Big Law's International Tilt Has Gone Too Far. A Restructuring Beckons.
Head count is shrinking in major domestic markets and growing in major international markets, dragging down law firms' profitability in the process.
While the Am Law 100 ranking tells us about the comparative financial strength of individual firms, a look inside the firms – specifically at the number of lawyers by office – reveals an important dynamic affecting the financial outlook of the industry: Since the last market peak, in 2008, the 50 largest U.S. firms contracted by 3,000 lawyers in the United States while growing by 8,700 lawyers abroad. As a result, international lawyers now comprise 35 percent of total Am Law 50 lawyers, up from 24 percent a decade ago.
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