New York City is bursting at the seams. While the economy prospers and the Internet companies proliferate all over Silicon Alley, law firms from mid-size to small are feeling the pinch.

As their Manhattan leases run out and the rents are raised to dizzying heights, lawyers are being pushed out in lieu of higher-paying tenants, often the well-financed Internet companies. Yet, still in need of an office, lawyers pound the streets of inhospitable New York in search of that rarity — an affordable and suitable space.