Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
June 19, 1978 EXISTING D.C. FIRMS GROWING AT RAPID RATE Despite a steady influx of newly established and out-of-town firms, the established Washington law firms are growing at a record rate, a Legal Timessurvey reveals. Covington & Burling, largest of the D.C. firms, tops the 200-lawyer mark this year with the influx of 25-30 new associates. Howrey & Simon, perhaps the least publicized among Washington’s 10 largest firms, shows the most dramatic growth, adding 30 new associates this summer and fall. The survey shows that 24 D.C. law firms now have offices with 33 or more partners and associates. The survey also reveals that starting salaries for associates are rising markedly. Most major firms are paying new associates from $23,000 to $25,000, compared with $20,000 to $22,000 last year. June 26, 1978 AKIN, GUMP: HOTTEST FIRM IN D.C. Not long ago, a visitor was admiring the dramatic growth of Akin, Gump, Hauer & Feld, Washington’s fastest growing firm: “From two lawyers in 1971 to 60 by the end of this year,” he noted. “Quite a record.” “That’s nothing,” replied an Akin, Gump partner, modestly. “We could have a hundred, easily, if it weren’t for Bob Strauss’ conscience.” (Indeed, managing partner Wayne Bishop says that the firm has turned down business because of possible embarrassment to founder Robert Strauss, now President Jimmy Carter’s top trade navigator and inflation fighter.) The exchange mentioned does a good job of underscoring the wide-open, Manifest Destiny attitude at Akin, Gump, a western-style outfit doing very big business here. While Strauss has severed all connections with the Dallas-based firm he founded in 1946, his name permeates Akin, Gump’s public image, dispensing the sweet smell of financial success and leaving a distasteful residue of resentment among rival lawyers. Rapid growth by a new big boy in town inevitably breeds a backlash of sniping. Unnamed partners at other firms call the Akin, Gump lawyers shameless, greedy, and “new money.” But one outside attorney suggests they might just push their way into the Washington establishment. Aug. 7, 1978 ON LEGAL ROAD MAP, ALL SIGNS POINT TO D.C. With the continuing spread of government regulation cutting across industry lines, virtually every business client eventually finds a need for representation in Washington. In this climate, a D.C. office makes increasing sense, whether a law firm is interested in serving its clients, making money, or both. In recent years, a major new law office has opened its doors in Washington every month. “If a law firm doesn’t have a Washington office these days, it’s a little like not being fully dressed,” a veteran D.C. attorney says. The many success stories bolster a theory that it’s relatively easy to open an office here. “Washington is a very open town,” says one attorney who set up an office for a New York firm. “It is socially open because it’s a transient town. There is no provincial resistance to interlopers. “It’s also professionally accessible. The problems you advise clients on here did not exist five or 10 years ago. Anyone can come in and learn a new regulatory regime.” Aug. 21, 1978 COMPUTERIZED SYSTEM SPEEDS THINGS UP At Howrey & Simon, when they talk about the way things were done in the “old days,” they are referring to two years ago. The firm acquired an extensive “work” processing system in mid-1976; only two Washington firms, Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering and Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn, went to the computers earlier. The work processing system, by recording in the computer’s memory the text of a pleading, memo, or brief, allows the attorney to make the inevitable numerous technical corrections and refinements in a small fraction of the time it would otherwise take. The system works in this way: First the text is fed into the computer, either by an optical scanner which electronically “reads” a secretary’s draft, or by an operator transcribing dictation on a terminal. Next, the text is stored in the computer’s memory and a draft copy is provided to the attorney, who makes corrections to be entered into the computer. When the attorney decides the text is finished, the computer can transmit the text either to an in-house typewriter or to an online print shop. The system, which has earned the love of secretaries freed from retyping corrections, mailing labels, and plaintiff-defendant lists, required some adjustment by the attorneys. Says supervisor Helen Kelly: “At first, we got some strange reactions. Some of the lawyers felt compelled to correct numerical computer codes on the drafts along with