When Robert Strauss and Richard Gump started practicing law together in 1945 in Dallas, they had two things going for them — time and Henry D. Akin.

Strauss, now 81, says he and Gump had time to spare because Gump & Strauss had so few clients. But they had a secret weapon in Akin, who took the fledgling lawyers under his wing even though he was a partner in another firm down the hall.

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