D.C. Law Receives Boost from Obama

D.C. Law Receives Boost from Obama



When Barack Obama was elected as president, he promised more oversight, as well as a bigger role for government. For lawyers based in Washington DC, that meant more billable hours. The uptick in government, the regulatory and public policy business helped law firms in D.C. do better compared to their counterparts nationwide.

Through late July, demand at D.C. law firms, as measured by hours billed, increased 3.5% for the year, compared to the 1.5% for the country’s largest and moderate-size firms. This was revealed by the Hildebrandt Institute, which monitors the legal services sector in the U.S.

According to Mike McNamara, a partner who leads SNR Denton’s government practice “The administration’s approach has been good for business. One of the drivers of [Washington] law firm growth has been the regulatory state.”

The landmark financial services and healthcare reforms that were passed last year by the U.S. Congress have begun to generate extensive regulations that will help keep the legal eagles in D.C. busy for several years.

Government contractors, meanwhile, are inclined to lean on K Street attorneys as a result of the Budget Control Act, which minimizes government purchasing, and the recent legislation concerning patent reform. And lobbyists in D.C. are already involved in making moves on behalf of a range of clients, hoping to influence the members of the so-called super committee, which was created by Congress to create a plan to trim the deficit.

Warren Gorrell, the co-CEO of Hogan Lovells, said, “Pharma, device companies, providers, insurers … all of those companies are affected by the Affordable Care Act and other regulatory and enforcement activities of the Obama administration.”



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