their briefs � one attorney even took a pair of scissors and cut off an inch of paper along the margin where the codes were. It was unbelievable.” Aug. 28, 1978 PARALEGAL USE GROWS, PROBLEMS MAY PERSIST Paralegals � almost unknown in big Washington law firms a few years ago � have become an important and growing presence today. Covington & Burling employs about 35 paralegals, Arnold & Porter has around 45, and Howrey & Simon, the biggest D.C. employer of paralegals, now has about 140 at work. “Lawyers have come to realize that having paralegals available increases the efficiency of lawyers,” said Robert Sayler, a partner at Covington & Burling who supervises the hiring of paralegals. Because paralegalism is a relatively new field � about 10 years old � the economic benefits of paralegal use for routine work are only beginning to become apparent. The emergence of “legal assistants” � as paralegals are sometimes called � has also coincided with trends in the legal world that have furthered that emergence. Probably the most conspicuous such trend is toward massive discovery and documentation, especially in antitrust litigation. “Boxcar discovery has been a major factor in the increasing number of paralegals here,” said Jan Dietrich, who hires and supervises paralegals for Howrey & Simon. Perhaps the most difficult problem accompanying the growth is the image of the paralegal profession as a “women’s ghetto” of short-term, dead-end jobs. This leaves the firms vulnerable to charges of exploiting women, and the paralegals open to the suspicion that their profession isn’t really much of a profession. Dietrich says the ratio of women to men in the field as a whole is still about 9-1. Feb. 12, 1979 FEMALE ATTORNEYS SEE LONG ROAD AHEAD It was not until the mid-1970s that the presence of women could really be seen at the major D.C. firms. Today, there are 19 female partners at Washington’s top 20 law firms � and most of them are in their mid-to-late thirties. The number of female associates totals 198 and is rapidly climbing as women’s enrollment in ABA-approved schools climbed from 1,883 in 1963 to 32,538 in 1979. The youngest attorneys � those who graduated from law school in the mid-1970s � have escaped most of the discrimination. At the majority of the firms surveyed, women attorneys believe that they have achieved equality in terms of client contact and assignments, if not in terms of numbers. Although female partners in Washington are excited about being the first partners here, some also feel that something special is expected. “You feel an obligation to those before you who had it tough and those who come after,” says Nancy Buc, a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges. One attorney thinks the true sign of progress will be the day an “ordinary” female partner is named. All the female partners are first-rate, she says � a view echoed by many of the women surveyed, although none would admit to having a harder time making partner than their male colleagues. March 19, 1979 JONES, DAY’S D.C. OFFICE SPLITTING UP Jones, Day, Reavis, & Pogue is getting a divorce. The major Cleveland and Washington law firm is midway through the painful process of splitting into two separate firms. One, a new firm, will consist of most of the attorneys in Jones, Day’s D.C. office. It will be oriented to a Washington administrative practice, led by the government contracts work of Eldon Crowell and W. Stanfield Johnson. The minority group will remain affiliated with the “national” practice of the Cleveland-based antitrust and securities firm. The reasons for the breakup of the Washington office are, at bottom, incompatibility in style of management and type of practice desired by each group, and long-standing tensions between the two geographic power centers of the firm, exacerbated by recent events. More important, however, may have been the flaws of growth by merger. Jones, Day is the product of several mergers, notably the attraction of Crowell and other government contracts partners from Sellers, Conner & Cuneo some years ago. Some lawyers think the firms “never quite jelled.” [ The lawyers signed an agreement in May dividing accounts receivable, debts, and that year's profits along the 31-69 percent partnership split lines. The 53 rebels restyled themselves as Crowell & Moring.] March 26, 1979 COMMUNICATIONS KEY TO SUCCESS OF BRANCHES The fact that Kenneth Starr sat and worked at a black wood Parsons table instead of a heavy wood desk was a small clue, but the cactus plant behind the files was a dead giveaway that Starr has a tie to California. Since 1977, however, Starr has been working in Washington, one of seven lawyers here with