White House hopefuls gifted millions from US lawyers

US law firms have stumped up nearly $17m in donations towards the upcoming presidential campaigns, signalling a huge rise in lawyers’ political contributions in the last race to the White House.

President George W Bush edges ahead in contributions from lawyers and law firms which gave a total $8.8m within a three month period, beginning January 2004.

While Democratic hopeful Senator John Kerry raised $7.9m from the legal community, which make up around half of his top contributors. According to the Legal Times, back in the 2000 race Bush Jr and Al Gore received a total $11.5m from lawyers and law firms.

Vinson & Elkins, the Houston-based firm which once counted disgraced energy trader Enron as a client, has emerged as one of the top contributors to President Bush’s bid to stay in residence at 1,600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

While for Senator Kerry, New York powerhouse Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom led the list of legal donors, giving $160,000 by the end of March this year.