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2021 AmLaw 100 Logo Credit: Jon Valk

As the pandemic took hold last spring, the legal industry faced a series of daunting challenges and proceeded with caution into the unknown. Now, more than a year into the pandemic, it’s clear that the country’s largest law firms excelled in the face of an unprecedented crisis.


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As a group, The Am Law 100 raised revenue by 6.6%—a stunning number considering early prognostications that many firms would decline by double digits. Revenue per lawyer grew 4.8%, the largest annual increase since the Great Recession. And, boosted by pandemic-related expense cuts, profits per equity partner spiked a staggering 13.4%.

But those numbers don’t tell the complete story of how firms found success in 2020—or what they will need to do if they want a repeat performance in 2021. In this year’s Am Law 100 report, we analyze all the numbers while closely examining the status of the nonequity partnership tier, the future of law firm real estate, Latham & Watkins’ response to the crisis, the traits that helped resilient firms outperform the competition after the last recession and will guide them through this one—and much more.

- FEATURES - Against All Odds, The Am Law 100 Were Stunningly Successful in 2020

By Dan Packel

Ben Seal

Ben Seal is managing editor of The American Lawyer. He joined the magazine in February 2018, and previously spent five years working for The Legal Intelligencer, editing the paper's magazines and supplements and reporting on Pennsylvania's state courts, legislature and Attorney General's Office. Contact him at [email protected] or @BSealTAL.

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