As law firms continue to pump big money into elections and politics, in house counsel increasingly finds itself involved in lobbying activity. Business groups, businesses, lawyers and lobbyists have invested millions in the midterm campaigns alone. The political action committees of the top 10 law firm and lobbying firms donated $5.5 million to federal candidates alone, The Washington Post reports.
That figure does not take into account expenditures made by an organization on behalf of a candidate or individual contributions from firm employees, which could as much as double the $5.5 million figure. With the substantial contributions, firms are positioning themselves as political powerhouses.
Not surprisingly, a lot of money flowed towards Republican candidates after polls indicated they stood to make significant gains in the House and Senate. However, overall, most of the big firms split their money fairly evenly between both parties. The focus seemed to be on getting money to those already in power who were likely to hold their seat, or to those most likely to wind up in power after the elections.
"There was probably more money weighted towards the Republicans in the latter stages of this election as it became more clear that the Republicans could win the House," said Anthony Corrado, a professor of government at Colby College, The Washington Post reports.
If your company is making political contributions, there is a good chance that much of the work falls on you. If that is the case, it is important to make sure that you properly communicate with the executives of the company and ensure ethics and legal compliance. Even if your company outsources lobbying activity, you are likely to be responsible for communicating with the lobbying firm, keeping an eye on the bills and monitoring legal compliance with election laws.
It's a reality of politics that making a contribution can, at the very least, make it easier to get the ear of a politician. By helping your company facilitate its lobbying efforts, you can help the company grow and protect itself.
- Election Law, Government Ethics & Lobbying (FindLaw)
- Twitter Policy: In House Counsel's Take on 140 Characters (FindLaw's In House)
- Monitoring Preservation of E-Evidence: Why It's Important (FindLaw's In House)