Ranking the most liberal and conservative law firms

The answer: in 2012, attorneys at most law firms preferred President Obama, by a substantial margin. Charts and analysis below.


allfirms.png

I culled Federal Election Commission data from the 2012 presidential election.  The data set includes firms that recorded ten or more attorneys who contributed to a candidate. As FEC data is self-reported, there is essentially no standardization in reporting. Self-titled "attorneys" and "lawyers" are included. Attempts were made to glean common misspellings or alternative ways of reporting an individual's or firm's name when aggregating totals.

(For reference, I used the same methodology and computer program that was used to examine political contributions of attorneys in government agencies.)

The first chart, above, is the bulk of this research. This chart is limited to firms with at least 15 contributing attorneys. The percentage contributions are of contributions between Mr. Obama and Governor Romney. (That is, contributions to third-party candidates were excluded.) 

I did the same with the top 100 of the NLJ350 firms. All firms but one had at least ten attorneys who contributed, and they are included below.

nlj100.png

The median participation rate was around 11.2% at these firms. But this probably underestimates the participation rates simply because of the self-reporting issue identified above--attorneys at some firms aren't included in their firm because of a misspelling. And for some individuals whose names are misspelled, it may overstate the number of unique contributors.

But the firm that had by far the highest participation rate based on this methodology was Morgan & Morgan, an Orlando personal injury firm. (Its turnout rate may appear higher than other firms simply because of the easy of spelling the firm's name.) It has 234 attorneys according to NLJ, and I identified 104 attorneys who contributed (102 to Mr. Obama, 1 to Mr. Romney, and 1 elsewhere) for a 44.4% contribution rate, 99% of them to Mr. Obama. Morgan & Morgan founder John Morgan was one of Mr. Obama's biggest bundlers, bundling at least $500,000 for the reelection campaign. Morgan & Morgan is also the new home of former Florida governor Charlie Crist, who bundled between $100,000 and $200,000 for the President's reelection efforts.

I also made a chart for the Vault 100.

vault100.png

What to do with this data?  Well, should corporations contracting for legal services care about whether the attorneys' ideological perspectives coincide with the interests of their clients? Does a firm's political perspective equal the sum of its contributing-attorney parts? Perhaps it's just an open question of what to do with all this data.

UPDATE: And we could have more disclosure data soon: see this post about a new proposal for corporate and labor union disclosure.

