In the 2020 NLJ 500, the number of lawyers working at the country’s largest 500 U.S.-centric law firms in 2019 increased by 2.5% to 173,694, matching the same percentage growth seen in 2018. As for average firm size, it rose by eight lawyers last year to 347 over the year prior. And 80% of the top 10 firms on the NLJ 500 saw growth in 2019, the same percentage as 2018.

But that was all before the COVID-19 pandemic. As one legal industry observer noted, the crisis could serve to separate the firms that are “strong enough to ride it out” from the others. And it could also derail or delay firm expansion plans, David Thomas reports.

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