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Credit: Daniel Liévano

If a messenger from the future transmitted an overview of the 2020 performance of America’s 100 top-grossing law firms back to a group of firm leaders at the start of the past year, those leaders would still have no idea what was in store.


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Revenue for the Am Law 100 grew a hefty 6.6% over the course of a year in which offices were nearly deserted for over nine months, job cuts thinned the ranks of administrative staff and courtrooms across the country went dark, all consequences of a global pandemic that has killed over 500,000 Americans to date.

That increase in cash flow exceeded the 5% growth enjoyed by the Am 100 in 2019, hitting a new record: $111 billion. Revenue per lawyer ticked upward by nearly 5% to $1.05 million. And cost-cutting, both forced and voluntary, pushed the profitability of these firms to startling new heights: the average equity partner in the Am Law 100 took in $2.23 million in profits, up 13.4% from the prior year.

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Dan Packel

Dan Packel covers change and innovation in the legal services market, and writes a weekly briefing for Law.com, "The Law Firm Disrupted," on these subjects. He is based in Philadelphia. Contact him at [email protected] On Twitter at @packeld

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