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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

HEY, MUST BE THE MONEY! - “In the M-I-crooked-letter- crooked-letter-O-U-R-I no one could do it better.” Multi-platinum hip-hop artist Nelly’s astute assessment of Missouri’s legal market has perhaps never rung truer. As Law.com’s Andew Maloney reports, several big firms in the Show-Me state last year posted solid profit or revenue gains. These Kansas City or St. Louis-based law firms in the Am Law 200 were often supported by high demand in labor and employment, health care, mid-market transactional activity and product liability practices. And while the firms’ profit margins are often lower than their East and West Coast rivals in the Am Law 200, they benefit from lower overhead costs, while their Midwest billing rate structure often attracts clients. Some Missouri firms even outperformed industry averages for 2020. “The legal market in St. Louis has been pretty stable over the last couple of years,” Joan Newman, a legal consultant based in the Gateway City, told Maloney. “Not to say there aren’t certain pockets of firms that have struggled, but I think by and large they’re still going pretty well.”