First, it was the businesses. Now, it’s the bar.

More than a dozen of the nations top law firms have committed to joining forces in a new effort to challenge voting restrictions across the country, a move that adds legal might to the corporate pressure campaign opposing Republican-led attempts to overhaul elections in the wake of former President Donald Trumps loss.

Brad Karp, chairman of law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and one of the efforts leaders, said Monday that 16 firms have signed on so far, including his own. The lawyers would act like SWAT teams for legal action, he added. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a Yale School of Management professor who is working to help mobilize corporate America against the restrictions, described the legal coalition as an army of election law experts ready to dispatch at a moments notice.

The group came together from conversations between major law firms about publicly taking a stand against restrictive voting laws like the one enacted by Georgia last month as well as bills under consideration in a number of states, including Texas, Arizona and Florida.

I believe it is critically important for the private bar, first, to send a powerful, unified message to government officials that it is unacceptable to make voting harder, not easier, for all eligible voters, Karp told NBC News. Supporting the right of all eligible voters to cast ballots for candidates of their choosing is central to our democracy and should be embraced by all Americans, regardless of their political affiliation.

Sixty-five law firms, meanwhile, signed on to a statement first reported Monday that urges elected officials to prioritize voting access. The list of signatories includes leaders from Perkins Coie, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, as well as Paul, Weiss, according to The American Lawyer, a legal publication.

Making voting easier, not harder, for all eligible voters should be the goal of every elected official. Election laws that impose unnecessary obstacles and barriers on the right to vote and that disenfranchise underrepresented groups represent a significant step backwards for all Americans, the statement said.

Of those 65 firms, Karp said, 16 committed to mobilizing manpower.

The legal effort, which he expects will expand to include more firms, would see thousands of lawyers partner with the advocates and attorneys who typically challenge election laws in the states.Karp said the group is planning for a multi-year effort, with a presence in as many states as needed.

Republicans, including Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, have argued that major changes are needed to restore trust in American elections after Trump spent months pushing the lie that one was stolen from him. More than 350 restrictive voting bills are under consideration in 47 states, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. By all official accounts, the 2020 election was secure and the results accurate. Trump’s own attorney general, William Barr, said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, and the president’s legal efforts to overturn the results failed in courtrooms around the country.

Corporations began speaking out against the Republican-led efforts late last month, after Kemp signed a sweeping overhaul into law in Georgia, a state President Joe Biden flipped blue for the first time in decades. Major Georgia-based companies like Delta and Coca-Cola sharply criticized the newly enacted law, with Deltas CEO denouncing it as based on a lie, after months of prodding by activists in the state.

A letter from Black business leaders published in a full-page ad in The New York Times and signed by more than 70 Black business executives helped spur more than 200 corporate leaders to speak out and in some cases act, advocates told NBC News. Major League Baseball announced that it was moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta in protest.

Other corporate giants singled out restrictive proposals under consideration in Texass Republican-controlled state legislature for particular condemnation, while on Monday, Georgia lost its first film production over the law.

Republicans have pushed back.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warned corporate America to stay out of politics before softening his stance a day later, saying: I didnt say that very artfully yesterday. Theyre certainly entitled to be involved in politics. They are. My principal complaint is they didnt read the darn bill, referring to Georgias recently enacted law.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a Republican, said that the corporate response was nonsense and that American Airlines CEO should go away after the airline denounced a GOP-sponsored bill under consideration in Texas, where it is headquartered.

More than 120 chief executives and senior leaders, attorneys and experts joined a Zoom call Saturday to plot next moves, NBC News previously reported. The private-sector leaders discussed everything from issuing additional public statements, pulling investments from states passing restrictions and getting involved in voting rights-related legal action.