Drinker Biddle & Reath is a renowned law firm with a heritage and history that is more than a century and half old. Founded in 1849, the firm has demonstrated a sustained commitment to excellence in the practice of law, public service and a civil society. With 650 lawyers in 11 offices across the country it provides its clients with service beyond compare in legal matters ranging from billion-dollar deals to intricate complex class actions, for a wide range of industries.
Today the firm combines an all-inclusive range of conventional legal practices with noteworthy national roles in such practices as class action defense, corporate and securities, government relations, health care, intellectual property, insurance, investment management, private equity, bankruptcy, energy, environmental, education and communications.
The firm does not shy of taking on unpopular cases in upholding its commitment to pro bono and community work.
The firm has offices in Albany, Chicago, Florham Park, Los Angles, Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia, Princeton, San Francisco, Washington DC, Wilmington and London.
The firm was founded by, John Christian Bullitt, a young Kentucky lawyer in 1849. He christened it Bullitt and Fairthorne, Attorneys at Law. His first client was the Bank of Kentucky and the next 4 decades were spent in collecting on a judgment in a fraudulent stock case for the bank. Bullitt practiced law in Philadelphia for more than half a century until his death in 1902.
In 1904, Henry S. Drinker Jr. joined the firm and became a dominant presence there for the next 50 years. Henry Drinker worked for several months without a salary, until finally collecting $50 and $100 in January 1905. He was admitted to the partnership in 1918, and was named counsel to the University of Pennsylvania in 1927.
Charles J. Biddle was a war veteran having served with distinction in World War 1. He joined the firm in 1924 and made a huge impact on the firm’s future. He initially practiced law with his father’s firm and brought along with him many noteworthy clients when he joined the firm.
Thomas Reath joined the firm in 1919. He did yeoman service for the firm in World War II. The firm contributed to the war effort in many other ways, primarily through service in the armed forces, in Washington and overseas, of its partners, associates and staff. All six of the firm’s lawyers who served in the armed forces during World War II returned safely to their practices in 1946.
In the past several years, Drinker Biddle has undertaken a plan of strategic growth, strengthening practices and opening offices to provide first-tier services nationally in focused areas, including, for example, products liability and class action defense, intellectual property and bankruptcy.
In 2006, Drinker Biddle and Gardner Carton & Douglas merged to forge a national footprint with more than 650 lawyers in 12 offices. The merger, effective Jan. 1, 2007, also made the firm one of the 70 largest law firms in the United States. From the beginning of the merger Drinker Biddle and Gardner Carton shared in values of the highest standards in client service, legal work and professional ethics.
Areas of practice
Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring
Customs & Trade
Data Management & Discovery
Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
Government & Regulatory Affairs
Intellectual Property Litigation
Labor & Employment
Privacy & Data Security
Private Client Group
Products Liability & Mass Tort
White Collar Criminal Defense & Corporate Investigations
Throughout its history, the firm has handled many significant, high-profile matters for its clients. Some of the more recent significant cases include:
A team of lawyers from Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP closed a deal on behalf of the William Flemer Family involving the sale of a 1,890-acre parcel of land to the State of New Jersey for $28 million
A team of lawyers from Drinker Biddle's Corporate & Securities and Tax practice groups advised Enstar on a $181 million acquisition. The firm also advised Enstar in a $252 million deal to acquire Seabright Holdings that was announced on August 27.
The firm's New Jersey Real Estate team handled two high-profile matters, which won top Deal of the Year Awards. The deal resulted in a new build-to-suit LEED Gold Certified office building in downtown Newark that will maintain approximately 1,000 jobs in New Jersey. The transaction was one of the largest deals in the state of New Jersey in recent history.
The firm also represented the Hampshire Companies in a deal that was awarded major incentives by the NJEDA as a result of its maintaining nearly 1,000 New Jersey jobs. The Realogy lease deal was also one of the largest in New Jersey in the past year.
Awards and recognitions
Drinker Biddle is consistently ranked among the leading law firms in each of its central practice areas. Additionally, its lawyers are consistently recognized as industry leaders and ranked among the best practitioners worldwide. Some of its recent accolades are as under:
President Barack Obama nominated Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP partner Charles P. Rose as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Morris K. and Stewart L. Udall Foundation. The nomination was one of several prestigious posts recently announced by officials in The White House Press Office.
C. Frederick Reish was selected by PLANADVISER magazine as one of the 5 "Legends" of the retirement industry.
Philadelphia partner Harry Cherken was honored with the first annual Principal Partner Award at Urban Outfitters, Inc.'s Annual Vendor Summit on June 7, 2012 from among more than 250 vendors around the world who serve the company.
Sixty lawyers from many of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP's 16 practice groups have been recognized as leaders in their fields by Chambers and Partners, an international publisher of guides to the world's top lawyers.
The 2012 edition of Chambers USA gave the highest possible recognition to the firm's Native American, environmental, litigation and real estate practices.
The firm looks for the best and the brightest to join their ever-expanding team. The firm says that it specifically looks for people who are desirous of making their mark in the practice of labor and employment law and with a strong academic achievement in law school and undergraduate education.
The firm is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any applicant in any manner whatsoever.
Interested candidates should apply online with a completed application form, current resume, law school transcript, undergraduate transcript and other graduate program transcript and a writing script.