the D.C. office of Los Angeles’ Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. When lawyers talk shop informally these days, a common question is: Does branching make sense? Lawyers working in a branch office like to see themselves as equal members of a parent firm, but most acknowledge that their location in the nation’s capital affects the work they do and how they do it. Starr admits that his firm has had to make certain adjustments to ensure that there is efficient communication between the branches. Yet most lawyers in D.C. branch offices will deny that working with fewer colleagues and a distance away from their major clients makes their offices any sort of stepchildren. For Arthur Lazarus of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Kampelman, the questions about the problems of branch offices seem routine. There is always the telephone, and Washington is not far from the firm’s New York headquarters. Unlike some of the other firms, Fried, Frank uses no word processing equipment to transmit documents, although Lazarus says that “might be a convenience.” “A Washington office has to have responsibility, talent, and its own work base. It’s more than just monitoring legislation. It is more than just getting pieces of the work,” which was what was happening when Lazarus was a young associate 25 years ago. He and other young lawyers had to become familiar with the substance of federal agencies, but the major work was done elsewhere. “That’s not true any longer,” says Lazarus. June 11, 1979 IT’S A BULL MARKET FOR LAWYERS HERE The number of lawyers engaged in federal or regulatory practice in Washington has more than doubled in the past four years, including a 20 percent jump during the last 12 months alone, according to Legal Times’annual survey. Since 1975, the number of lawyers working for the city’s 25 largest law offices has nearly tripled. An estimated 7,000 attorneys now engage in some manner of federal practice here. Since June 1978, Washington’s 25 largest firms have expanded collectively from about 1,660 to 1,900 lawyers. Over that period, out-of-town firms have been opening at a rate of about one per month, and smaller specialty firms have been growing at a rate similar to major outfits, the survey indicated. The number of 100-plus firms has increased to seven from only one in 1973. And about 10 Washington law offices now rank among the country’s 100 largest firms. Top 10 Largest Firms 1. Covington & Burling: 200 2. Arnold & Porter: 132 3. Hogan & Hartson: 129 4. Wilmer, Cutler: 121 5. Arent, Fox: 119 6. Steptoe & Johnson: 105 7. Howrey & Simon: 104 8. Morgan, Lewis: 78 9. Wald, Harkrader & Ross: 67 10. Akin, Gump: 62 June 11, 1979 MARKED CONTRAST Small and aggressive litigation outfits are making major inroads against the city’s biggest courtroom specialists, Williams & Connolly. Litigation-minded Dickstein, Shapiro & Morin breezed past W&C in firm size during the past year, and other litigators � notably shops headed by Mitchell Rogovin, Jacob Stein, William Hundley, Herbert Miller, and Burton Schwalb/Charles Donnenfeld/Jack Bray � are growing far more rapidly. Williams & Connolly was on the losing end of that $6.5 million negligence judgment against General Motors last month, but there’s no indication that Edward Bennett Williams � tending to the Redskins, Jefferson Hotel, Baltimore Orioles, and other important matters � is the least bit concerned. March 24, 1980 IT WAS DISCRIMINATION The highbrow Atlanta legal community is buzzing about the Title VII sex discrimination suit filed against King & Spalding this month by a female associate passed over for partnership. Elizabeth Hishon, 35, is represented by Emmett Bondurant of the establishment firm of Trotter, Bondurant, Griffin, Miller & Hishon (Robert Hishon is Elizabeth’s husband). According to the complaint, Hishon filed a sex discrimination complaint with the EEOC after being passed over by the firm in 1978. When she refused to withdraw that charge, K&S “as an act of retaliation” allegedly forced her to vacate her office by Dec. 31, 1979, and withdrew a settlement offer. Although the applicability of Title VII to partnership decisions is not completely established, such suits are becoming more common. Fulbright & Jaworski settled a similar case for about $75,000 last year. June 9, 1980 OUT-OF-TOWNERS MUSCLE IN The increasing muscle of out-of-town law offices here is clearly reflected in the 1980 annual survey of D.C. legal firm growth, compiled by Legal Times. The growth rate for all out-of-town branches was over 18 percent, compared with about 11 percent for the largest 25 firms in the city (a group dominated by local firms). Another 20 