Rose Law Firm

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Rose Law Firm
Rose Law Firm.gif
HeadquartersLittle Rock, Arkansas
No. of offices1
No. of attorneys34 as of 2013[1]
No. of employeesAbout 80 as of 2008[2]
Major practice areasGeneral practice, corporate
Revenueabout $10 million[2]
Date foundedNovember 1, 1820
FounderRobert Crittenden
Chester Ashley
Company typeProfessional association
The old entrance of Rose Law Firm
The current entrance of the firm; it shares the newer building with AgHeritage, a farm credit services cooperative.

Rose Law Firm is an American law firm headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas.

It is the third oldest law firm in the United States[3] and the oldest west of the Mississippi River.[4][5] It is also the oldest company of any kind in Arkansas.[4]


The firm's origins go back to November 1, 1820, sixteen years before Arkansas statehood, when Robert Crittenden, born 1797, and Chester Ashley, born 1791, entered into an agreement for a "Partnership in the Practice of Law". The firm's name changed over the years as partners were added. "Rose" was added to the firm's name in 1865 when Uriah Milton Rose joined the firm. A statue of Rose stands in Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol.

By the late 1970s, the firm had nine partners and a long name – Rose, Nash, Williamson, Carroll, Clay, & Giroir.[6] The firm simplified its name to Rose Law Firm in 1980.[6]

Rose Law Firm members have historically been active in politics and civic affairs. Robert Crittenden served as Arkansas' territorial governor and negotiated Arkansas' admission to the United States as the 25th state in 1836. Chester Ashley served as a United States Senator from Arkansas. U.M. Rose co-founded the American Bar Association and served as its president in 1901–1902. Rose was later appointed the American representative to the Second Hague Peace Conference and was instrumental in drafting the Hague Convention. Six of the firm's members have served on the Arkansas Supreme Court (three as Chief Justice), and six members have also served as President of the Arkansas Bar Association. Rose Law Firm members have served as Commissioner of the Uniform Commission on State Laws, President of the National Association of Bond Lawyers and President of the Arkansas Bar Association.

In the economic realm, Rose has been termed "the ultimate establishment law firm"[6] in the state and "the legal arm of the powerful".[7] During the 1970s, for example, its clients included Tyson Foods, Wal-Mart, large brokerage Stephens Inc., Worthen Bank, and the Arkansas Democrat and other Hussman family media holdings.[6] Hillary Rodham became the firm's first female associate,[6] and soon its first female partner,[8] during her husband Bill Clinton's tenure as Arkansas Attorney General and Governor of Arkansas. Webster Hubbell, Vince Foster, and William H. Kennedy, III were also partners, before becoming Assistant Attorney General, Deputy White House Counsel, and Associate White House Counsel in the Clinton administration, respectively.[9] In all, the firm grew five times in size between the early 1970s and early 1990s.[10]

Rose Law Firm entered the national news during the 1990s as part of the Whitewater controversy, as investigators sought to determine how much work Clinton had done for the firm while representing Jim McDougal in cases involving the latter's Madison Guaranty and Castle Grande enterprises.[11]

Rose Law Firm is the Arkansas member of two law firm affiliate groups: State Capital Law Group and Lex Mundi.

The firm's Little Rock building consists of both an old red brick structure, which was converted from a YMCA facility and has hardwood floors and an indoor swimming pool,[7] and a connected newer structure.


  1. ^ "Attorneys". Rose Law Firm. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
  2. ^ a b "Rose Law Firm, A Professional Association". Hoover's. Retrieved 2008-12-02.
  3. ^ Suzanne Goldenberg (2006-05-24). "The real state of the union: how well are the Clintons getting on?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-05-04.
  4. ^ a b "Arkansas Business: Oldest companies in Arkansas". Little Rock: KTHV. July 10, 2013. Archived from the original on 2015-09-11. Retrieved 2015-03-22.
  5. ^ Stephen Labaton (1994-02-26). "Rose Law Firm, Arkansas Power, Slips as It Steps Onto a Bigger Stage". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-09-20.
  6. ^ a b c d e Carl Bernstein, A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Knopf, ISBN 0-375-40766-9. pp. 128–29
  7. ^ a b Maraniss, David (1995). First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton. Simon & Schuster. pp. 369, 430. ISBN 0-671-87109-9.
  8. ^ Gerth, Jeff; Van Natta, Jr., Don (2007). Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton. New York: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0-316-01742-6. p. 60
  9. ^ Dickenson, Mollie (July 27, 1998). "Victim of circumstance". Salon.
  10. ^ Von Drehle, David (August 15, 1993). "The Crumbling of a Pillar in Washington". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ "Rose Law Firm Billing Records". Frontline. WGBH educational foundation: PBS. February 22, 1999.

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