Second Hundred law firms in 2022 did something they very rarely do: outpace the Am Law 100 in financial metrics. But 2023 was a different story, and the reality of the costs associated with building for the future and a somewhat unstable legal market caught up with many smaller firms.

While there were some impressive 2023 performances in the Second Hundred, the theme of a continuing profit separation between the highest-grossing law firms and smaller ones once again took center stage.