out-of-town firms opened D.C. branches in the past 12 months, nearly double last year’s number. The across-the-board growth pattern of recent years among the top 25 firms was replaced by more erratic statistics. Four of the 10 largest law offices here experienced no growth or actually declined in number of attorneys. The city lost its only 200-plus firm as Covington & Burling dropped � due largely to partnership retirement � from 200 to 188 active lawyers. Wilmer & Pickering, Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius also showed level or declining figures. Fastest-growing among the 10 largest firms, the survey revealed, are Hogan & Hartson, Howrey & Simon, and Steptoe & Johnson. Hogan jumped from 129 to 146 lawyers during the year, edging Arnold & Porter for second place in the survey. The survey was again conducted almost entirely by telephone, and the reception demonstrates the adjustment that lawyers in Washington are making to increased media scrutiny of their activities. In 1978, the first survey was received with hostility by about half of firm respondents, with repeat call-backs required to obtain elementary information. By contrast, firm administrators, partners, or receptionists quickly supplied the requested data in virtually all instances this year. Sept. 15, 1980 SALARIES OF NEW ASSOCIATES VARY A significant variation has appeared in the “going rate” for new associate salaries at major Washington law firms this fall. Steptoe & Johnson is leading the way by paying $34,000 to 1980 law graduates, a number virtually matched by Wilmer & Pickering. Last year, the six largest D.C. law offices all paid fresh graduates � after some backing and filling � an identical $30,000. But this fall, both Covington & Burling and Arnold & Porter have settled on $33,000, while the second tier is offering remuneration as low as $30,000. The D.C. salaries follow a recent pattern of staying one year behind starting pay at major New York City firms. The going rate there was from $33,000 to $34,000 for 1979 graduates last year, while 1980 law graduates are receiving from $37,000 to $38,000 on Wall Street now. Several other firms, including Crowell & Moring and Kirkland & Ellis, have joined Covington at $33,000. Kirkland (which, like several other firms, offers a small year-end bonus) makes its increase effective July 1, meaning that for any 12-month period, a new associate at Kirkland would make the most money in Washington. Wilmer & Pickering hired no 1980 law graduates: All 19 new associates are arriving after judicial clerkships, and 1979 graduates in that group will get $38,000. Most sources peg that as a 1980 graduate equivalent of $34,000. “A&P will have to up its rate once the news is out,” speculated one associate who avidly follows the salary wars. “Covington will be under pressure as well.” While firms say they resent the constant upward pressure, they find they are forced to keep pace in order to attract top legal talent. “If we pay less to starting associates than other firms, it’s hard on recruiting,” said John Nolan of Steptoe & Johnson. Sept. 22, 1980 LONG GREEN Eyebrows drifted skyward when Steptoe & Johnson and Wilmer & Pickering established $34,000 as the going rate here for big firm associates, closely followed by a pack at $33,000. Now, here’s the other shoe: Wilmer & Pickering last week boosted veteran associates by a corresponding amount, topping out at a cool $59,000 for the law class of 1974. To be specific, that means $38,000 for 1979s, $42,000 for 1978s, $46,000 for 1977s, $50,000 for 1976s, and $54,000 for 1975s. Is everybody happy? Feb. 2, 1981 NEW YORK HOLDOUT FINALLY BRANCHES TO D.C. Willkie, Farr & Gallagher finally has done it. After years of agonizing, the prestigious 150-lawyer, old-line New York firm opened a Washington office Feb. 1. Although not the firm’s first branch � they have a small Paris office � the foray into the District and discussions about a possible West Coast office may signal an attempt to keep in step with the times. During the past decade, Willkie, Farr has bucked the law firm trend of developing national practices by opening branches and luring big-name lawyers away from the government or other firms to staff those satellites. The firm ranks 54th in size among U.S. law firms. Of the law firms larger than Willkie, Farr, only a handful have no branch offices in the United States. April 6, 1981 LATERAL PARTNERSHIPS NO LONGER RARE Five years ago, becoming a lateral partner with an established prosperous Washington law firm was not an easy achievement. But the politicians, congressional aides, and agency heads who have recently flooded D.C. law firms with r�sum�s are finding