EMPLOYER NAMEOBAMAROMNEY% CONTRIBUTORS TO OBAMA
GOULSTON & STORRS330100.0%
SONNENSCHEIN NATH & ROSENTHAL280100.0%
COHEN MILSTEIN SELLERS & TOLL PLLC260100.0%
KEKER & VAN NEST250100.0%
ZUCKERMAN SPAEDER LLP250100.0%
DRUMMOND WOODSUM230100.0%
HAGENS BERMAN180100.0%
HOAGLAND, LONGO, MORAN, DUNST & DOUKAS180100.0%
WATERS & KRAUS180100.0%
COX, CASTLE, NICHOLSON160100.0%
HENNEPIN COUNTY160100.0%
BREDHOFF & KAISER, PLLC150100.0%
COHEN, WEISS, AND SIMON LLP150100.0%
FRIEDMAN KAPLAN SEILER & ADELMAN LLP150100.0%
KELLER ROHRBACK LLP140100.0%
MOTLEY RICE LLC140100.0%
PHILLIPS & COHEN LLP140100.0%
BERGER SINGERMAN LLP130100.0%
WEINBERG, ROGER AND ROSENFELD130100.0%
WEITZ & LUXENBERG130100.0%
EDWARDS ANGELL PALMER & DODGE LLP130100.0%
GREENSFELDER, HEMKER AND GALE120100.0%
RICHARDS KIBBE & ORBE LLP120100.0%
HANSON BRIDGETT110100.0%
DAVIS & GILBERT110100.0%
FINNEGAN110100.0%
FRANCZEK RADELET110100.0%
LABATON SUCHAROW LLP110100.0%
O'DONOGHUE & O'DONOGHUE LLP110100.0%
FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER, US, LL110100.0%
MORGAN & MORGAN102199.0%
SUSMAN GODFREY LLP35197.2%
SCHIFF HARDIN LLP56296.6%
ROBINS, KAPLAN, MILLER & CIRESI28196.6%
BERNSTEIN SHUR25196.2%
FARELLA BRAUN + MARTEL LLP24196.0%
NUTTER MCCLENNEN & FISH LLP21195.5%
O'NEILL & BORGES21195.5%
PATTERSON BELKNAP WEBB & TYLER LLP48394.1%
FREDRIKSON & BYRON30293.8%
COBLENTZ PATCH DUFFY & BASS15193.8%
LAW FIRM84693.3%
WYATT, TARRANT & COMBS, LLP13192.9%
WALLER LANSDEN DORTCH & DAVIS13192.9%
ROBBINS GELLER RUDMAN & DOWD LLP12192.3%
NOSSAMAN LLP12192.3%
GARVEY SCHUBERT BARER12192.3%
FENWICK & WEST LLP47492.2%
ARNOLD & PORTER LLP1561491.8%
FRAGOMEN, DEL REY, BERNSEN & LOEWY, LL22291.7%
LINDQUIST & VENNUM11191.7%
MITCHELL SILBERBERG & KNUPP LLP11191.7%
BUCHALTER NEMER/PATENT ATTORNEY11191.7%
BERGER & MONTAGUE, P.C.11191.7%
BROWN MCCARROLL, LLP11191.7%
SEWARD & KISSEL LLP10190.9%
GRAY PLANT MOOTY10190.9%
HAWKINS DELAFIELD & WOOD LLP10190.9%
CONSTANTINE CANNON10190.9%
MORRISON & FOERSTER LLP1251390.6%
MANATT, PHELPS & PHILLIPS, LLP56690.3%
CLEARY GOTTLIEB STEEN & HAMILTON LLP931090.3%
BALLARD SPAHR991190.0%
LOEB & LOEB LLP27390.0%
DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON LLP77989.5%
ROBINSON & COLE LLP17289.5%
BEST BEST & KRIEGER LLP17289.5%
VERRILL DANA, LLP17289.5%
SQUIRE SANDERS33489.2%
EDWARDS WILDMAN PALMER, LLP33489.2%
JENNER & BLOCK LLP1011388.6%
DEWEY & LEBOEUF31488.6%
DAVIS WRIGHT TREMAINE LLP69988.5%
DORSEY & WHITNEY LLP45688.2%
VAN NESS FELDMAN15288.2%
IRELL & MANELLA LLP22388.0%
QUINN EMANUEL63987.5%
FOLEY HOAG LLP35587.5%
MUNGER, TOLLES & OLSON LLP35587.5%
STITES AND HARBISON PLLC14287.5%
BUCKLEYSANDLER LLP40687.0%
KATTEN MUCHIN ROSENMAN LLP52886.7%
HUGHES HUBBARD & REED LLP38686.4%
ORRICK, HERRINGTON & SUTCLIFFE LLP811386.2%
STOEL RIVES LLP43786.0%
PERKINS COIE LLP1212085.8%
PAUL, WEISS, RIFKIND, WHARTON & GARRIS1622785.7%
LEONARD STREET AND DEINARD12285.7%
WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI651185.5%
SHEARMAN & STERLING LLP41785.4%
SEDGWICK LLP22484.6%
CHAPMAN AND CUTLER LLP11284.6%
WILMERHALE1923684.2%
COOLEY LLP581184.1%
KRAMER LEVIN41883.7%
DAY PITNEY LLP25583.3%
MILLER & CHEVALIER10283.3%
