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Lawyers and law firms increased their political donations by 40% to Senator Barack Obama, D-Ill, and Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., during the first two months of this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), a Washington organization that tracks federal elections. Despite more modest gains, Senator Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., continues to lead in donations from the legal industry. The figures are based on data released March 20 by the Federal Election Commission. Since the start of campaigning, lawyers and law firms have given more than $31 million to the three presidential candidates, with 88% allocated between the two Democratic contenders. Obama has amassed more than $13.3 million from that same group, an increase of more than 40% from his total at the end of last year. His top lawyer contributors continue to come from Sidley Austin and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. McCain has raised more than $3.5 million from lawyers and law firms, a 41% increase from the end of last year. His top lawyer contributors continue to hail from Philadelphia’s Blank Rome and Greenberg Traurig. Clinton continues to lead the pack in donations from lawyers and law firms, although her gains diminished in January and February. She has raised $14.5 million from the legal industry, a 24% increase from the end of last year. Lawyers from DLA Piper continue to surpass all of her other donors by giving a collective $500,000 to her campaign.

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