Law Firms

These law firms had 'noteworthy moves' in head count; which were tops for female, LGBTQ attorneys?

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The National Law Journal’s latest list of the top 500 U.S. law firms by head count saw some significant changes in rankings.

The overall ranking, which covers 2021, lists the largest firms as Baker McKenzie (at 4,795 lawyers), followed by DLA Piper (4,028 lawyers), Norton Rose Fulbright (3,084 lawyers), Latham & Watkins (3,078 lawyers), Kirkland & Ellis (3,025 lawyers) and Hogan Lovells (2,532 lawyers).

The top three law firms were in the same spots last year “with insignificant changes in head count,” according to a separate story. The next three law firms had larger percentage changes in head count—including an 11% increase at Kirkland & Ellis—but still retained the same ranking.

But other law firms had “noteworthy moves” in the rankings, reports here. They are:

• Holland & Knight, which merged with Thompson & Knight, putting it at No. 19 in the ranking.

• Willkie Farr & Gallagher, which moved up the most spots in the ranking—12 in all—to become the No. 52 law firm by head count. The firm had 871 lawyers, a 14.6% increase in head count.

• Kirkland & Ellis, which gained 300 lawyers, the largest gain in head count in raw numbers.

• Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, which lost a net 118 lawyers, the largest loss in head count in raw numbers. The law firm said the change was due to normal attrition and its focus on profitable growth areas as part of its strategic plan.

• Phillips Lytle, which lost 29.8% of its lawyers—the biggest drop in percentage terms. The firm said much of the drop is due to its removal of counsel from head count numbers. The firm is currently pursuing an initiative to hire 40 new lawyers.

In other stories based on the National Law Journal’s top 500 list, released its women’s scorecard and its LGBTQ scorecard.

The women’s scorecard is based on the percentage of female lawyers and the percentage of female partners added together.

The top three firms on the women’s scorecard are Berry Appleman & Leiden, with 64.7% female attorneys and 60.9% female partners; Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, with 65.8% female attorneys and 51.9% female partners; and Kubicki Draper, with 53.8% female attorneys and 53.5% female partners.

The top three firms on the LGBTQ scorecard are Jenner & Block, with 11.5% LGBTQ attorneys; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, with 10.3% LGBTQ attorneys; and Ropes & Gray, with 9.5% LGBTQ attorneys.

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