DYKEMA GOSSETT PLLC19482.6%
FOSTER PEPPER PLLC14382.4%
STINSON MORRISON HECKER LLP23582.1%
O'MELVENY & MYERS LLP861981.9%
KELLOGG HUBER HANSEN TODD EVANS & FIGE13381.3%
CAHILL GORDON & REINDEL LLP30781.1%
ALLEN & OVERY LLP21580.8%
REED SMITH LLP962380.7%
WILKINSON BARKER KNAUER, LLP16480.0%
CRAVATH, SWAINE & MOORE LLP391079.6%
DICKSTEIN SHAPIRO LLP31879.5%
COZEN O'CONNOR27779.4%
GOODWIN PROCTER LLP802179.2%
JPMORGAN CHASE451278.9%
LEWIS AND ROCA15478.9%
CROWELL & MORING591678.7%
FENNEMORE CRAIG11378.6%
ARNALL GOLDEN GREGORY LLP11378.6%
BLANK ROME LLP621778.5%
PEPPER HAMILTON LLP401178.4%
BEVERIDGE & DIAMOND, PC18578.3%
MCCARTER & ENGLISH, LLP25778.1%
MINTZ LEVIN571678.1%
COVINGTON & BURLING LLP1303777.8%
VENABLE LLP561677.8%
WILSON ELSER21677.8%
CHADBOURNE PARKE LLP21677.8%
STROOCK & STROOCK & LAVAN14477.8%
AKIN GUMP STRAUSS HAUER & FELD LLP862577.5%
BINGHAM MCCUTCHEN LLP952877.2%
WILLIAMS & CONNOLLY LLP611877.2%
LANE POWELL PC20676.9%
JOHNSON & JOHNSON20676.9%
WILTSHIRE & GRANNIS LLP10376.9%
LATHAM & WATKINS LLP1564976.1%
SKADDEN ARPS1745675.7%
KAYE SCHOLER LLP341175.6%
DRINKER BIDDLE & REATH LLP401375.5%
SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP2317775.0%
HOLLAND & HART LLP391375.0%
EPSTEIN BECKER & GREEN21775.0%
BROWN RUDNICK LLP18675.0%
DAVIS GRAHAM & STUBBS LLP12475.0%
LINKLATERS LLP12475.0%
BRINKS HOFER GILSON & LIONE9375.0%
CROWE & DUNLEVY9375.0%
MORRISON COHEN LLP9375.0%
JORDEN BURT LLP9375.0%
SNR DENTON US LLP491774.2%
TROUTMAN SANDERS431574.1%
STEPTOE & JOHNSON LLP682473.9%
HINSHAW & CULBERTSON LLP17673.9%
NIXON PEABODY LLP702573.7%
LOWENSTEIN SANDLER PC14573.7%
FRIED FRANK25973.5%
MAYER BROWN LLP1053873.4%
HOLLAND & KNIGHT LLP993673.3%
DLA PIPER1826773.1%
MCDERMOTT WILL & EMERY762873.1%
QUARLES & BRADY271073.0%
BOIES, SCHILLER & FLEXNER LLP351372.9%
COHEN & GRIGSBY, P.C.8372.7%
MCNEES WALLACE & NURICK LLC8372.7%
GONZALEZ SAGGIO & HARLAN8372.7%
LITTLER MENDELSOHN501972.5%
THOMPSON HINE LLP21872.4%
SHERMAN & HOWARD LLC13572.2%
BASS BERRY & SIMS281171.8%
HOGAN LOVELLS US LLP1034171.5%
RUTAN & TUCKER LLP10471.4%
KRIEG DEVAULT LLP10471.4%
BOSE MCKINNEY & EVANS, LLP10471.4%
BAKER & MCKENZIE LLP522171.2%
SEYFARTH SHAW LLP471971.2%
FAEGRE BAKER DANIELS441871.0%
ALSTON & BIRD LLP823570.1%
ALLEN MATKINS ET AL.14670.0%
CHOATE HALL & STEWART LLP14670.0%
GORDON & REES LLP231069.7%
WINSTON & STRAWN LLP803569.6%
KUTAK ROCK LLP16769.6%
PHELPS DUNBAR LLP9469.2%
SULLIVAN WORCESTER9469.2%
DECHERT LLP472169.1%
MILLER CANFIELD291369.0%
FULBRIGHT & JAWORSKI LLP492269.0%
KELLEY DRYE & WARREN241168.6%
DAVIS POLK & WARDWELL LLP673267.7%
SNELL AND WILMER LLP271367.5%
WHITE & CASE LLP613067.0%
GREENBERG TRAURIG1055266.9%
AKERMAN SENTERFITT402066.7%
LEWIS BRISBOIS BISGAARD & SMITH LLP201066.7%
FOX ROTHSCHILD LLP18966.7%
VORYS, SATER, SEYMOUR AND PEASE, LLP10566.7%
WHITE AND WILLIAMS LLP8466.7%
HYMAN, PHELPS & MCNAMARA, PC8466.7%
K&L GATES LLP934766.4%
JACKSON LEWIS, LLP271465.9%
SHEPPARD MULLIN271465.9%
SIMPSON THACHER & BARTLETT LLP733865.8%
DINSMORE & SHOHL211165.6%
WOMBLE CARLYLE382065.5%
WEIL, GOTSHAL & MANGES, LLP743965.5%
DOW LOHNES PLLC13765.0%
FOLEY & LARDNER LLP663664.7%
