How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

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How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:24 pm

Hey all. I am applying for a 1L summer position at Akin, but it comes with a commitment to join the firm for 2L summer. I have had no time to do research on this firm since I just found about the interview today. Just wondering what everyone's opinion on the firm is with regard to no-offer, financial stability, and exit options.

Rule11
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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby Rule11 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:27 pm

What office? What kind of practice group do you want?

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swc65
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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby swc65 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:31 pm

Rule11 wrote:What office? What kind of practice group do you want?

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:31 pm

swc65 wrote:
Rule11 wrote:What office? What kind of practice group do you want?



This is just a probono thing and they are interviewing for NY and DC.

I have no idea what practice group I want. That's one of the reasons why even thinking about making a commitment for this summer AND next seems so scary. I don't even know if I want to stay in NY or go back to DC!

It's not as if I am anywhere near confident I would get the position, but I thought a little prelim research might be a good idea.

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby Rule11 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:49 pm

The reason I asked was that Akin's NYC office is relatively new. On one hand, it's been growing fairly rapidly (albeit buffeted by the slings and arrows of the economy's misadventures); on the other hand, it's smaller than offices of NYC-based firms, or even than most NYC offices of non-NYC firms. As a result, it lacks some of the client base and name-recognition in NYC that correlates with a firm providing good "exit opportunities."

Akin's DC office is strong, is older and more developed than the NYC office, and has a great rep in general.

I don't know anything about Akin's offer rates, but I don't think it has any particular rep for layoffs or other hanky-panky (others please correct if I'm out of the loop on that).

In general, most firms in the Akin range (roughly corresponding to Vault rankings 30 - 60, with several obvious exceptions) offer similar prepackaged biglaw experiences for junior associates--long hours, increasingly tepid bonuses, generally bad opportunities for responsibility or career development, and highly uneven training. They also pay the same high salaries and put you in a position to impress/make connections with clients and jump ship if you like. It's not the big resume boost that a V10ish firm can give you, but it is an extremely plum job that will put you in a strong position to make something of it.

I guess my bottom line would boil down to hedging your risk. Biglaw employment is fraught with uncertainty. Akin is a upper-middle biglaw firm, only clearly bettered by a dwindling handful. If you get this job, I would advise you to take it--a bird in hand is worth two in your wildest dreams.

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:17 pm

Rule11 wrote:The reason I asked was that Akin's NYC office is relatively new. On one hand, it's been growing fairly rapidly (albeit buffeted by the slings and arrows of the economy's misadventures); on the other hand, it's smaller than offices of NYC-based firms, or even than most NYC offices of non-NYC firms. As a result, it lacks some of the client base and name-recognition in NYC that correlates with a firm providing good "exit opportunities."

Akin's DC office is strong, is older and more developed than the NYC office, and has a great rep in general.

I don't know anything about Akin's offer rates, but I don't think it has any particular rep for layoffs or other hanky-panky (others please correct if I'm out of the loop on that).

In general, most firms in the Akin range (roughly corresponding to Vault rankings 30 - 60, with several obvious exceptions) offer similar prepackaged biglaw experiences for junior associates--long hours, increasingly tepid bonuses, generally bad opportunities for responsibility or career development, and highly uneven training. They also pay the same high salaries and put you in a position to impress/make connections with clients and jump ship if you like. It's not the big resume boost that a V10ish firm can give you, but it is an extremely plum job that will put you in a strong position to make something of it.

I guess my bottom line would boil down to hedging your risk. Biglaw employment is fraught with uncertainty. Akin is a upper-middle biglaw firm, only clearly bettered by a dwindling handful. If you get this job, I would advise you to take it--a bird in hand is worth two in your wildest dreams.


Thanks for the insight. You're right BigLaw is such a crapshoot and a V30 isn't a bad deal.

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby A&O » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:03 pm

When you say they want a commitment for 2L summer, do you mean that they want you to come for the entire 2L summer? Just a few weeks? If the former, I'd strongly consider the possibility of working at a better firm. If the latter, take the offer for 1L summer. No big deal.

