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This is The National Law Journal‘s 30th annual survey of the nation’s 250 largest law firms, covering the period from Oct. 1, 2006, to Sept. 30, 2007. While most of the charts in the NLJ 250 are self-explanatory, here is some information about the process, the criteria and the definitions. The NLJ sent surveys to approximately 300 law firms and solicited survey submissions to determine the 250 largest. Eligibility is based on a firm’s total number of attorneys, not including contract or temporary attorneys. The cutoff point this year is 172. Also, a firm must have more lawyers based in the United States than in any other single country. Firms are ranked by the total number of full-time equivalent (FTE) attorneys, rather than just full-time attorneys. In some cases, due to rounding, this calculation resulted in slightly higher or lower numbers than the figures submitted by the law firms. In case of a tie, we rank firms by the actual number of FTE attorneys, before rounding. If the tie persists, we break it based on the total number of partners. If there is still a tie, we use the number of equity partners at each firm. The city listed under the firm name is the firm’s principal or largest office. “Number of attorneys” reflects permanent, FTE attorneys. The first column in the “Partners” category is the total number of partners, including the non-equity partners (NE) listed in the adjacent column. The same is true for the chart reflecting overall partner and non-equity partner growth. The “Other” category includes the total number of nonpartner, nonassociate lawyers at the firm. Generally, this includes counsel, of counsel, senior counsel and staff attorneys. In some instances, NLJ 250 firms merged. In those cases, the 2006 data are taken from the firm that was larger. “Starting salary” lists the base salary for a first-year associate. Some firms vary depending on branch office. A “WND” in any column indicates that the firm would not disclose the data. The “Branch Offices” section lists the total number of attorneys in each city where the firm has offices. Minor discrepancies between the total number of attorneys at a firm and the total number of attorneys reported in branch offices are due to rounding FTE figures, and attorneys with multiple offices. Firms marked with an asterisk have data obtained from the NALP (formerly the National Association for Law Placement) 2007/2008 Directory of Legal Employers. Firms marked with submitted data too late for inclusion in this year’s NLJ 250 charts. ALM Research Editor Rosemarie Clancy, who can be reached via e-mail at [email protected], oversaw the NLJ 250 survey project, assisted by researcher John O’Connor and NLJ editorial administrator Tasha Norman.

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