Lawyers and law firms are one of the top donors by industry for both candidates, raking in nearly $5.2 million for Romney’s campaign and $12.4 million for Obama’s campaign as of June 21, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Lawyers and law firms rank third among Romney’s top donors by industry, and second among Obama’s top donors by industry.
Kirkland & Ellis is the only law firm with a spot among Romney’s top 20 contributors by organization, with $264,302 coming from the firm’s PAC and individual employees and their families.
Law firms played a more prominent fundraising role for Obama: six of the president’s top 20 contributors by organization are major law firms. The firms whose PACs and employees contributed the most to Obama are:
●DLA Piper: $306,727
● Sidley Austin: $257,296
●Skadden Arps: $169,753
●Morgan & Morgan: $135,145
● Kirkland & Ellis: $113,770
No other industry has bundled more money for Obama than lawyers. Bundlers are people who, after reaching their individual contribution limit, solicit and “bundle” contributions from friends, family and associates. Lawyers and law firms have so far bundled $22.4 million for the president’s re-election bid — significantly more than the $14.5 million the next most generous industry, securities and investments, bundled for Obama.
Of the 532 individuals bundling contributions for Obama, at least 128 — nearly one in four — are lawyers, and many work at top law firms including Blank Rome, Winston & Strawn, DLA Piper, Sidley Austin, Greenberg Traurig, Bracewell & Giuliani and O’Melveny & Myers.
Federal Election Commission regulations only require candidates to disclose names of bundlers who are registered lobbyists, but Obama’s re-election campaign agreed to disclose any bundlers who have raised more than $50,000. Romney’s campaign has not agreed to disclose his entire bundler list, and has only disclosed the names of those who are registered lobbyists.
Out of 25 registered lobbyists bundling for Romney, five of them are lobbyists who work at major law firms Barnes & Thornburg, DLA Piper, Dow Lohnes and Fagre Baker Daniels.