From afar, Washington, D.C., may look like the land of legal opportunity, what with the recent passage of financial and health care reform.

But even in D.C., firms have shed lawyers at a nearly unprecedented clip. According to the Legal Times 150, our annual ranking of the largest law offices in the nation’s capital, headcount for Washington-area firms declined by 4.5 percent last year, or 702 lawyers — the biggest drop that we’ve recorded in 25 years. In all, 93 of the 150 had fewer lawyers than in the previous year.

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