There has been a lot written already about the winners and losers in the Am Law 100 results for 2016—virtually all of it focused on changes since the prior year. But what’s the big picture? Do the results reveal long-term trends and, if so, how will continuation of these trends transform big law? Here’s our take.

Since 2008, and probably before, a small group of approximately 20 firms has been widening its lead over all other firms and concentrating its share of Am Law 100 profits. For now, there are over a dozen firms in a mid-tier between the leaders and a lower tier of the remaining Am Law 100 firms. Over time, though, the mid-tier is becoming emptier as some mid-tier firms join the leaders and most fall into the lower tier. A wider gap is opening between leaders and the rest.

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