Ordinarily, you’d expect a large law firm to celebrate one of its lawyers securing a major victory at the United States Supreme Court. But that wasn’t Kirkland & Ellis reaction last June following then-partner Paul Clement’s win in a major gun rights case. Instead, the firm announced that it would no longer represent clients in Second Amendment matters, and gave Clement an ultimatum to either ditch his clients or leave the firm. That day, Clement, along with his colleague Erin Murphy launched ClementMurphy, which now lists a dozen attorneys on its website.
Clement is committed to representing clients with diverse and sometimes unpopular views. And while you may not agree with the positions advanced by Clement’s clients, you may likewise find that the clients you want to represent can’t be accommodated within the narrow confines of your current place of employment. Former biglaw partner Roberta Kaplan who argued a same sex marriage case at SCOTUS reached the same conclusion when she traded biglaw for legacy five years ago.
Is there a cause that needs your voice? A group of clients who need your help? In my mind, there’s no better reason to start a firm than that.
For additional background on Clement, take a listen to David Lat’s recent podcast interview with him at Original Jurisdiction.