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METHODOLOGY: For the NLJ 250 survey of the nation's largest law firms, lawyer totals are based on the average number of full-time equivalent attorneys for the period Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2011. The National Law Journal sent surveys to hundreds of law firms to determine the 250 largest. Lawyer counts do not include contract or temporary attorneys. A firm must have more lawyers based in the United States than in any other single country to be included on the list.

Firms are ranked by the number of full-time equivalent attorneys, rather than headcount. Numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number. In case of a tie, we rank firms by the actual number of attorneys before rounding. If the tie persists, we rank firms by the total number of equity partners, and then the number of equity partners. The city listed next to the firm name is the firm's largest U.S. office.

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