the goal much less elusive. Why are the opportunities opening up? First, there are more law offices in Washington than ever before, so job possibilities have increased. Out-of-town firms continue to open D.C. branches at breakneck speed � now about 200 of these branches are in business. Yet no matter how a person makes it to the top, the road isn’t easy and there certainly aren’t any free rides. Andrew Klein, who became a lateral partner in the D.C. office of Chicago’s Schiff Hardin & Klein 16 months ago, stresses this idea: “It doesn’t make a tinker’s damn’s worth of difference if you’re a senior associate or a lateral partner. There aren’t any free lunches in life, and partnership isn’t one. If all the partners at your firm wind up thinking you’re a jerk, it doesn’t matter how the script was written.” June 6, 1983 GROWTH OF FIRMS SLOWS ALMOST TO A STANDSTILL Growth at Washington law offices nearly came to a standstill in the last year, according to Legal Times’sixth annual survey. The largest 25 law offices in the city increased their staffing by only 1.8 percent. Several firms reported substantial decreases, including Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, Howrey & Simon, and Patton, Boggs & Blow. The survey provides further evidence that times have been tough. In its annual report, the D.C. Bar noted that its membership living in the D.C. area declined by about 1,000 over the past fiscal year. While the native D.C. firms did report a slight increase, such was not the case for the larger branch offices. Nine of the largest 21 branch offices reported decreases, while three others reported no change. And for the first time since Legal Timesstarted its out-of-town firm survey in 1979, the firms closing D.C. branches outnumbered those opening new ones. The District now has 247 branch offices, four fewer than last year. Several lawyers indicated that the stagnant economy may have turned around in recent months. Nonetheless, says Wilmer, Cutler managing partner P. J. Mode Jr., “I think everybody is now realizing that you can’t measure the success of a firm by the number of lawyers it has.” April 2, 1984 CONSULTING GROUP LAUNCHED BY A&P Arnold & Porter has jumped into the entrepreneurial fray by creating APCO Associates, the Arnold & Porter Consulting Group, to provide services required by private and government development projects. APCO will provide help in planning financing, marketing, and management of complex development projects; and affiliated company MPC & Associates actually will implement projects. APCO is a wholly owned subsidiary of the law firm, with a board of directors made up of nine A&P partners. Dennis Lyons is chairman and Myron Curzan is president and chief executive officer. According to Curzan, APCO already has three or four clients, including the University of California at Irvine, the New Orleans Symphony, and the National Captioning Institute. A&P managing partner David Kentoff says he expects other law firms to copy the idea of creating separate consulting firms. “To serve clients . . . in a broader way than law firms have historically done is probably something that has reached its time,” he says. May 27, 1985 TRANSITION WEATHERED AT WILMER, CUTLER Two years after he stepped down as chairman of D.C.’s Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, John Pickering looks with favor on the three-member management committee that took over the job of running the firm. Pickering concedes that the new committee � comprising partners William Perlik, Samuel Stern, and P. J. Mode Jr. � hasn’t met with unqualified success. “They’ve had their problems. They’ve been rebuffed on occasion,” he says, not without satisfaction. “Now Bill Perlik can come to me and say, �Now I know how you felt.’ “ But Pickering says the committee has accomplished its most important mission. “We have, in effect, weathered our first transition,” he says. Pickering is entitled to take some pride in having passed the torch. The 140-lawyer firm has undergone a significant change from the days when it was run by a 13-member executive committee and myriad standing committees. “We had a committee to do everything except name the days of the week,” says partner Stephen Weiswasser. Now the firm has switched to a more centralized and less democratic model of governance, as the new management committee abolished all standing committees. Partners seem to agree that the change is for the better. Jan. 13, 1986 THE TYSONS LEGAL EXPLOSION According to the U.S. Post Office, it doesn’t even exist, but that hasn’t stopped some of the most prominent members of Washington’s legal community from beating a path to a once-bucolic hilltop known as Tysons Corner, Va. “We felt it was the downtown of Fairfax County,” says Richard Kotite of D.C.’s Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn, explaining why his firm will open a Tysons Corner office � the firm’s first branch � early this year. That perception is shared by more than a few big-city firms. Says Raymond Vickery, who last month opened Hogan & Hartson’s Tysons office, “Tysons Corner is the land of opportunity. It’s Silicon Valley East without the silicon.” Arent, Fox and Hogan & Hartson will find plenty of familiar, D.C.