Even in a city accustomed to wel- coming immigrants, they are a breed apart: law firms that leave their home markets, where they often dominate, to open offices in New York, where they struggle for a foothold. But come they have-and do-inexorably, for the last 25 years. By our count, 94 out-of-town firms in The Am Law 200 have opened in New York, more in the last five years than ever. Counting the 35 Am Law 200 firms that started in New York, sixty-five percent of the nation’s top-grossing firms now have operations in the city, with more planning to arrive.
Some come in bulk-Troutman Sanders, absorbing the 90-odd Jenkens & Gilchrist lawyers who had once practiced at Parker Chapin. Others come alone-Palmer & Dodge, picking up one veteran transportation lawyer to bolster its airport practice. Some are drawn by stardom-Bracewell & Patterson buys itself a premium local brand name and becomes Bracewell & Giuliani. Some come with trusted clients. Others arrive and find they can’t get a 212 phone number, to say nothing of a fresh assignment. It can be lonely.