The Peer Monitor Economic Index (PMI), which measures the relative health of the legal marketplace, was unchanged at 54 in the first quarter. Despite slightly higher demand for law firm services, weak rate growth and falling productivity held back gains in the market

Demand for large law firm services rose 0.6 percent during the quarter – the fifth consecutive quarterly gain. But worked rates rose only 2.8 percent – the lowest rate growth in more than four years. Productivity, meanwhile, fell for the sixth consecutive quarter, as firms continue to grow headcount faster than demand warrants.

Transactional practices remained strong, with corporate and real estate work rising. Litigation, however, recorded its eleventh straight quarterly decline, falling another 0.3 percent.

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