Oldest law firms in US (2022)
If you are looking for the oldest law firms in the United States, you have come to the right place. This timely blog post will be your most cherished asset.
The United States of America is a vast country that has possibly the most advanced and diverse legal system in the world, with great importance being attributed to high-quality legal representation from a vast array of different practising areas.
This blog post is written to provide you with in-depth knowledge of the oldest law firms In the US. And as such, it is divided into 4 sections as listed below
Table Of Content
Section 1: Interesting facts about the law firm you may have not have known
Section 2: A brief history of the oldest law firms in the US
Section 3: List of the 7 oldest law firms in the US
Section 4: What makes a law firm legitimate?
Without Further Delay, Let’s Get Started
Section 1: Interesting Facts About The Law Firm You May Not Have Known
In the United States, law firms are in a state of evolution.
The most successful firms recognize that they can’t rely on old methods to provide legal services in the future.
To survive, they will have to adopt new technologies and business practices if they want to continue serving their clients effectively.
Today’s law firms must take into account changes in their target market that may affect how they operate their business.
The demand for legal services has grown, yet the market is becoming increasingly competitive and clients are getting more value for their money.
These changes represent challenges facing modern law firms, but also present an opportunity to become more nimble and effective at delivering quality legal services.
Here are some interesting facts about law firms in the United States:
45% of all lawyers practice alone or with one other lawyer.
In 1985 that number was closer to 65%.
Legal services are now a $250 billion industry, up from $170 billion in 1995.
There were 1,759,400 full-time equivalents (FTE) jobs at law firms in 2004 according to the Department of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics survey.
That’s about 4 percent higher than the number of jobs reported for 2003.
Now let’s look at a brief history of the oldest law firms in the US
Section 2: A Brief History Of The Oldest Law Firms In The US
The oldest law firms in the US are the ones that survived and thrived over the years.
A law firm is an ideal business, as it offers a steady stream of clients and customers, who need legal advice or services.
The business is also recession-proof because most people will always need a lawyer or a legal service at some point in their lives.
Trying to find the oldest law firms in the US is not easy, considering there are thousands of them out there.
There is no central authority keeping track of such information, so you have to do some research yourself.
We have found many lists with different criteria on how these firms were ranked.
Some lists are based on the age of the law firm’s website, while others base their rankings on the number of attorneys in a firm or the founding year of a law firm.
Is Time To Look At 7 Oldest Firms In US As Listed Below
Section 3: List Of The 8 Oldest Law Firms In US
1 Rawle & Henderson LLP
Rawle & Henderson LLP is the oldest law firm in the United States.
The law firm was founded in 1783, before the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence.
This law firm has a long-standing history in Baltimore, Maryland, and is still active today.
The first office for Rawle & Henderson was located on Market Street in Baltimore, which is now known as North Gay Street.
The building had been constructed by Charles Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
The building was destroyed by fire in 1813.
In 1816, Rawle & Henderson moved to their current location at 120 South Charles Street, which they had built specifically to house their offices and a law library.
2 Howard, Kohn, Sprague & FitzGerald
There are many law firms in the United States, but there is only one that can claim a continuous existence for more than 150 years.
That firm is Howard, Kohn, Sprague & FitzGerald of Boston.
Howard Kohn founded the firm in 1858 and was joined by Samuel Sprague as a junior partner in 1861.
Their first office was located at 16 Court Square in Boston’s old financial district.
The building still stands today on the corner of Devonshire and Franklin Streets.
To this day, the firm’s offices remain in downtown Boston at 60 State Street.
The current partners of Howard, Kohn, Sprague & FitzGerald are descendants of both Howard and Sprague through the founder’s son, William L. Kohn (1860-1942).
In addition to their Boston office, the firm has offices in Essex County, Rhode Island, and New London County, Connecticut.
#3 Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is among the oldest law firms in the United States.
The firm traces its roots to 1792 when William Shippen Jr., a surgeon in the Continental Army, began practicing law.
The firm was founded in New York City, but it has long maintained an office in Washington, D.C., reflecting the strong relationship between government and the law.
The firm’s clientele includes leading private and public companies from a variety of industries as well as leading individuals across many fields.
As one of the first “global” law firms, Cadwalader has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; London; Paris; Frankfurt; Madrid; Hong Kong; Tokyo; Beijing; Shanghai; and Singapore.
4 Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP
In 1874, the firm of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs was founded in the city of Memphis.
Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest firms in its home state.
Tarrant & Combs LLP is a full-service law firm with around 140 attorneys who can provide legal assistance for a wide range of clients.
The firm has offices across the state of Tennessee, as well as in Arkansas and Alabama.
The firm assists corporate clients, individuals and families, government bodies at all levels, and non-profit organizations.
