Based in Philadelphia, the nearly 80-year-old firm Dilworth
Paxson cuts a distinguished profile in the Keystone State as a
multi-service law firm. Dilworth attorneys seemed to have on
several occasions played a part in landmark events in U.S.
Breaking Down Walls, Building Homes
A penchant for work of historical proportions has seemed to
follow Dilworth Paxson ever since its founding in 1933 by namesake
Richardson Dilworth, a Pennsylvania politician who later made waves
as mayor of Philadelphia when he attempted to reform city
government by pushing for the elimination of patronage and the
extension of civil service examinations.
Heard of Brown v. Board of Education, for example?
Early in the firm's history, Dilworth implanted a strict
meritocracy, and the firm was the first in the Philadelphia area to
offer a position to William Coleman, a black attorney with a
Harvard law degree who had had trouble finding a position at other
area firms. Coleman later became a major contributor to plaintiffs'
briefs in Brown after Thurgood Marshall, then a New York
attorney, recruited him to assist in the case that led to the end
of racial segregation in schools. Coleman toiled at the
Philadelphia firm during the day, and commuted to New York to work
with Marshall on the weekends. He later became a partner at
In addition to helping tear down the walls of segregation in
Brown, Dilworth attorneys also set about building new,
friendlier ones when the firm represented Bill Levitt, the
mastermind of Levittown, the country's first planned community and
herald of the coming postwar suburbia building boom. Levittown came
to life as World War II veterans bought houses for their families
with financial assistance from the Veterans Administration and the
Counsel in the 21st Century
While the days of counseling the movers and shakers of the
greatest generation may be fading, Dilworth has continued to adapt
and expand in the 21st century. The firm still has its headquarters
in Philadelphia, but its more than 100 attorneys are spread out
between offices in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and
Washington, DC. With practices in nearly every major legal arena
from antitrust and healthcare law to real estate and tax law, the
firm has served clients like Bank of America and the Dow Chemical
Company. According to U.S. News, Dilworth is particularly
strong in the Philadelphia area in corporate law and in the
bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights arena.