How Big Law Became Big

As US capitalism boomed, attorneys from a handful of New York law firms became powerful viziers of America’s elite.

Illustration by Daniel Zender

Lawyers played an outsize role in the revolutions that have remade the world since the late eighteenth century. Nearly half the signatories of the US Declaration of Independence were lawyers. So were Elysée Loustallot, Maximilien Robespierre, Georges Danton, and Jean Baptiste Treilhard. Twenty-six of forty-five US presidents have been lawyers, including Joe Biden, who earned […]