The National Association for Law Placement, Inc. (NALP) serves as the premier source of information for legal career planning and recruitment. The NALP Form provides job seekers with basic information about the firm's and hiring practices.
Drinker Biddle believes that their commitment to diversity helps them to better understand and serve the varied needs of its wide range of clients and the widespread communities it is privileged to serve. The firm says that it assists in comprehending their requirements and aims, in all their many facets. It says that it values individual contributions for what they are without prejudice based on race, gender or color.
Drinker Biddle has always had a commitment to civility and respect for all, and this is reflected in the firm's core values and business strategy. Drinker Biddle embraces an evolving and tolerant firm culture, one that is eager to engage and include colleagues from a wide range of backgrounds.
The Firmwide Diversity Committee stays actively involved in making certain that the firm echoes the rich diversity of the clients and communities that the firm serves. One of the main objectives of the Committee is to recruit, retain, promote to partner and foster the professional development of competent minority lawyers.
The firm has also established a Women's Initiative to sustain the retention and promotion of female lawyers. The firm encourages women to become leaders in the firm in greater numbers and more meaningful ways.
The firm regularly coordinates and participates in many minority recruitment programs and many are recruited to the firm's associate positions.
Summer associate program
Drinker Biddle considers its summer program as a very vital ingredient to its success. The firm seeks outstanding students who are motivated to be outstanding lawyers and who have the potential to be future leaders of the firm.
Summer associates begin their professional development through interesting assignments with many of the firms valued clients and through especially designed assignment modules that will challenge and train them.
The summer associates are given tough assignments and challenging work that sees them attaining high standards and provides them with opportunities to examine issues and propose solutions like practical lawyers.
Each summer associate is assigned an associate host and a partner mentor. The associate host serves as an informal guide for the summer associate. The partner mentor serves as an advisor and teacher, providing the summer associate with guidance on professional goals and challenges, and input on their work product. The mentor also works with the Summer Committee to ensure that each summer associate gets ample feedback on their assignments.
Summer associates also attend depositions, board meetings, motion hearings, client interviews, witness preparation, trial and deal negotiations and judge for themselves what interests them most.
The firm's Summer Committee meets with each summer associate personally, to discuss progress to date and to provide guidance about how to approach the second half of the summer. During the last week of the program, the Summer Committee also provides each summer associate with a final review and discusses their practice group preferences with them.
Salary & benefits
Drinker Biddle offers a very competitive salary and is counted amongst the compensation leader among law firms. It asks a lot from it lawyers and is also generous in compensating them accordingly.
Compensation for entry-level lawyers for 2012 was $140,000 to $155,000 per year. In 2012, the firm's summer associates were paid $2,692 - $2,980 per week, depending on the summer associate's office location.
Some of the benefits offered by the firm are as under:
Salary of $140,000 to $155,000 firmwide; salary of $105,000 during first-year associate development program
$10,000 stipend for first-year associates prior to bar exam
$10,000 federal judicial clerk bonus
Out-of-state entry-level associates will be reimbursed for moving costs up to $2,000
Associates at all levels are eligible to receive a business development bonus
401(k) plan (immediate enrollment)
4 weeks paid vacation
Competitive health and dental coverage
Flexible spending accounts
Dependent care spending account
Healthcare spending account
Short-term and long-term disability insurance
Domestic partner benefits
12 weeks paid leave for birth or adoption (and an additional 14 weeks unpaid)
Payment of license applications and renewals, and dues for bar association and professional association memberships
Emergency childcare assistance
Pre-tax transportation program
Employee assistance program
Benefits Package: 4 weeks vacation (pro-rated for part-time associates); health & life insurance; disability insurance; dental plan; Worklife/Employee Assistance Program; 401K Plan (immediate enrollment); maternity/paternity leave: 12 weeks paid leave for birth or adoption (and extended unpaid leave); long term care; dependent care spending account; healthcare spending account; pre-tax transportation program; emergency childcare assistance; domestic partner benefits.
Working for the Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.
Candidates seeking to work at Drinker Biddle can look forward to working in an outstanding law firm that cultivates their professional and personal goals and provides them with a competitive benefits and compensation package, enabling them to work efficiently with the use of their challenging work culture, in a firm that fosters a supportive, diverse, and inclusive working environment.
The firm believes that pro bono work is what identifies them and what they do every day. The firm says that it is committed to work for clients who cannot afford lawyers and for causes that are desperate for skilled advocacy that can come only through the very best lawyers.
Through its pro bono efforts the firm has fought for inmates on death row, enforced the constitutional rights of prisoners freedom of worship and decent medical care; counseled small nonprofit organizations on their legal rights and responsibilities; and represented many individual clients, from tenants who are wrongly evicted and left homeless, to victims of domestic violence and child abuse, to families of limited means that are trying to adopt hard-to-place children.
The firm says that it does not differentiate between their paying clients and their pro bono clients and serves them with the same quality, zeal and resources.
In 2011, the firm devoted more than 27,000 hours to pro bono work, while investing thousands of dollars to cover the costs associated with its pro bono cases, and donating many thousands more to public interest legal organizations around the country.
The firm experiences deep satisfaction in serving the legal needs of its communities and expresses gratitude at the recognition it has received for its pro bono work:
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