Am Law 200 law firms have long opened outposts in Washington, D.C., to serve the regulatory needs of their core clients in other offices. But building out a D.C. office to become full-service entails much more of a firm’s investment.

Take Willkie Farr & Gallagher. The firm’s expansion in the district—growing almost 40% over the past three years to nearly 126 full-time-equivalent lawyers by the end of June 2023—underscores the challenges and opportunities of transitioning from a smaller outpost in D.C. servicing institutional clients to one with litigation, corporate and regulatory capabilities.

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