I know Akin Gump in NYC is particularly good for bankruptcy. I also know they work a lot more hours than Akin Gump attorneys in other offices.

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby Voyager » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:15 pm

NY:

fun associates

great bankruptcy practice

great litigation practice; many former AUSAs

screwed a bunch of the 2009 summer class. no offered a large portion of the class. deferred offered another portion. provided zero support in finding jobs. managment way way over spent on both the office space and in SA offer decisions and this was at a time when the storm clouds were on the horizon.
Last edited by Voyager on Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby A&O » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:16 pm

Didn't they also rescind offers to incoming 2L summer associates back in 2008? I believe they did.

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby Voyager » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:18 pm

A&O wrote:Didn't they also rescind offers to incoming 2L summer associates back in 2008? I believe they did.

fall 2008: rescinded offers for summer positions to everyone that had not accepted their SA offers yet. told the rest of the class they did this to ensure they could make permanent offers to everyone. of course, that did not work out at all.

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby A&O » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:21 pm

managment way way over spent on both the office space


The offices are quite nice though :lol:

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby Voyager » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:25 pm

A&O wrote:
managment way way over spent on both the office space


The offices are quite nice though :lol:


Oh fantastic. so fantastic, in fact, that when Vernon Jordan came by he was shocked and dismayed by them (EDIT: Vernon Jordan is a member of the firm and a key personality/hero in the organization... so his opinions matter... as you may or may not know, he was a civil rights leader and activist and is very well politically connected). He told the summers that the offices were not what Akin Gump was all about and that they seemed extravagant.

He stopped short of saying there were an absolute ridiculous waste of money... but he did turn around right after blasting the offices to say that not all of us would make it.

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby A&O » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:30 pm

I'm sorry man. That's brutal.

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby vamedic03 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:36 pm

I would strongly recommend against the 1L program at Akin Gump. Unless it has changed, they require you to spend your 2L summer with them. This is a really crappy deal for you - your 2L summer is your chance to find the firm you'll work for afterwards. If you have the grades to get the 1L summer program, you have the grades to have some great options for 2L summer. Look at the V10 and ask yourself if you want to forego the opportunity to work at any of those firms just so that you can have a firm job 1L year. Personally, I don't think it's worth it. Akin Gump is a good firm (caveat - see above); however, you should fully assess all your options before you lock yourself in for two summers.

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:48 pm

vamedic03 wrote:I would strongly recommend against the 1L program at Akin Gump. Unless it has changed, they require you to spend your 2L summer with them. This is a really crappy deal for you - your 2L summer is your chance to find the firm you'll work for afterwards. If you have the grades to get the 1L summer program, you have the grades to have some great options for 2L summer. Look at the V10 and ask yourself if you want to forego the opportunity to work at any of those firms just so that you can have a firm job 1L year. Personally, I don't think it's worth it. Akin Gump is a good firm (caveat - see above); however, you should fully assess all your options before you lock yourself in for two summers.



Yeah this is what I was afraid of. I do not know yet what my grades will be my OCI, though. Anyway I guess it doesn't matter until after I apply anyway.

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:I would strongly recommend against the 1L program at Akin Gump. Unless it has changed, they require you to spend your 2L summer with them. This is a really crappy deal for you - your 2L summer is your chance to find the firm you'll work for afterwards. If you have the grades to get the 1L summer program, you have the grades to have some great options for 2L summer. Look at the V10 and ask yourself if you want to forego the opportunity to work at any of those firms just so that you can have a firm job 1L year. Personally, I don't think it's worth it. Akin Gump is a good firm (caveat - see above); however, you should fully assess all your options before you lock yourself in for two summers.



Yeah this is what I was afraid of. I do not know yet what my grades will be my OCI, though. Anyway I guess it doesn't matter until after I apply anyway.


I'm confused, are you op? Did you just apply or did you just get an interview for the program?

Either way, OP do you have an interview already for the program or just applying? It just started taking apps from my understanding and doesn't close out until 14th of feb or something. They only have usually taken three people in the program from what I've seen, but did recently expand it to other offices so may increase amount of people. Even so if they took 3, there is probably going to be 200+ qualified applicants from T14 applying to it.

