Last year marked the biggest headcount gains for lawyers at the nation’s 350 largest firms since 2009 — the year firms slashed their ranks in response to the recession. Our latest NLJ 350 survey, The National Law Journal‘s annual ranking of U.S. law firms by number of attorneys, shows that, overall, they grew by 3.9 percent in 2013. That’s an additional 5,562 lawyers — equivalent to about 1 1/2 Baker & McKenzies. But compare that to 2007, when 6,790 lawyers joined the nation’s 250 largest law firms. Yes, 250 firms — back then, that was the number of law firms we ranked. Still, the increase in 2013 represented a healthy improvement from the 1.1 percent uptick in 2012 and indicates that firms, overall, are at the point between surviving and thriving. — Leigh Jones

The number of lawyers at the nation’s 350 ­largest firms grew by 3.9 percent, but the ­celebration is tempered.

Our annual ranking of the nation’s largest 350 law firms, plus data on equity partners, nonequity partners, associates and the rest.