-based firms out in the promised land of Northern Virginia. Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge opened its Tysons Corner office in 1984, and, in a move that surprised many observers, Covington & Burling announced late last year that it, too, would open an office there in early 1986. “The speculation about Covington was always whether their first branch office would be in Paris or Hong Kong, and now here they are in Tysons Corner,” muses William Dolan, a partner in the Tysons office of Baltimore’s Venable, Baetjer and Howard, which opened several weeks ago. It isn’t just the existence of office space that’s drawing law firms to Tysons. It’s who’s moving in. Tysons has become the national or regional base for scores of high-tech research and development firms, many of which concentrate on government � especially defense � contracts. May 5, 1986 D.C. FIRMS CONTINUE TO LOOK EAST, WEST ENDS Once the anchor of lawyerland, Farragut Square in recent years seems to be losing its hold as major law firms steadily stream out of the area surrounding Connecticut Avenue and K Street that realtors call D.C.’s “golden triangle.” Today, 14 of D.C.’s 25 largest law offices are located to the west of New Hampshire Avenue or east of 15th Street. According to local real estate experts, law firms in today’s market seem more willing to break away from traditional locations to find better lease terms in other parts of the city. “They’ve spread east and west of the old hub in search of less expensive rentals in new and spectacular buildings,” said Stephen Goldstein of the D.C. office of Julien J. Studley Inc., a major commercial real estate broker. A Legal Timessurvey of law firms that relocated or expanded their offices during the past 12 months or that are scheduled to do so in the near future shows that the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor (sometimes called the East End) and the West End (east of Georgetown) are now major “hot spots” for law firms. July 7, 1986 D.C. FIRMS RESIST BIG BOOSTS IN ASSOCIATE PAY D.C.-based law firms are standing remarkably firm in their resolve not to join branch offices located here in bidding up salaries for incoming associates. At the same time, local firms are facing a growing number of competitors who are offering significantly more to new associates. While starting salaries at major law firms in Chicago and Los Angeles have soared by nearly $10,000, no major D.C. firm has yet to exceed the $46,000 figure announced several weeks ago by Arnold & Porter. That figure represents a $4,000 increase for the firm’s incoming class. On June 24, a second major D.C. law office, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, announced that it would hold to Arnold & Porter’s $46,000 figure. In a prepared statement, Akin, Gump said that “the firm has a responsibility to its clients to avoid an unwarranted salary spiral triggered by events with no current impact on its practice.” While D.C. firms say they will not cave in on the associate salary issue, the $65,000 going rate in New York has created an unsettled local picture, especially in light of indications that several branches of New York-based firms will match that figure here. If the Arnold & Porter benchmark holds, the disparity between starting salaries paid by leading New York and D.C. firms would rise from $12,000 to $19,000. However, some D.C. lawyers do not feel that this situation represents a significant problem. “I’m not sure that we recruit against the branch offices,” said Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering’s P. J. Mode Jr. “If an outstanding applicant wants a New York type of practice, he or she will go to New York.” July 21, 1986 AKIN, GUMP LEADS THE PACK IN PROFITS With an average profits-per-partner figure of $350,000, the D.C. office of Dallas’ Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld far outpaces other local firms, according to a Legal Timessurvey rating the 10 highest grossing firms in D.C. Covington & Burling, the city’s largest firm, ranks No. 1 in terms of gross revenues, with $56 million. The Legal Timessurvey was conducted in conjunction with The American Lawyer, which published a report of the 75 highest grossing firms in the country in its July/ August issue. Only three D.C. firms � Covington, Arnold & Porter, and Hogan & Hartson � ranked in The American Lawyer‘s Top 75. In terms of gross revenues, they were ranked 41st, 48th, and 56th respectively. Top Grossing Firms Ranked by Profits per Partner 1. Akin, Gump: $350,000 2. Shaw, Pittman: $270,000 3. Hogan & Hartson: $255,000 4. Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering: $255,000 5. Dow, Lohnes & Albertson: $245,000 6. Arnold & Porter: $220,000 7. Covington & Burling: $220,000 8. Dickstein, Shapiro & Morin: $200,000 9. Arent, Fox: $195,000 10. Steptoe & Johnson: $190,000 Dec. 22, 1986 LAW CLINIC TAKES ON DYING, FINDS DIGNITY When 24-year-old Bobby Joe King Jr. was fired last month, he had $14,000 worth of medical bills, no insurance � and he was dying. King had been fired and denied medical benefits because the company he worked for, the Electronic Data Systems Corp., found out that he had been hospitalized with AIDS. King did not have a lawyer, and he did not know how to protect his rights or if he even had any. He contacted D.C.’s Whitman-Walker Clinic, which is one of the first AIDS clinics in the metropolitan area. It is also the operator of the area’s only legal services clinic for AIDS victims. King was referred to one of the clinic’s 65 volunteer lawyers. Through the clinic, King tried to negotiate with EDS to pay his medical bills under standard hospitalization policy. In August 1986, his volunteer lawyer, Neil Katz, filed a suit against the company, arguing that King’s dismissal violated Montgomery County employment laws. On Dec. 3, one day before his disposition was scheduled to be taken, EDS and King reached a settlement. Four days later King died. The Whitman-Walker legal services program will mark its first year in operation this January. Its executive director, James Graham, says the clinic has made it possible for King and the 419 other AIDS victims who have come to Whitman-Walker for legal services to die in dignity. What began modestly as a will-writing service for gay men who had AIDS has become a forceful advocate in far-reaching employment and insurance discrimination cases. March 23, 1987 FIRMS CONFRONT AIDS, FIND CHOICES BAFFLING Despite the lead that San Francisco’s Morrison & Foerster took recently by establishing a formal policy for employees with AIDS, most D.C. law offices do not have AIDS policies and do not plan on formulating them. Even firms with large labor law practices that advise their clients to establish clear policies and procedures for employees with AIDS do not follow the same advice in-house. They do not educate their own employees about the dangers of AIDS, hold AIDS seminars, or adhere to the same formal procedures that they recommend to their clients. “A law firm should be prepared for AIDS, but I don’t think law firms are looking at it,” says Martin Schneiderman, a top labor lawyer at D.C.’s Steptoe & Johnson. Steptoe itself has an informal policy in which the firm treats AIDS like any other illness, giving employees basic disability benefits. A Legal Timessurvey of 19 large law firms in the District reveals that Morrison & Foerster is the only one with a written policy on AIDS. Seven firms do not have any AIDS policy, while 11 others adhere to the Steptoe model of treating AIDS as any other illness. July 27, 1987 THE D.C. 75: A YEAR OF EXPLOSIVE GROWTH A record-breaking 15 percent growth was registered by native firms and the D.C. offices of out-of-town firms from April 1986 to April 1987, according to the 10th annual Legal Timessurvey charting the growth of local law firms. The 75 firms surveyed this year show that the Washington legal marketplace is undergoing another period of explosive growth, rebounding from the lackluster early 1980s. Washington firms continue to benefit from D.C.’s ascendancy as a thriving commercial and transactional center. Additionally, traditional mainstays of regulatory and administrative practice � energy, government contracts, even antitrust � are again profit centers for many firms. Top 10 Largest Firms 1. Covington & Burling: 233 2. Arnold & Porter: 222 3. Hogan & Hartson: 213 4. Steptoe & Johnson: 175 5. Arent Fox: 174 6. Shaw, Pittman, Pitts & Trowbridge: 166 7. Akin, Gump: 156 8. Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering: 152 9. Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue: 146 10. Finley, Kumble: 139 � Compiled by intern Laura LacciPart 2: Sept. 28, 1987 – Nov. 17, 1997Part 3: June 29, 1998 – June 30, 2003

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.