SHUTTS AND BOWEN LLP11664.7%
CLIFFORD CHANCE16964.0%
BARTLIT BECK HERMAN PALENCHAR & SCOTT14863.6%
CARLTON FIELDS171063.0%
DUANE MORRIS LLP442662.9%
SCHULTE ROTH & ZABEL LLP201262.5%
ECKERT SEAMANS CHERIN & MELLOTT, LLC15962.5%
ROPES & GRAY LLP794862.2%
HUSCH BLACKWELL231462.2%
PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN LLP472961.8%
BUCHANAN INGERSOLL & ROONEY211361.8%
MCKOOL SMITH, P.C.161061.5%
LATHROP & GAGE LLP8561.5%
WILLKIE FARR & GALLAGHER LLP352261.4%
BRYAN CAVE LLP895661.4%
JONES DAY16110361.0%
FISH & RICHARDSON P.C.14960.9%
THOMPSON & KNIGHT LLP14960.9%
MILBANK, TWEED, HADLEY & MCCLOY LLP432860.6%
HAYNES AND BOONE LLP261760.5%
SUTHERLAND ASBILL & BRENNAN LLP412760.3%
ARENT FOX LLP281959.6%
MCKENNA LONG & ALDRIDGE LLP443059.5%
BAKER HOSTETLER LLP412859.4%
PAUL HASTINGS322259.3%
KING & SPALDING LLP745159.2%
FROST BROWN TODD LLC171258.6%
BRACEWELL & GIULIANI241758.5%
ADAMS AND REESE LLP141058.3%
PROSKAUER ROSE LLP523857.8%
POLSINELLI SHUGHART191457.6%
VEDDER PRICE P.C.12957.1%
ICE MILLER LLP8657.1%
WHEELER TRIGG O'DONNELL LLP8657.1%
MCGUIREWOODS LLP675256.3%
CHAMBERLAIN HRDLICKA9756.3%
WACHTELL LIPTON241955.8%
MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP1028155.7%
BRADLEY ARANT BOULT CUMMINGS LLP161355.2%
JONES WALKER11955.0%
THOMPSON COBURN LLP181554.5%
MCELROY, DEUTSCH, MULVANEY & CARPENTER6554.5%
BURNS AND LEVINSON LLP6554.5%
PATTON BOGGS LLP403454.1%
GARDERE WYNNE SEWELL LLP7653.8%
ROBINSON BRADSHAW & HINSON P.A.151353.6%
GIBSON DUNN948253.4%
BROWNSTEIN, HYATT, FARBER & SCHRECK161453.3%
KELLY HART & HALLMAN L.L.P.8753.3%
COX SMITH MATTHEWS8753.3%
NELSON MULLINS RILEY & SCARBOROUGH171553.1%
SHEFSKY & FROELICH9852.9%
CADWALADER, WICKERSHAM & TAFT LLP232152.3%
KILPATRICK TOWNSEND333151.6%
SHOOK HARDY & BACON LLP171651.5%
OGLETREE DEAKINS181751.4%
MICHAEL BEST & FRIEDRICH, LLP191851.4%
WILEY REIN LLP201951.3%
TAFT STETTINIUS & HOLLISTER9950.0%
STOLL KEENON OGDEN PLLC9950.0%
DICKINSON WRIGHT PLLC7750.0%
HUNTON & WILLIAMS LLP434449.4%
BAKER DONELSON303149.2%
MOORE & VAN ALLEN101147.6%
VINSON & ELKINS LLP414647.1%
LOCKE LORD LLP252946.3%
BARNES & THORNBURG LLP252946.3%
FORD HARRISON LLP6746.2%
BUTZEL LONG6746.2%
ROETZEL & ANDRESS5645.5%
SMITH MOORE LEATHERWOOD5645.5%
BURCH & CRACCHIOLO P.A.5645.5%
GIBBONS P.C.81044.4%
BAKER BOTTS LLP415443.2%
MORRIS, MANNING & MARTIN, LLP6842.9%
SULLIVAN & CROMWELL LLP516942.5%
CLARK HILL PLC81142.1%
RIKER DANZIG5741.7%
MILES & STOCKBRIDGE P.C.172441.5%
LECLAIR RYAN71041.2%
JACKSON WALKER LLP162341.0%
ANDREWS KURTH LLP142140.0%
KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP11718139.3%
PRYOR CASHMAN LLP91537.5%
FISHER & PHILLIPS61037.5%
HONIGMAN MILLER SCHWARTZ & COHN LLP101835.7%
STEVENS & LEE61135.3%
WILLIAMS MULLEN61233.3%
WINSTEAD PC102132.3%
ARMSTRONG TEASDALE LLP51131.3%
MCAFEE & TAFT3827.3%
KASOWITZ BENSON TORRES & FRIEDMAN205427.0%
WILENTZ GOLDMAN & SPITZER P.A.51426.3%
RAY QUINNEY & NEBEKER2918.2%
KLEINBERG KAPLAN WOLFF & COHEN31615.8%
KAUFMAN & CANOLES21214.3%
JACKSON KELLY P.L.L.C.43011.8%
PAYNE & FEARS L.L.P.1109.1%
KEATING MUETHING KLEKAMP2247.7%
SMITH HULSEY & BUSEY0140.0%
GLASER WEIL FINK JACOBS HOWARD AVCHEN0150.0%