Firm History

In 1913, Philip P. Steptoe and Louis A. Johnson established the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Due to its centralized location and variety of manufacturing, banking, mineral, and service-related industries, Clarksburg proved to be an ideal base of operations. Steptoe & Johnson soon became prominent in the fields of banking, insurance, litigation, mineral, and public utility law.

​1920s: Steptoe & Johnson opened an office in the State capital of Charleston, which facilitated the expansion of the firm’s practice before the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, its interaction with numerous West Virginia regulatory agencies, and its involvement in various legislative activities.

1940s: The firm launched its Washington, D.C. office. Forty years later, the Washington office would become a separate firm established as Steptoe & Johnson, Chartered, which is currently known as Steptoe & Johnson LLP. The partnership of Steptoe & Johnson continued its practice in the Clarksburg and Charleston, West Virginia offices.

1970s: Steptoe & Johnson’s three offices employed 175 attorneys and more than 300 support personnel.

​1980s: In 1980, the firm separated into the original Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, and the DC based Steptoe & Johnson LLP. Steptoe & Johnson’s two offices employed 34 attorneys. The firm opened an office in Morgantown, West Virginia. Less than two years later, Steptoe & Johnson affiliated with Avey & Steptoe, a prominent Martinsburg firm with almost fifty years of experience in the general practice of law.

​1990s: Steptoe & Johnson continued to grow, now employing 91 attorneys. The firm continued its expansion by adding an office in Wheeling, West Virginia.

2000s: At the dawn of the new century, Steptoe & Johnson employed 126 attorneys. In September 2003, the firm opened a new office in Huntington, West Virginia. The decision to move to Huntington came at the encouragement of existing clients and allowed the firm to continue the expansion of our practice in southeastern Ohio. Four years later, Steptoe & Johnson opened the Columbus, Ohio office, expanding its presence as a regional law firm with particular strengths in energy, labor, litigation, and business.

In January 2009, Susan S. Brewer succeeded Robert M. Steptoe, Jr., as the CEO of the firm while becoming the first female managing member of a major West Virginia law firm. Under her direction, the firm opened an office in Lexington, Kentucky in June of the same year, adding an 8th location to its impressive resume.

In August 2010, the Clarksburg office relocated to our new building at 400 White Oaks Boulevard, Bridgeport, WV.

In September 2010, Culbertson, Weiss, Schetroma & Schug joined with Steptoe & Johnson expanding its presence to Meadville, Pennsylvania. In September 2010, Carpenter Lane in Columbus, Ohio, joined the firm adding five additional attorneys to the Columbus office.

In December 2010, Steptoe & Johnson expanded to Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, opening an office in Southpointe Business Park.

In January 2013, Steptoe & Johnson opened its Canton, Ohio office and in March 2013 the firm opened an office in The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston, Texas.

In May 2013, Steptoe & Johnson opened its Denver, Colorado office.

In May 2013, Robert M. Steptoe, Jr. published "Firmly Rooted: The First 100 Years of Steptoe & Johnson."

In May 2013, Steven P. McGowan was recognized in the U.S. Congressional Record for receiving the 2013 Silver Buffalo Award from the Boy Scouts of America. [link]

In January 2015, Steptoe & Johnson opened its Louisville, Kentucky office.  

In October 2015, Steptoe & Johnson consolidated its Canton, Ohio office into other existing office locations. 

In February 2019, the firm opened a third office in Kentucky, located in Whitesburg.

In October 2020, the firm opened a third office in Pennsylvania, located in Pittsburgh. 

Today, Steptoe & Johnson has grown to 275 attorneys working in 15 offices in six states and has earned national recognition as an energy firm.