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FULL METHODOLOGY - Am Law 200BACK TO SURVEY

ALM Legal Intelligence reaches out to approximately 400 law firms across the country to gather financial, headcount and diversity information.

Most law firms provide their financials voluntarily for this report. Some refuse to cooperate, so reporters call partners and calculate revenue and profits. But all data—whether it comes officially from the firm or not—is investigated by the reporters. In the event that an error in reporting is discovered, The American Lawyer will correct the numbers and base the percentage changes in future years on restated numbers.

Definitions:

Gross Revenue is fee income from legal work only. It does not include disbursements or income from nonlegal ancillary businesses. In all cases, the revenue and profit figures listed are for the firm''s most recently completed fiscal year. Most Am Law firms are on a calendar fiscal year.

Net income is compensation paid to equity partners.

Equity Partners are those who file a Schedule K-1 tax form and receive no more than half their compensation on a fixed-income basis.

Non-equity Partners are those who receive more than half their compensation on a fixed basis.

Firm Size: Number of lawyers is taken from The National Law Journal’s NLJ 350 and is presented as a measure of firms’ relative size by average full-time equivalent attorney count.

Calculations:

Figures for gross revenue and net operating income are rounded to the nearest $500,000.

Revenue per lawyer is calculated by dividing the gross revenue by the number of lawyers and rounded to the nearest $5,000.

Profits per equity partner is calculated by dividing net operating income by number of equity partners and rounded to the nearest $5,000.

Compensation, all partners is calculated by adding per-partner profits to compensation paid to non-equity partners.

Average compensation, all partners is the net operating income plus compensation to non-equity partners, divided by the number of equity and non-equity partners, and then rounded to the nearest $5,000.

Value per lawyer is calculated by dividing the compensation for all partners by the total number of lawyers. $10 million is divided by that figure to determine how many lawyers it takes to generate that amount.

Profitability index is the ratio of profits per partner to revenue per lawyer.

Leverage: ratio of all lawyers (minus equity partners) to equity partners

Location of Firms: The American Lawyer  identifies some firms as "international" or "national," rather than identifying them by city, based on the percentage of the firm''s attorneys who work in various regions of the country and the percentage that work outside the U.S. Those breakouts are obtained from the most recent National Law Journal NLJ 350 survey. If 40 percent or more of the firm''s lawyers were located outside the U.S., we identify the firm as international. If no more than 45 percent of the firm''s attorneys were located in any one region of the country, we identify the firm as national.

Firms that tied in the rankings are listed alphabetically.

Designation of Regions and Markets:

The American Lawyer uses the following classifications for identifying the geographical concentration of a firm''s offices and attorneys:

New England:

Mid-Atlantic: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York State (excluding New York City), Northern Virginia, Pennsylvania Washington, D.C.

Southeast: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Southern Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia.

Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin.

Southwest: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wyoming.

West Coast/Pacific Rim:Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington