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Rose Law Firm

Law firm
Firm nameRose Law Firm
HeadquartersLittle Rock, Arkansas
No. of offices1
No. of attorneysabout 35
No. of employeesabout 90
Major practice areasGeneral practice, corporate
Revenueabout $10 million
Date foundedNovember 1, 1820
FounderRobert Crittenden
Chester Ashley
Company TypeLimited liability partnership

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Rose Law Firm is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is the oldest law firm in the United States west of the Mississippi River and the third oldest in the United States.

It traces its origin 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. The firm simplified its name to Rose Law Firm in 1980.

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.

In the economic realm, Rose has been termed "the ultimate establishment law firm" in the state and "the legal arm of the powerful". 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. Hillary Rodham Clinton became the firm's first female associate, and soon its first female partner, during her husband Bill Clinton's tenure as Arkansas Attorney General and Governor of Arkansas. Webster Hubbell and Vince Foster were also partners, before becoming Assistant Attorney General and deputy White House counsel in the Clinton administration, respectively. 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.

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, and a connected newer structure.

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