July 1, 2002. The Sterling Law Group today became the first law firm to be listed on Nasdaq, with a $400 million initial public offering. Trading was brisk, with the stock rising from its $17-a-share opening price to $33, before settling at $27.

The Sterling Law Group was formed last year by more than 200 lawyers from some of the country’s largest firms. Tired of hewing to decades-old traditions that have made law firms seem increasingly outdated in a rapidly changing business world, they banded together to revolutionize the practice of law. “This IPO shows that law firms truly are a valuable business,” said Sparky Newman, one of SLG’s founders, whose 5 percent stake in the company is now worth $20 million. “The funds we’ve raised today will enable us to create an even more dynamic, innovative law firm.”

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