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The Elephant in the Room: How Will the 2020 Election Affect Law Firms' Fortunes?

Patrick Smith LAW.COM

As the presidential campaign gains steam and the November election approaches, The American Lawyer asked legal observers what it will mean for Big Law. From the revolving door and busy practice areas to M&A activity, they shared their perspectives on the varied ways the industry could be affected by presidential politics in the coming year.

Keith Wetmore, Managing Director, Major, Lindsey & Africa

“Firms in Washington aggressively hired Obama people at the end of his administration on the idea that Hillary [Clinton] was going to win in 2016. They figured not only would they have a credential in the upcoming administration, but they would get ahead of the drain on the talent pool as those attorneys would go work for the new Democratic administration. Trump was true to his word and didn’t hire traditional GOP attorneys for posts. So if the Democrats win, firms will lose those people. But they may not be able to replace them with Trump people, as this administration is so polarizing, even when toeing a traditional conservative line, that firms may find it unpopular to fill those roles with outgoing Trump administration staff.”

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