ALM Properties, Inc.
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The National Law Journal
Our survey of market conditions in the Midwest finds Detroit firms expanding into other regions to find business, while Chicago ranks as one of the fastest-growing legal centers in the country. We profile Polsinelli Shughart, which has grown far beyond its Kansas City, Mo., roots. Finally, we diagnose conditions in additional major business centers in the region.
Looking beyond the city limits
Michigan continues to be hard-hit by the recession, with the unemployment rate over 10%. Law firms with roots in Detroit were able to grab some domestic work, mainly focused on regulatory changes, international investments and litigation. But an anticipated growth in bankruptcy work never materialized, and real estate activity is all but nonexistent. Most have looked outside Michigan to generate revenues.
Go big or go home
With an estimated 45,000 attorneys in the metropolitan area, Chicago is one of the fastest-growing legal centers in the country. And while many firms were forced to cut back during the recession, a significant number of out-of-town firms, both Midwestern regional and national, actually opened satellite offices here.
'Doing fine' but things could be better
Ohio firms have seen fairly steady, but not tremendous, growth. Oil and gas markets are driving new business, as firms compete to squeeze business from lease acquisition and environmental permitting work.
LAW FIRM SPOTLIGHT: POLSINELLI SHUGHART
Taking on the big players
With almost 500 lawyers, Polsinelli Shughart is not afraid to compete with the larger national firms for clients and talent.
Dig into the data behind our Midwest Report by exploring our interactive map.