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."
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."
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This session focused on project management – everything from creating a budget to how to appropriately staff matters.
Building on the morning session, the day concluded with how to mentor more junior associates and provide effective feedback.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
DLA Piper approaches diversity and inclusion differently than others in the legal industry. Diversity 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.
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.
Effectively multitasking while balancing numerous deadlines is less daunting when you have the skills to approach your day systematically.
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.
A team approach 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.
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.
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.
Committed to Quality
Exceptional work product draws on all these attributes. We seek candidates who have demonstrated that they can achieve the best results.
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.
We offer a competitive plan to help you with retirement savings, including the availability of both pre-tax and Roth contributions.
Flexible Work Solutions
We offer flexible work arrangements to help you with your professional and personal commitments.
Resources for Parents
We offer a variety of resources to assist you in juggling the realities of parenthood.
Save on items – big and small – such as car-buying programs, retail discounts, student loan refinancing and more.
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