The billing rates of lawyers in the gigantic firms of the Rim (the coastal megalopolises, Chicago and Houston) are often much higher than the rates of even very large firms elsewhere. A telling quote in a profile of Anne Chwat, the general counsel for Burger King Holdings, Corp. Counsel, Vol. 15, Sept. 2008 at 71, quantifies one instance of savings from using non-Rim firms.
“For example, working with qualified firms based in Miami (where Burger King is headquartered) has saved us literally millions of dollars over using New York firms for the same work.” So-called “Regional firms” have many advantages, one being lower billing rates (See my post of Aug. 21, 2008: techniques to save costs with 24 references.)