One year ago, banking behemoths NationsBank and Bank of America announcedthey would merge in a $61 billion deal creating the largest bank in thecountry. It was news that caused hand-wringing among the handful of BayArea firms that had served as outside counsel for San Francisco-basedBofA, as well as among BofA attorneys who wondered whether they shouldbegin house hunting in Charlotte, N.C., where the merged company wouldbe headquartered.

The merger took place Sept. 30, sending shock waves not only throughthe legal community but through all of San Francisco, where BofAemployed 9,500 people, including about 80 in its legal department.BankAmerica Corp., as the merged entity is known, has since revealedplans to cut 5,000 to 8,000 of the merged company’s 180,000 positionsover the next two to three years.

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