It started in early 1995. Sam Coppersmith and Andy Gordon were unemployed. Sam had just finished a term as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Andy had been his chief of staff. After two years of working together nearly every day, each of them could finish the other person’s sentences—even if the other person did not really know what he wanted to say.
“Sam and Andy sought out other smart lawyers who shared a few common traits—intellectual curiosity, an ability to work well with others, a sense of humor, and a willingness to put the needs of others before their own personal interests.”
Before heading to Washington, both Sam and Andy had been partners at well regarded Phoenix law firms. Instead of returning to those firms, they decided to create something new. During a stay at the Circle Z Ranch in Patagonia (the source of the horseback photo to the right), Andy created the business plan for the new firm. That involved him calculating how many hours they would have to work each year in order to pay their bills. Then they had a drink.
Sam and Andy launched their firm in the spare bedroom of Sam’s house, which had also been his campaign office. They tried to recreate the culture of their congressional office. Sam and Andy sought out other smart lawyers who shared a few common traits—intellectual curiosity, an ability to work well with others, a sense of humor, and a willingness to put the needs of others before their own personal interests.
The firm has grown since 1995, and has changed in many ways. The number of lawyers, and the scope of the services we provide, have both expanded. We no longer have to work out of Sam’s spare bedroom. The original firm name of Coppersmith Gordon has changed a few times. (We had to remove Andy’s name when he went back to Washington, D.C., for a time to work as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.)