When Chicago-based Arnstein & Lehr arrived last year to open an office in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the firm ruffled a few feathers by calling attorneys around town and offering them big salaries to snatch them away from other firms.

The 130-lawyer Arnstein & Lehr is one of a handful of out-of-town law firms to try to crack the lucrative south Florida market in the past year or so. But it and other invaders are getting a lukewarm reception from local firms.