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For more than a decade, James Sandman has been the face of Arnold & Porter. But after becoming president-elect of the D.C. Bar this summer, Sandman has stepped down as managing partner of D.C.’s third-largest firm. Longtime corporate partner Richard Alexander, 48, has taken his place. Both were unavailable for comment last week. Sandman was widely liked and known for his strong support for increasing pro bono work and firm diversity. “He has epitomized, in many respects, the soul of the firm,” says partner William Vodra. Despite Sandman’s amiable style, he has had little trouble making bottom-line business decisions to limit the firm’s partnership ranks and retool its compensation and retirement systems. And after working side by side with Sandman on the firm’s management committee, Alexander is likely to continue in the same vein. The only difference for Arnold & Porter, say former and current firm attorneys, may be in style, not substance.
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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