The General Counsel of Allstate, Michele Coleman Mayes, gave an interview to Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Feb. 2012 at 1. Introducing herself, Mayes said “Our legal department is the fifth largest in the country, with approximately 500 lawyers representing our insureds and 130 attorneys dedicated to other matters.” She counts so-called staff counsel in her total.
Her claim about ranking fifth set me wondering so I consulted ALM’s In-House Law Departments at the Top 500 Companies (2012). Allstate was number 89 on Fortune’s list for 2011. After GE and my own data from this blog, I have listed below some of the largest law departments that have their number of lawyers stated in the ALM book (shown in parenthesis).
General Electric (See my post of May 23, 2007: General Electric and its 1,225 lawyers.).
Liberty Mutual (776)
State Farm (763)
JP Morgan (594)
Wells Fargo (225)
General Motors (202)
Fortune 500 companies in the top bracket that have no ALM listing for number of lawyers include WalMart (if as a retailer it has 2 lawyers per billion it would have more than 800 lawyers (See my post of Sept. 22, 2005: rapid growth of the Wal-Mart legal staff.), Exxon Mobil (but Chevron, which had $50 billion less revenue, has 380 lawyers), and Bank of America (but see JP Morgan Chase at 594, which had $20 billion less revenue).
My data has holes, but Allstate’s department is surely one of the largest U.S. corporate legal departments. I offer this as a partial listing of the largest U.S. law departments.