What Are the Longest Running Law Firms in America?

What Are the Longest Running Law Firms in America?

In many industries, there are a few companies that have had a long-standing and successful history in the United States. Some companies have existed since the formation of the country, while others still have an impressive history dating back to the 1800s. Today, we will be exploring the longest-running law firms in America. Keep reading to learn their story.


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The Oldest Lawyers Firms and Their Stories

The following law firms have all been established and successfully running for over 200 years. Starting with the oldest law firm, here are the four longest-running firms in America:

Rawle & Henderson, LLP

Scales of justice next to a stack of vintage books

Rawle & Henderson, LLP was founded on September 15, 1783, in Philadelphia by William Rawle. William found success quickly and even became the delegate to the Pennsylvania Constitutional Assembly in 1789. The law firm was continued by Rawle’s son, William Henry Rawle Jr, and eventually his grandson Francis Rawle. Francis took on the first non-family member, Joseph Henderson, who became the second half of the namesake. Today, the firm has offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, and West Virginia. They focus on litigation cases in different areas of law including aviation, commercial motor vehicle defense, and workers’ compensation.

Howard, Kohn, Sprague & FitzGerald

Founded in 1786 by Enoch Perkins, Howard, Kohn, Sprague & FitzGerald is the second oldest law firm in the United States. This firm has focused on carrying on a tradition of providing legal services to a variety of clients with a specialty in litigation. Many lawyers from this firm have gone on to become judges, town attorneys, and members of charitable organizations. A few have even become state senators and representatives in Connecticut. Today, the lawyers at Howard, Kohn, Sprague & FitzGerald continue to uphold the firm’s mission of providing legal services of high quality with an emphasis on ethics, integrity and efficiency.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft was established in 1792 by John Wells in New York City. The firm is not only one of the oldest law firms in America, but also one of the most established in New York City. After over 225 years of legal service, the firm has formed relationships with top-tier financial institutions, funds, Fortune 500 companies, and individual private clients. Today, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft has offices in New York City, Washington D.C., North Carolina, Ireland, and England.

Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP

Founded in 1812 by Alexander Scott Bullitt, this lawyer firm operates in the Southeastern United States. Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP offices are located in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana. Split into nine service teams and industry-focused practice groups, this firm’s clients include start-ups, second and third-generation family businesses, and large corporations. The namesake partners Wilson Wyatt, John Tarrant and Bert Combs established a law practice that prides itself on providing sound advice, prompt service, vigorous advocacy, thoughtful counseling and attention to detail.


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