During the early 2000s, the New Orleans legal market’s biggest problem was one common to many cities: too many law school graduates and not enough jobs. Then came Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the city in 2005 and forced many firms to suspend operations for months as attorneys and staff scattered across the country.

Eight years later, the legal market is back, fueled in part by the long tail of federal aid and rebuilding money that has flowed into the Gulf region. "On the heels of that storm came the restoration money and the legal work associated with that," said Charles Talley, a partner in Baton Rouge, La.-based Kean Miller’s New Orleans office. "There was construction litigation, fighting over real estate, fights with [the Federal Emergency Management Agency]. And there was lots of insurance litigation."

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