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If you were on trial, who would you want representing you? Well, a number of high-profile individuals have asked themselves that question and answered it in three words: Williams & Connolly. Leona Helmsley, Oliver North, John Hinckley, Jr. No, it's not the index of The Enquirer, but some of the clients that Gregory B. Craig served as the attorney for Juan Miguel Gonzalez, Elian's father, amidst the famous media frenzy of 2000. As public as Elian was, no client is more visible than the 42nd President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton. Williams' partner David E. Kendall has represented the former president in the Whitewater scandal all the way through impeachment. Not bad for a firm with only around 200 attorneys in a single office.
Williams & Connolly's comparatively modest size does not mean that individuals are the only ones who have come to rely on the firm's expertise. Large corporations and publications have also sought the counsel of Williams & Connolly. Staples of American industry such as General Electric, 20th Century Fox and The Washington Post have all retained the services of Williams attorneys.
It should be noted that while litigation is the calling card of Williams & Connolly, there are business and tax practices as well. The corporate attorneys are esteemed, but do not have the national cache the litigators posses.
Considering its formidable reputation, Williams & Connolly has a relatively young history. However, it is a history grounded in the fountainhead of 20th century Washington law. The firm was founded in 1967 by Edward Bennett Williams and his former student Paul Connolly. The legendary Edward Bennett Williams was one of the most well-known litigators of his or any other time. He represented such diverse and iconographic figures as Jimmy Hoffa and Senator Joseph McCarthy. The law library at Georgetown University is named after him.
Williams also boasted a connection to the sports world. He served as president of the Washington Redskins and owned the Baltimore Orioles. There is still an athletic presence at Williams & Connolly; clients include NBA superstars Tim Duncan, Grant Hill and Shane Battier.
Attorneys at Williams don't have to worry about being pigeon-holed. There aren't subdivisions or over-classifications and lawyers can basically have carte blanche. As Attorney Gregory Craig says on the firm's web site, "I am unaware of any other firm in which a lawyer can be involved in a First Amendment case, a grand jury investigation, a major class action, and a small medical malpractice---all at the same time."
Williams & Connolly certainly offers many benefits to litigators of all persuasions. Aside from the booming practice, the firm offers a solid work environment. The Washingtonian named Williams and Connolly one of the "50 greatest places to work." Indeed, there is no other firm in the nation's capital that provides more stimulating possibilities to attorneys.
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