Baker & McKenzie holds the top spot on the 2012 NLJ 250, with 3,805 lawyers. But if you eliminate lawyers stationed in overseas offices and consider only attorneys based in the United States, the firm falls to No. 47. Its 629 U.S. lawyers represent just one-sixth of its attorney complement.
The NLJ 250 would look significantly different if it were based solely on attorney headcounts within the United States. Some of the firms that top the traditional NLJ 250 hold significantly lower spots on an all-U.S. attorney list, given their heavy investments in foreign markets.
On the U.S.-only list, for example, Jones Day holds the top position, with 1,742 attorneys based here. That’s two spots higher than the firm appears on the NLJ 250, with a total of 2,407 lawyers around the world. [See chart below.]
Greenberg Traurig, No. 9 on the NLJ 250, is No. 2 when only attorneys in the United States are counted. It has 1,591 lawyers domestically.
DLA Piper, another large international firm, appears on the NLJ 250 at No. 2, but ranks No. 8 on the U.S.-only list, with 1,262 lawyers domestically. Similarly, Hogan Lovells is No. 4 on the NLJ 250 but No. 19 on the U.S.-only list. That outcome is unsurprising, given that the firm is the result of a 2010 merger between Washington-based Hogan & Hartson and London-based Lovells.
White & Case is No. 6 on the NLJ 250, but No. 41 on the U.S.-only list, with 681 lawyers domestically.
Some firms retain similar ranks no matter how one counts, including Latham & Watkins; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; and K&L Gates.
Other firms that rank relatively low on the NLJ 250 and don’t have many overseas attorneys come out much higher on a U.S.-focused list. Ropes & Gray moves from No. 24 on the NLJ 250 to No. 12, while Foley & Lardner goes from No. 31 to No. 14. Holland & Knight ranks No. 27 on the NLJ 250, but is the 13th-largest firm by U.S. attorney headcount.
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