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If you spend any time scanning the magazine racks at the local bookstore or supermarket line, one thing stands out. We like numbers and we like lists, and Legal Times isn’t immune. However, numbers are meaningless without context. The numbers from this year’s LT 150 have provided us with some stories to tell. More in the Editor’s Note
• California Firms Expand in D.C. Of the 10 California firms with a significant presence in the D.C. metropolitan legal market, nine of them increased their head count here last year. What paths to growth did they take and are they going to keep at it? by Alexia Garamfalvi
BY THE NUMBERS ♦ • The Legal Times 150 The Legal Times 150 provides a snapshot of the size of the D.C.-area legal community in 2006 by listing the number of lawyers in the largest law offices in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and suburban Maryland. • Home Grown Firms Though the D.C. legal market is populated by firms that got their start in other cities, firms founded in the District and Northern Virginia still dominate. • The Out-of-Towners They may be based outside the Beltway, but more and more out-of-town firms have offices in the region that rival D.C.-based firms in size. • Suburban Maryland Home-grown players and outposts of larger firms that have the biggest offices in suburban Maryland. • Northern Virginia Home-grown players and outposts of larger firms that have the biggest offices in northern Virginia. • From A to Z The Legal Times 150 ranks the largest law offices in the region in 2006. Here they are, one last time, from Akin Gump to Zuckerman Spaeder.
FEATURES & ANALYSIS ♦ • Modest Growth for Most Firms Law firm leaders say they don’t grow just to grow and they don’t set any target for head count, but the numbers suggest that the race is on for firms to reach critical mass in their D.C. offices. The D.C. metro area’s legal market grew in 2006 at a healthy, if modest, 2.3 percent, approximately the same amount it did in 2005, but the market dynamics underlying the growth were markedly different. by Alexia Garamfalvi • Riding the Roller Coaster We take a closer look at some of the firms that stood out in this year’s survey, from the ones that showed surprising growth to others that suffered a few setbacks. One thing seems clear: The war for star laterals is being fought in earnest. It’s the favored recipe for growth for many firms. by the Legal Times staff • What to Ask the Headhunter Although thousands of attorneys will work with a recruiter this year, most will spend less time evaluating recruiters than they do researching airfares on the Internet. A recruiter plays a bigger role in the job search process than many lawyers think. by Dan Binstock

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