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Legal Speak is a weekly podcast that makes sense of what's happening in the legal industry. Brought to you by Law.com's global network of reporters and editors, each episode tackles a subject that's worthy of a deep dive—from law firm profit hacks to Supreme Court showdowns to the most promising plays in legal tech. Hosted by Law.com editors Leigh Jones and Vanessa Blum, Legal Speak offers straight talk from experts, plus inside-the-newsroom perspective on market-shaping stories.

Sep 13, 2017

Duration: 20:10

Beth Frerking, editor in chief of The National Law Journal, and Katelyn Polantz, NLJ’s data editor and business of law reporter, unpack the the 2017 NLJ 500 survey on growth at the largest U.S.-centric law firms. In 2016, law firms in the survey grew overall by about 2 percent compared to 2015. But that slight bump obscures larger and more intriguing swings at individual Big Law firms that are pursuing a variety of strategies to grow or, in some cases, tighten their ranks.

Hear about the survey’s methodology; insights about volatility; results for national firms versus those that remain happily “regional” in scope; and what we discovered in city-by-city breakdowns. It’s easy to guess which major city led the country in lawyers–think Showtime’s “Billions”–but rapid expansion of law firms in a certain West Coast city may surprise.

 

Finally, we walk through the annual Women’s Scorecard, part of the NLJ 500 report that examines gender diversity at law firms by the percentage of women lawyers, including breakouts for associates and partners. Finally, get a preview of other stories to watch for from our survey findings.