April 25, 2011 08:35 ET

The National Law Journal's 2011 NLJ 250 Shows Largest U.S. Firms Employ 9,500 Fewer Lawyers Than in 2008

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Apr 25, 2011) - ALM's The National Law Journal today published the 2011 NLJ 250, its annual list of the nation's 250 largest law firms, which documented the second consecutive year of headcount declines among the top law firms in the U.S.

The NLJ 250 collectively employed 9,567 fewer lawyers in 2010 than it did in 2008, a decline of nearly 8 percent in headcount, with the 10 largest firms in the U.S. alone losing more than 1,000 lawyers last year. This is just the second time in the 34-year history of the NLJ 250 survey that the nation's largest law firms have experienced a net reduction in employed lawyers for two consecutive years.

The NLJ 250 appears in the April 25th issue of the newspaper and is also available online now at

"Headcount continued to spiral at the biggest firms in 2010, and the impact was even deeper than we had initially expected," said David L. Brown, editor in chief of The National Law Journal. "The NLJ 250 is thousands of lawyers smaller than it was just two years ago."

According to Brown, the Top 10 law firms on the 2011 NLJ 250 are:

1Baker & McKenzie3,738
2DLA Piper3,348
3Jones Day2,502
4Hogan Lovells2,363
5Latham & Watkins1,931
6Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom1,859
7White & Case1,814
8K&L Gates1,763
9Greenberg Traurig1,721
10Mayer Brown1,645

Once again, the city with the most NLJ 250 attorneys is New York (21,100), followed by Washington, D.C. (12,700), Chicago (7,200), Los Angeles (5,300) and London (4,700). There are nine new entrants on this year's list, including Hogan Lovells, which was formed in 2010 as a result of the merger of U.S.-based Hogan & Hartson and U.K.-based Lovells. The other eight new entrants are briefly profiled in this week's issue of The National Law Journal.

The issue also includes charts for the fastest-growing firms in 2010 and firms with the biggest headcount declines last year, a variety of in-depth charts analyzing the geographic breakdowns of the NLJ 250, and profiles of two midsized firms that have staked out unique market positions in Akron, Ohio and Riverside, Calif.

About The NLJ 250
The National Law Journal's 34th annual ranking of the nation's 250 largest law firms are based on the average number of full-time equivalent attorneys for the period Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2010. The NLJ sent surveys to about 300 law firms to determine the 250 largest. Lawyer counts do not include contract or temporary attorneys. A firm must have more lawyers based in the United States than in any other single country to be included on the list.

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