Law Firms

Lawyers and staffers at just 3 BigLaw firms gave more money to Trump than Biden

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Lawyers and staff members at top law firms overwhelmingly favored President Joe Biden and Democratic Party organizations in campaign contributions than former President Donald Trump, according to a law professor’s analysis.

Lawyers and staffers sent about $64 million in contributions to the Democrats but only about $11 million to the Trump campaign and GOP groups from 2017 to 2020, according to Derek T. Muller, a professor at the University of Iowa College of Law, who published his findings at the Excess of Democracy blog. Reuters reported on the findings.

That’s about a 6-1 ratio favoring Biden and Democrats, Muller said. Many plaintiffs firms gave 100% of their contributions to Democratic groups. And many firms—including many BigLaw firms—had less than 10% of their contributions go to Republican groups.

Muller analyzed contributions by lawyers and staff members at the nation’s 100 top-grossing firms and at 40 major plaintiffs firms.

“I’m sure there are errors in the data,” he wrote. “But it’s a fairly good snapshot.”

Lawyers and staff members at just three BigLaw firms gave more money to Republicans than Democrats. They were White & Case, Proskauer Rose and McGuireWoods.

Muller cautioned, however, that the percentage can be deceptive. At White & Case, for example, the numbers were skewed because of a single $500,000 contribution to the Trump Victory Fund.

Jones Day was in the news in 2017 for sending several lawyers to jobs in the Trump administration, including Don McGahn, then the White House counsel. But about 82% of its contributions were to Democrats.

Only two plaintiffs firms gave more money to the GOP than Democrats. They are the Lanier Law Firm and Kasowitz Benson Torres, which has represented Trump and his campaign.

Five firms that gave the most money, in raw dollars, to Democratic groups were:

  1. Perkins Coie: $2,890,185

  2. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison: $2,084,171

  3. Latham & Watkins: $1,877,357

  4. Kirkland & Ellis: $1,820,246

  5. Covington & Burling: $1,794,277

Five firms that gave the most money, in raw dollars, to Republican groups were:

  1. White & Case: $966,401

  2. Kirkland & Ellis: $822,685

  3. Proskauer Rose: $697,230

  4. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher: $468,283

  5. McGuireWoods: $383,280

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