Though Atlanta is known as the cradle of Coca-Cola and CNN, the city is also host to one of the country's top law firms: Alston & Bird. The state motto of Georgia is "Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation," and the middle virtue is epitomized by Alston, quite simply the region's premier firm. Alston is headquartered in Atlanta, although its nearly 700 attorneys are spread out in offices in Charlotte and Research Triangle, North Carolina; New York; and the District of Columbia.
Alston can trace its roots back over 100 years. The son of the founder was Philip H. Alston, Jr., who was a partner at the firm for over 30 years and the U.S. Ambassador to Australia during the Carter administration. Alston's political connections endure to this day. Former senator Bob Dole, apparently tired of running for president and plugging Viagra, recently joined the firm as Special Counsel.
While it may get less press than firms anchored in New York City, Alston is a large firm and has a long list of big name clients: Wachovia, NASCAR, UPS, AFLAC, Delta, Reebok, WebMD, etc. Alston features almost every sort of practice area, including a bustling litigation department, a mergers and acquisitions record rated highly by Mergerstat, and a sizable IP group.
Alston offers the foremost opportunity for lawyers in the Southeast; but beyond the exciting professional climate is a genial environment. Alston was named one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" by Fortune. It was the fifth year in a row that the firm earned the recognition. Actually, the firm was ranked as high as second overall, and was deemed the best law firm to work at by a large margin. Several benefits include easily negotiable work schedules, prodigious maternity leave, highly praised child care facilities, and the always popular and often necessary massage therapy.
Alston gives back to its attorneys, and Alston's attorneys give back to their community. The firm is routinely recognized for its pro bono activity and such projects as the Legal Aid Fellowship. In this area, it is once again the top firm in Atlanta by a mile, having received the Atlanta Bar Association's Law Firm Service Award an unprecedented amount of the times. The Pro Bono Committee is chaired by partner Judson Graves, who had represented Mrs. Dale Earnhardt and was selected as one of the top ten litigators in the country in a 2000 issue of the National Law Journal.
Though the firm has a rich and extensive history, it is no dinosaur. Alston prides itself on its exceptional technical capabilities, which allow attorneys a great deal of liberty in interacting with each other as well as clients. The firm is considered to be among the most technologically advanced in the legal world.
Alston & Bird may not have quite the cache that its northern-based rivals do, but the firm is far and away the tops in the South and is continually gaining in national attention, prestige and quality. It has the rare privilege of offering challenging work in a positive, social atmosphere.
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