At Gibson Dunn, we are guided by the fundamental principle that a law firm is not just a business but a collection of individual, unique people. This ethos is the foundation for every aspect of our approach to attorney recruiting and development, pro bono, diversity, and alumni relations, as well as our firm culture as a whole. It has served us well since 1890, keeping us stable and profitable even through economic downturns.
We believe that a dialectic among various viewpoints, backgrounds and interests makes our firm both stronger and more successful. Consequently, we seek attorneys of the highest professional and personal quality, those who can seamlessly shift between discussions of legal principles and weekend pastimes, and we empower them to successfully craft their own practices while pursuing industry-changing matters.
From our attorneys’ first days at the firm through their retirement, Gibson Dunn endeavors to provide them with the training, support and freedom needed to unlock the full potential of each of their unique careers.
The Freedom to Shape Your Career
Gibson Dunn’s acknowledgment of its lawyers’ individuality and potential starts with a culture of collegiality and respect. This is fostered by the Free Market System through which our attorneys secure work.
Rather than being limited to set practice areas, our associates have the freedom to seek out matters that interest them and partners who inspire them. In fact, our new associates have the flexibility to rotate through each of our four main departments (litigation, corporate, real estate, and tax) during their first two years with the firm, gaining real-world experience before deciding on a practice area at the start of their third year.
Additionally, our “one firm, one culture” philosophy and 20 offices worldwide mean that there are cross-office opportunities for all lawyers, in both litigation and transactional work, expanding each attorney’s practice beyond his or her particular geographic location. All of this is offered in the context of a global firm that, as our Highlights section notes, services myriad sophisticated clients and provides cutting-edge work on high-profile, news-making matters.
The Support to Thrive at the Firm and Beyond
Our attorneys are fully supported as they navigate life at the firm: Gibson Dunn takes their professional development seriously, and our firm-wide Professional Development Department supports mentoring, training and integration activities across all of our offices.
To kick-start this development, our newest lawyers attend our annual New Lawyer Academy, a three-day intensive training and orientation program focused on firm culture, policies, management and resources. Further scaffolding for a young attorney’s development includes formal buddy and mentor programs, firm-wide new associate training curricula and career counseling by our certified Professional Development coaches.
This is all designed to ensure that each associate develops a proper career track and gains meaningful, fulfilling experience. Even when their career tracks take them beyond the firm, our alumni relations team helps our former colleagues (many of whom become clients) to identify rewarding opportunities and stay active in the Gibson Dunn global community.
All of this allows our attorneys to not only receive the guidance they need to flourish in our Free Market System, but also to shape and take advantage of the organic mentoring relationships and opportunities engendered by that system. To learn more about Gibson Dunn’s Professional Development programs, click here.
Gibson Dunn also has a dedicated Wellness department that provides advice and training across multiple facets of health, from mindfulness to stress management to physical fitness. Coupled with market-leading benefits, we endeavor to help our attorneys flourish even outside of work. Check out our Wellness department’s Instagram feed (@Gibsondunnglobalwellness) to see more of their programming.
Our Commitment to Diversity
At Gibson Dunn, we believe we can only deliver the highest quality legal services by fostering a culturally fluent, inclusive and open environment that welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds and with different perspectives. We are proud of the diversity we have fostered in our Gibson Dunn community and look forward to developing a new and diverse generation of lawyers that will continue the long tradition of quality and excellence for which our firm is known.
In addition to the continued stewardship of our managing partner, the firm has a Management Committee member who directly oversees global diversity efforts alongside our Chief Diversity Officer. Our Global Diversity Committee guides the firm’s global diversity strategies and ensures that there is continued progress in this area while local diversity committees (open to all partners and associates) develop diversity programs that fit the unique needs of each office. These programs overlap with those put on by our local-office affinity groups, which provide spaces for attorneys and allies to generate inclusion initiatives and identify relevant and bespoke professional development opportunities for their constituents.
Externally, our lawyers are actively encouraged to participate in, and partner with, a wide range of matters and organizations that benefit and serve diverse communities, donating thousands of attorney hours and dollars to programs, groups and causes around the world. To learn more about Gibson Dunn’s diversity programs, click here.
Our Commitment to the Community
Gibson Dunn takes great pleasure in our long tradition of service to the community. To actively encourage this, we offer one-to-one billable hour credit for pro bono matters. This allows our attorneys to fully leverage the firm’s resources in supporting causes and organizations fighting to protect and expand the rights of immigrants, veterans, women and girls, animals, the LGBTQ+ community, and many others. The firm’s annual Frank Wheat Memorial Award recognizes those attorneys who obtain significant results for their pro bono clients while demonstrating inspirational leadership and initiative.
Our pro bono achievements and efforts have also been recognized outside the firm in a variety of contexts. The National Law Journal named Gibson Dunn to its 2019 Pro Bono Hot List, recognizing the firm for its work protecting a free press and successfully defending journalist Aaron Cantu, who was arrested while covering 2017 Presidential Inauguration demonstrations. In addition, The Legal Aid Society honored Gibson Dunn with a Pro Bono Publico Award 2019 and the Center for Law and Economic Justice presented its Pro Bono Leadership Award 2019 to the firm for its work on behalf of Migrant Justice, a Vermont-based grassroots organization that advocates for migrant farmworkers. Outside of the United States, the firm was named winner of the Excellence in Pro Bono Award at The Law Society Excellence Awards 2019, and a standout firm by the Financial Times at its European Innovative Lawyer Awards 2019, in recognition of one of our London associate’s work leading the legal and political campaign in the UK to criminalize “upskirting,”
For more information about our pro bono efforts, from defending DACA to supporting minority-owned business during the COVID-19 pandemic, from winning veterans’ benefits to revitalizing the Los Angeles River, please click here.
Finally, for a sample of programming and life in our various offices, please check out our Instagram @gibsondunnandcrutcher.