The indictment of Perkins Coie partner Michael Sussmann, who has pleaded not guilty to one charge of making false statements to the FBI, underscores the tenuous balance of risks and rewards for prominent election law practices, according to political lawyers and Big Law leaders.

Law firms risk reputational damage from the fallout of political scandals and representing unpopular clients while lawyers may face sanctions, criminal penalties and harassment from disgruntled voters.