Being unsuccessful, Conkling took up the practice of law in New York city, again declining, in 1882, a place on the bench of the Supreme Court, and appeared in a number of important cases.
On retiring from Congress he began the practice of law at Fredericksburg, Virginia, was chosen a member of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1787, and in 1788 was a member of the state convention which ratified for Virginia the Federal constitution.
After graduating at the College of William and Mary in 1807, he began the practice of law in his native state.
The son graduated at Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, in 1837, and from the law department of the university of Virginia in 1841, and began the practice of law in Alexandria, Virginia, but in 1850 removed to Baltimore, Maryland, where he won a high position at the bar.
He graduated from Union College in 1820, having taught school for a short time at Savannah, Georgia, to help pay his expenses; was admitted to the bar at Utica, N.Y., in 1822, and in the following year began the practice of law at Auburn, N.Y., which was his home for the rest of his life.
Afterwards there was a great influx of Germans, particularly after the Revolution of 1848, among them being Carl Schurz, who began the practice of law here.