In Big Law, which was already showing obvious stratification in recent years, the elite and most profitable firms have pulled even further ahead in a dynamic only exacerbated by the pandemic.

The residual effects of consolidation at the top of the industry can be seen in the current environment: the increasingly exorbitant arms race for talent, several-hundred-lawyer firms looking to quickly scale up through combinations, increasingly disparate financial outcomes, and constant rate increases at the leading firms while other firms face rate pressure.