Steptoe & Johnson
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|No. of offices||9|
|No. of attorneys||> 500 |
|Major practice areas||General practice|
|Key people||Philip R. West (Chairman)|
|Founder||Philip Pendleton Steptoe, Louis A. Johnson|
Philip Steptoe and Louis A. Johnson, both graduates of the University of Virginia School of Law, and John Rixie, formed Steptoe, Rixey & Johnson in 1913 in Clarksburg, West Virginia. The following year, Rixey left the firm, which became Steptoe & Johnson.
In 1928, Steptoe & Johnson opened an office in Charleston, West Virginia, to meet the expanding legislative and regulatory work available in the state capital. Meanwhile, Johnson, a veteran of World War I, helped found the American Legion, bringing national prominence to himself and the firm when he served as the organization's commander in the mid-1930s. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Johnson United States Assistant Secretary of War in 1937.
After leaving the Roosevelt administration, Johnson opened the Washington D.C. office of Steptoe & Johnson in 1945. In March, 1949, President Harry S. Truman appointed Johnson as United States Secretary of Defense, and he served in that job until September, 1950.
The firm's Washington office grew quickly under Johnson's influence. Among its first clients were the members of the growing airlines industry, as well as pipelines, railroads, and foreign companies whose assets had been seized during World War II. In assisting these clients, Steptoe & Johnson became known as a prominent firm in regulatory law, tax, and international trade.
In 1980, the firm began a period of growth, starting with the amicable separation of the Washington and West Virginia offices. The West Virginia firm known as Steptoe & Johnson PLLC is still based in Clarksburg, WV.
In 1987, a combination of client needs and business opportunities led to the opening of a Steptoe & Johnson office in Phoenix. Since 1997, the firm has opened offices in Los Angeles (1997), London (2001), Brussels (2002), New York (2005), Chicago (2007), Beijing (2010), and Palo Alto (2014; relocated to San Francisco in 2017).
Steptoe & Johnson attorneys have frequently served in high-level government positions, and are often quoted on current business, political, and legal happenings in national media. The firm is notable for being one of the first to establish a blockchain practice and to accept payment in bitcoin.
Steptoe ranked 19th among Am Law 200 firms in The American Lawyer's 2015 pro bono report, based on average hours spent on and breadth of commitment to pro bono work. The firm's pro bono efforts have been recognized by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the John Carroll Society, the Children's Law Center, the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation, and the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project, among others.
Notable current and former attorneys
- Stephen Ailes, former United States Under Secretary of the Army and former United States Secretary of the Army.
- Shara L. Aranoff, former Chairman of the United States International Trade Commission.
- Bruce Babbitt, former United States Secretary of the Interior and Governor of Arizona.
- Stewart Baker, former General Counsel of the National Security Agency and first Assistant Secretary for Policy at United States Department of Homeland Security.
- John D. Bates, U.S. District Court Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
- David S. Biderman, Executive Director & CEO, Solid Waste Association of North America.
- Steve Bullock, current Governor of Montana.
- Paul K. Charlton, former prosecutor.
- Shannen W. Coffin, General Counsel to Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney.
- Luis Fortuño, former Governor of Puerto Rico.
- Jerome Holmes, federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
- Louis A. Johnson, former United States Secretary of Defense and former Assistant Secretary of War.
- J. Bennett Johnston, former United States Senator for Louisiana.
- Robert E. Jordan III, former General Counsel of the Army.
- Debra L. Lee, Chairman and CEO of Black Entertainment Television (BET).
- Monroe Leigh, former Legal Advisor of the Department of State under Henry Kissinger.
- Wilma A. Lewis, chief judge of the District Court of the Virgin Islands and first female United States Attorney for the District of Columbia
- Ken Ludwig, Theatre Director and Playwright.
- Shirley D. Peterson, former Assistant Attorney General in the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice and former Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.
- Intisar Rabb, Professor at Harvard Law School.
- Robert Rizzi, former CIA lawyer, political vetter.
- John Rizzo, former CIA General Counsel.
- John Shadegg, former U.S. Representative for Arizona's 3rd congressional district.
- Laurence Silberman, United States federal judge for United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
- Karl Tilleman, former member of the Canadian National Basketball Team who played in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics; current Olympic record-holder for the most three-point baskets in a single game.
- Michael Vatis
- Richard Verma, United States Ambassador to India and former Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs.
- Reid Weingarten, White-Collar Criminal Defense Attorney.
- Kimba Wood, federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
- McFarland, Keith D.; Roll, David L. (2005). Louis Johnson and the Arming of America: The Roosevelt and Truman Years. Indiana University Press. pp. 13–14. ISBN 9780253111647.
- Guida, Victoria; Hanna, Andrew. "Banks not looking to rip up Dodd-Frank". Politico. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
- Wilson, Megan R. "Schumerland ascends to new heights in Senate". The Hill. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
- Versprille, Allyson. "What Mnuchin Should Expect From Senate Vetting: Tax Primer". Bloomberg BNA. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
- DeNisco, Alison. "Bitcoin & Blockchain, Attorneys at Law: One firm's big switch". TechRepublic. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
- Friedman, Gabe. "Will Work for Bitcoin, Steptoe & Johnson Says". Bloomberg Law. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
- "Pro Bono Report 2015: The Charts". The American Lawyer. ALM Media Properties, LLC. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- "Pro Bono: Giving Back to the Animal Community" (PDF). The Animals' Advocate. 32 (3): 6. Winter 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- "The Red Mass". John Carroll Society. Archived from the original on 7 April 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- "Steptoe Receives Pro Bono Champion Award from Children's Law Center". Children's Law Center. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- "Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation and LexisNexis Recognize Five Lex Mundi Member Firms for Outstanding Pro Bono Contributions in 2012". Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation. Lex Mundi. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- "ABA Death Penalty Representation Project presents Volunteer Service Awards". American Bar Association. ABA. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- "Firms Ranked by Gross Revenue". The American Lawyer. ALM Media Properties, LLC. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Renowned rankings e.g. Legal 500: https://www.legal500.com/firms/52535-steptoe-johnson-llp/52981-washington-dc-usa