Amid political polarization throughout the United States, an increasing number of law firms are seeking to vet their lawyers’ engagements for potential political fallout in addition to client conflicts. As Barnes & Thornburg recently discovered, the reputational risks are high if not done properly, while firms face competing business pressure to act quickly for clients.

The firm announced June 4 that it had parted ways with labor and employment partner Alec Beck after the attorney put his name on a new federal lawsuit on behalf of prominent President Donald Trump supporter and conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell without prior authorization. The incident attracted a firestorm of attention and criticism toward Barnes & Thornburg on social media.