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The nation's top law firms collectively employed 141,056 lawyers in 2012, up 1.1 percent from 139,551 in 2011, a sign that the legal sector has not yet fully recovered from the recession, according to ALM's The National Law Journal, which today published the NLJ 350, a list of the nation's 350 largest law firms.
The number of partners at NLJ 350 law firms increased by 1.5 percent in 2012, while associate numbers edged up by 1 percent.
“The 1.1 percent uptick in the number of lawyers working in the nation's largest 350 law firms was slower than the 1.7 percent employment growth from a year ago and is one of the smallest increases we've seen in nearly two decades,” said David L. Brown, editor in chief of The National Law Journal. “Moreover, 140 of the firms in the NLJ 350 — or 40 percent of them — actually decreased in size last year. It's clear that the U.S. legal services market has not yet fully recovered from the recession years of 2008-2010.”
The top-10 law firms on the 2013 NLJ 350 list and their number of lawyers included:
- DLA Piper: 4,036
- Baker & McKenzie: 4,004
- Jones Day: 2,363
- Hogan Lovells: 2,280
- Latham & Watkins: 2,033
- White & Case: 1,900
- Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom: 1,735
- K&L Gates: 1,720
- Greenberg Traurig: 1,699
- Sidley Austin: 1,636