While other top firms tend not to emphasize rate-sensitive practice areas like land use or labor and employment, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton is focusing its attention on these practices. The 490-lawyer firm just hired two new San Francisco partners and two associates for its real estate, land use, natural resources, and environmental practice. In February the LA-based firm also hired an employment partner in San Francisco. Most top firms have minimized these practices because the clients are not as willing to pay higher billing rates; however, Sheppard attorneys say that keeping these practices strong gives the firm a broader range and safeguards it against varying economic circumstances. High rates are not pushed as hard at Sheppard, where the general feeling is that if your rates are such that you can work enough to make a profit, there is no problem.

Source: www.law.com


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