"It may be a dry heat in Phoenix, but it's also a hot legal market for some national law firms moving into the desert city to take advantage of the region's flourishing economy.
"Ranked the fifth-largest city in the nation with 1.5 million people at the center of a metropolitan area of 3.8 million, Phoenix has the fastest-growing population of any major U.S. city, with professional and technical jobs creating the biggest surge in its employment sectors.
"Law firms new to the area want a piece of the thriving hospitality, real estate, construction, aerospace and electronics industries. But the influx of national firms means that some firms with long-standing practices in Phoenix are feeling a pinch from the competition.
'The large national firms are competing for a relatively small number of people,' said Elliott Portnoy, chairman of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal. The 658-attorney firm opened a Phoenix office in June 2006 with seven lawyers from Squire, Sanders & Dempsey."