The top law firms in the US are actually not all based in New York or Washington DC, some are in Chicago and Pittsburgh, the main industrial centres, and these firms specialize in helping businesses which have a global market. Some of these are Baker and Mackenzie in Chicago and DLA Piper also in Chicago, along with May Blain in the same city and Kana L Gates in Pittsburgh. These firms are among the law firms with the highest number of attorneys, partners and associates in the US.
Baker and Mackenzie and DLA Piper specialize in commercial and business law with offices in many countries, and Baker and Mackenzie pride themselves on employing people from 60 different nationalities, pointing out that this gives them an edge when it comes to knowing how to deal with the business laws in different countries. They assist businesses which trade in the global marketplace and can advise on the laws in different countries. They also have expertise in the culture of the countries in which they have offices -all 68 of them.
Then there are the law firms which also deal with Pro Bono cases and have a more philanthropic outlook, and the top among these are Latham and Watkins who are based in New York and Skaddon, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom also based in New York. The former also has a Diversity Scholarship Program so that more students from different social and ethnic backgrounds get a chance to become lawyers and both take on Pro bono cases. Latham and Watkins won the prestigious American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award in 2003, a testimony to their commitment to take non-paying clients as well as the more affluent clients. Latham and Watkins feature regularly in Top 10 lists of American law firms for various reasons, not only because they are the fifth largest employer of attorneys in the US. They have stuck to their roots which were in labor law and tax, before they began their global expansion.
A very well-known law firm, Hogan Lovell’s began in 1904 in the US with Frank J. Hogan who successfully won high-profile politically charged cases soon after he established his firm. On 1st May 2010, Hogan and Hartson merged with Lovell’s of the UK to become one of the top10 global legal services providers. This company is based in Washington DC but has offices all over the world.