Dean Chapman is a litigation associate in Akin Gump’s New York office, having joined the firm in 2008 after being part of the summer program. He received a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2008 where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Dean also served as an intern in the chambers of the Honorable Laura Taylor Swain of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The informal, collegial atmosphere at Akin Gump was the clincher for Dean. As a summer associate, he made it a point to get to know the associates and partners he would soon be working beside. When he arrived at Akin Gump as a first year, he hit the ground running, working on a Department of Justice investigation related to alleged bribes paid by American corporations to U.S. military and Iraqi government officials. In just his first year, Dean presented a lengthy—and winning—summary judgment argument in court on a breach of contract matter.
Litigation is a perfect fit for the analytical associate, who likes to stretch his skills with every assignment. Dean relishes the give-and-take needed to convince someone of the merits of a case. He acknowledges that there’s nothing he enjoys more than reviewing an opposing counsel’s brief and dissecting their case.
Dean sits on the New York office’s diversity committee and is actively engaged in recruitment efforts. As an openly gay member of the firm, he frequently addresses potential recruits about the culture of inclusiveness at Akin Gump.
“The firm is completely devoted to diversity, from senior management down. When I think about all the opportunities I’ve been given, I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”