The lawyers at Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP can handle cases involving civil litigation, labor and employment law, administrative law, business law, and estate planning.
The various locations of the firm allow it to serve clients throughout Tennessee, Arkansas, and Alabama.
It also keeps costs low for its clients through its use of technology and other efficiency measures.
5 Rose Law Firm
While the legal industry has grown increasingly competitive, the Rose Law Firm remains one of the most prestigious firms in America.
The firm was founded in 1878 by legendary women’s suffragist and politician, Susan B. Anthony.
At the time of her death, she left a $1,000 trust to fund the establishment of a “law office”.
The firm is still going strong, with around 100 lawyers working at the practice.
It is currently ranked as one of the best law firms in Arkansas and has an impressive list of former employees such as Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.
Recently, it even opened a branch office in China to take advantage of international trade deals
6 Jackson Kelly PLLC
Jackson Kelly PLLC has been practicing law in Montana since 1894.
Jackson Kelly PLLC is equally amongst the oldest law firm in Montana.
It all began with Charles Jackson and Robert A. Kelly, who formed the law partnership of Jackson & Kelly in Helena on May 1, 1894.
The new firm started with a staff of three lawyers and no clerical help.
Services provided were limited to mining, mercantile, real estate, probate, and criminal matters.
The firm had an auspicious beginning.
The firm’s name changed from Jackson & Kelly to Jackson Kelly in 1916 when George W. Kelly was admitted to practice law in Montana.
The present location at 921 West Granite Street was purchased in 1921 and served as office space until the 1950s when a new structure was erected at 1204 South Seventh Avenue (now Highway 12) to serve as offices and courtrooms as well as providing living quarters for the partners and their families.
Three generations of the Jackson family have been associated with the firm that Charles Jackson and Robert A. Kelly created
7 Fletcher Tilton PC
In the same light, equally worth mentioning amongst the oldest law firm in the US is Fletcher Tilton PC, founded in 1828.
The firm was founded by Henry Clay, who later became a US Representative and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Tilton was one of the leading lawyers in Kentucky, representing many large businesses there. The firm has grown to have 12 offices across Kentucky and Tennessee, but its headquarters remain in Florence, Kentucky.
The firm has nearly 50 attorneys and has been involved in many high-profile cases.
These include defending former University of Kentucky basketball coach Rick Pitino against fraud charges, as well as several others that have gone all the way to the Supreme Court.
- Arizona: Snell & Wilmer
In the same trend, Arizona: Snell & Wilmer is included in the list of the 8 oldest law firms in the US.
The law firm was founded in 1878, and it’s still going strong today.
It has been representing clients for 140+ years.
Snell & Wilmer was founded by a couple of young men named John J. Snell and John M. Wilmer.
Both men had studied under Judge William T. Howell, who was a judge in the Arizona territory at the time.
John Snell became a lawyer in 1875, and John Wilmer followed in Snell’s footsteps just one year later.
They both started their law practice shortly after they passed the bar exam.
In 1878 they decided to merge their practices into one single firm that would become known as Snell & Wilmer.
For 140 years, the firm has helped people resolve their legal issues and it continues to do so today.
It currently has offices located across Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico, giving people all over the Southwest access to experienced legal counsel.
Section 4: What Makes A Law Firm Legitimate?
To better a law firm, it is vital to know what separates a legitimate law firm from a scam.
Legitimate law firms have been around for decades.
They’ve weathered recessions and they’ve survived changes in technology.
That’s because they have networks of clients who pay them regularly and the financial resources to sustain the business.
A complete scam is a fake website that promises to help you get rid of an old speeding ticket. Some scams are overseas, run by criminals who don’t care about your personal information or your money.
If you’re trying to know whether a law firm is legitimate, here are two things that will help you determine whether it is:
You can tell if a law firm is legitimate by using resources such as Martindale-Hubbell, which has been in existence since 1868 and accredits lawyers based on their experience and membership in various professional organizations.
The American Bar Association is also another good resource for finding out more about the credentials of your potential lawyer.
- Connections with other businesses and people
An attorney who has been practicing for decades should have connections with other businesses and people in the community.
If you are interested in which US law firms are the oldest, then this blog post is worth reading from the very beginning. The oldest law firms in the US have been operating for generations and have metamorphosed from practices in which partners alone handled matters to what are now full-service law offices with large and successful departments of lawyers, skilled associates, paralegals, and administrative support staff. In most cases, these law firms are locally based as very few are national in scope. All told, the 8 firms on this list have persisted because they’ve offered services that help business owners succeed in their industry. As you attempt to sign out, if you found this post informative and quite helpful, please kindly drop a word of appreciation at the comment section below