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Providence, Rhode IslandProvidence, Rhode Island (Photo: Denis Tangney Jr. / iStockphoto.com.)

The nation’s smallest state by size is still weighed down with its highest unemployment rate, at 8.2 percent, but government development and a small cadre of corporate players are keeping the legal sector in Rhode Island afloat.

“It’s a pretty stratified market,” said Marc Crisafulli, firmwide managing ­partner at Boston-based Hinckley, Allen & Snyder, which has about 50 Providence lawyers. National and international firms outside the market nab most of the highest-end corporate work and litigation, he said.

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