Headlines today are blasting: BigLaw Reluctant to Respond to Open Casting Call and Few Large Firms Answer FMC’s Calls for Help.

WARNING: Going Pollyanna on you.

Where’s the fire? What I read in the story, and what I think is incredible, is that the smaller and regional firms have greater opportunities and chances to make it to Round 2 in the RFP process.

Rather than sit and wonder why Skadden or Cravath didn’t participate, let’s hear it for Abbott Simses and The Law Offices of Tom Fulkerson for making it to Round 2!! Congratulations and good luck!

So a lot of BigLaw firms didn’t participate in the process. According to the above articles, of the 50 firms that downloaded the RFP, 17 are AmLaw 100 and 2 are AmLaw 200.

First of all, those percentages aren’t that bad. But why didn’t the rest of the AmLaw 200 participate? Maybe their rates are too high? Maybe they don’t want to deal with alternative fee arrangements? Maybe they didn’t fit the criteria that the CLIENT wants in the law firm that will represent them?

Whatever the reason, what I read in these stories is that the door is now wide open to a whole new crop of firms. Small. Regional. Boutique. It no longer matters. The questions are now: are you a good fit for the client? Can you meet the clients’ needs? And, that’s sounds good to me!

The following 32 law firms have made it to the next phase of FMC’s challenge:

Abbott Simses (a 16-lawyer firm in New Orleans)
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
Andrews Kurth
Beirne Maynard & Parsons (a 60-lawyer firm based in Houston and Dallas)
Brown McCarroll (a 120-lawyer firm based in Texas)
Drinker Biddle & Reath
Fulbright & Jaworski
Law Offices of Tom Fulkerson (a four-lawyer firm based in Houston)
Gardere Wynne Sewell
Greenberg Traurig
Gruber Hurst Johansen
Hail (an 18-lawyer firm based in Dallas)
Jackson Walker
Kirkland & Ellis
Lavin, O’Neil, Ricci, Cedrone & DiSipio (a midsize firm based in Philadelphia)
Littler Mendelson
Looper Reed & McGraw (a 90-lawyer firm based in Texas)
Legal Research Center in Minneapolis
McDermott Will & Emery
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Pepper Hamilton
Roach & Newton (a six-lawyer firm based in Texas)
Seyfarth Shaw
Strasburger & Price
Summit Law Group (a 32-lawyer firm based in Seattle)
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan
Thomspon & Knight
Valorem Law Group (a seven-lawyer firm based in Chicago)
Vinson & Elkins
Wildman Harrold
Wilson Esler Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker
Womble Carlyle