 200 US law affirm according to their percentage of minority lawyers. In 2017, DLA Piper ranked #64 out of 220 participating firms.
  • In 2017 and for nine consecutive years, DLA Piper has earned a rating of 100 percent in the Corporate Equality Index published by the Human Rights Campaign, which designates DLA Piper among the "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality."

Who we look for

There is more than one way to be a successful attorney, and we are proud to have a diverse population whose everyday practice styles vary. This is why we do not look for one prototype. We are searching for candidates who have a hybrid of skills that include a strong academic record and superior personal qualities. Below are just a few of the elements that can make an individual stand out from the rest. Flip the boxes for more details.

Organized

Being organized leads to better productivity. Effectively multitasking while balancing numerous deadlines is less daunting when you have the skills to approach your day systematically.

Problem Solver

Do you look past the obvious answer? Our clients rely on us to have a deep understanding of the task at hand as well as to provide analytical solutions.

Collaborative

A team approach to meet client needs is more than leaving your office door open. Our teams are built across offices, practice and borders, drawing on diverse experiences to create better results for our clients. Striving to build those collaborative relationships is key.

Enthusiastic

We aren't talking about bringing pom-poms to work, but we know that positive work energy is contagious. For attorneys, hours may vary – it is important to enjoy what you do.

Confident

Our lawyers have an entrepreneurial drive and are encouraged to seek the best solutions. Sometimes, that means having the confidence to suggest a new approach. Confidence also means being able to adapt to changing situations and influence others.

Committed to Quality

Exceptional work product draws on all these attributes. We seek candidates who have demonstrated that they can achieve the best results.

Benefits

Medical, Dental and Vision

Your health and that of your family are important. We offer a variety of plans to choose from.

Pre-Tax Savings Benefit Plans

Every little bit helps when it comes to saving and we offer a variety of pre-tax benefit plans, such as commuter benefits and flexible spending accounts.

Resources for Your Well-Being

From massage therapy to financial and legal concierge services, you will have resources to nurture your mind and body.

Income Protection Plans

With access to life, disability and critical illness insurance options, you will take comfort in having income protection.

401(k) Savings
Plans

Everyone's retirement goal is different. We have a competitive plan to help you with retirement savings, including the availability of both pre-tax and Roth contributions.

Flexible Work Solutions

We recognize that our lawyers have responsibilities and interests outside of work. We offer flexible work arrangements to help our lawyers achieve work and personal life integration.

Resources for Parents

From Little Lotus baby swaddles and travel solutions for breastfeeding moms, to backup child care and educational advising through College Coach, these resources can help you juggle the realities of parenthood.

Discount
Programs

Save on items – big and small – through car-buying programs, retail discounts, student loan refinancing and much more.

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