Rose Law Firm
Little Rock's Rose Law Firm is the oldest law firm west of the Mississippi River and the third oldest law firm still in operation in the United States.
The firm specializes in corporate law, and its clients have included Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale, Stephens Inc. of Little Rock and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville. Other areas include securities, closely-held businesses, estate planning, environmental, health law, Intellectual property, lending, management labor and employment, public finance, taxation, and utilities.
The firm's first woman associate, and later first woman partner, was Hillary Rodham Clinton, now U.S. Secretary of State.
Rose Law Firm traces its origin to 1820, 16 years before Arkansas statehood, when it was founded by Robert Crittenden and Chester Ashley. “Rose” was added to the firm name after Uriah Milton Rose joined the firm in 1865. A statue of Rose stands in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.
Rose members have been active in politics and civic affairs. Crittenden was Arkansas' territorial governor and negotiated Arkansas' admission to the U.S. as the 25th state in 1836. Ashley was a U.S. 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 1990s, the firm was involved in the Whitewater controversy, which dogged the first term of Bill Clinton’s presidential administration. Investigators sought to determine how much work Hillary Clinton had done for the firm while representing Jim McDougal in cases involving McDougal’s Madison Guaranty and Castle Grande enterprises.
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