Between diffusion and distinctiveness in globalization: U.s. Law firms go glocal

There is widespread agreement that law firms have embraced globalization, but what this means and why it matters are subjects still cloaked with uncertainty. Do law firms follow the models and processes of globalization characteristic of other businesses? Or are law firms forced to take a different approach because of the nature of law and its basis in a particular national system? In this article, we consider these questions as they apply to U.S. law firms, and offer a new lens to interpret the role of globalization in the activities of law firms and their lawyers. We use data relating to the overseas offices of 64 leading U.S.-based law firms - among the largest and most globally-oriented U.S. firms - to learn how the firms transform themselves into global organizations. Our investigation reveals that U.S. law firms take a glocal or hybrid approach to globalization.
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