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:I would strongly recommend against the 1L program at Akin Gump. Unless it has changed, they require you to spend your 2L summer with them. This is a really crappy deal for you - your 2L summer is your chance to find the firm you'll work for afterwards. If you have the grades to get the 1L summer program, you have the grades to have some great options for 2L summer. Look at the V10 and ask yourself if you want to forego the opportunity to work at any of those firms just so that you can have a firm job 1L year. Personally, I don't think it's worth it. Akin Gump is a good firm (caveat - see above); however, you should fully assess all your options before you lock yourself in for two summers.



Yeah this is what I was afraid of. I do not know yet what my grades will be my OCI, though. Anyway I guess it doesn't matter until after I apply anyway.


I'm confused, are you op? Did you just apply or did you just get an interview for the program?

Either way, OP do you have an interview already for the program or just applying? It just started taking apps from my understanding and doesn't close out until 14th of feb or something. They only have usually taken three people in the program from what I've seen, but did recently expand it to other offices so may increase amount of people. Even so if they took 3, there is probably going to be 200+ qualified applicants from T14 applying to it.



had the interview that day. I blew it anyway so it doesn't matter now I suppose.

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:14 pm

What kind of things were they asking?

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nealric
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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby nealric » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:16 am

Take it. There is no way they can enforce the 2L commitment thing other than blacklisting you in the future.

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby MrKappus » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:25 am

nealric wrote:Take it. There is no way they can enforce the 2L commitment thing other than blacklisting you in the future.


This is (1) a terrible way to start your career (2) in a profession that's smaller than you think, especially w/in individual markets.

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby Stonewall » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:29 am

MrKappus wrote:
nealric wrote:Take it. There is no way they can enforce the 2L commitment thing other than blacklisting you in the future.


This is (1) a terrible way to start your career (2) in a profession that's smaller than you think, especially w/in individual markets.


yeh the last thing I would want is any sort of negative aspect about me floating around. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but breaking a commitment would not aid your(or anyones) reputation in a peer heavy profession

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:32 am

nealric wrote:Take it. There is no way they can enforce the 2L commitment thing other than blacklisting you in the future.

I look forward to your future disbarment proceedings.

I think one question for OP that nobody's asked yet is what school/range they go to. Is this someone who has a reasonable shot at firms higher than Akin Gump?

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nealric
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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby nealric » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:37 am

I look forward to your future disbarment proceedings.


Yes, they are going to disbar you for not living up to a 2L summer commitment. :roll: True story: I once worked on a death penalty case where the convict's lawyer just walked away from the case and didn't bother to tell him. The lawyer blew several key deadlines that might have prevented him from being executed. That lawyer was not disbarred. Now, consider the the relative severity of someone not coming back for a 2L summer.

The legal market is small, but not THAT small. If you decide Akin Gump is not your bag, you may find a (very) few Akin Gump people who shun you down the road. It's highly unlikely to strongly influence your later legal career.

Look, I work in biglaw. I wouldn't even notice if a 1L summer didn't come back. The only people who will are those on the hiring committee. While they are influential people, they aren't personal friends with every biglaw hiring partner on the planet. I'm not telling the OP to go into the deal with the idea that (s)he will break the commitment. What I am saying, is that a 1L summer clerkship is a phenomenal deal, and if they don't like what they see as a 1L, the world will not end if they decide not to return.

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby MrKappus » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:44 am

I think VW just meant that a person with a pattern of making commitments with no intention of following through on them probably will not make it in the legal profession for very long. I acknowledge that many will not notice a 1L's reneging, but that doesn't mean it will go unnoticed by those that matter. It is always smart to avoid creating situations that could come back to bite you and reflect poorly on your integrity. That's true whether you're a welder or you work in the West Wing.

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Re: How do you all feel about Akin Gump?

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:46 am

nealric wrote: Yes, they are going to disbar you for not living up to a 2L summer commitment. :roll:

I didn't mean that they would, I meant that your attitude suggests you may one day inspire an amusing headline for the New York Daily News that will entertain tens of people.




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