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Inside Law Firms’ Best Results in a Decade – Law firms were able to grow revenue more than expenses despite a big rise in the cost of associate salaries. “The law firm industry last year posted its best results in more than 10 years.Post-recession highs in demand and billing rate growth drove strong revenue growth—critical in a year where expense growth accelerated. As a result, the industry saw the strongest net income and profits per equity partner growth we’ve seen since 2007. Am Law 50 firms and niche/boutique firms outperformed the rest of the industry on average, and the Am Law Second 50 were not far behind. And while dispersion remained, the good news is that we saw a larger proportion of firms enjoy demand growth. Even among the Am Law Second Hundred firms, whose performance as a group lagged the other segments, an increased proportion of firms saw demand improvement. With strong inventory growth at year-end, the industry is well-positioned for a strong start to 2019. These results are based on a sample of 191 firms (75 Am Law 100 firms, 54 Second Hundred firms and 62 niche/boutique firms). Thirty-seven of these firms fit our definition of either “international” (between 10 and 25 percent of lawyers based outside the United States), or “global” (at least 25 percent of lawyers based outside the United States)…”

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