The financial gap between elite law firms in the Am Law 50 and everyone else spread even more amid the 2020 pandemic environment. But in 2021, midsize and smaller firms may have turned in the most eye-popping performances, posting double-digit gains in revenue and profits that exceeded other segments of the Am Law 200, according to multiple analyses.

Law firms just outside the Am Law 200 benefited from a confluence of factors last year, said several legal market analysts and firm leaders, including well-performing practice areas such as real estate and litigation that tend to dominate smaller firms, smaller cost pressures in compensation, lower billing rates that clients gravitated toward, and the usual business swings that smaller firms often experience.