Demand for legal services at the largest law firms grew in the first quarter, even while overall demand for law firm services slumped, according to the Q1 2018 Peer Monitor report

The segment of the market made up of the largest firms – the Am Law 100 – had a strong quarter, with demand growing by 0.4%. In addition, rates for Am Law 100 firms surged an average of 4.5%, the strongest quarterly growth for any segment since Q4 2012. However, other market segments struggled in the first quarter. Am Law Second Hundred firms saw demand decline by an average of 0.3%, while Midsize firms dropped a steep 1.2%. The first quarter is traditionally one of the strongest parts of the year for law firms.

Overall, demand fell by an average of 0.5%, the weakest first quarter since 2013.

“While firms in the Am Law 100 continue to see growth in both demand and rates, many other areas of the law firm market ran into some headwinds in the first quarter,” said Mike Abbott, vice president, Client Relations and Global Thought Leadership, Thomson Reuters.