While office managing partners of law firms in Washington do not seem to think that a short-term shutdown of the federal government will hurt law firm profitability, they believe businesses and clients will suffer economic harm. Law firms in the District are mostly trying to help clients find their way through myriad agency closures.

Ballard Spahr's Washington, D.C., Office Managing Partner Joseph A. Fanone told The BLT that he was less worried about the government shutdown than with the effects of not raising the debt ceiling. "You already saw some reaction in the stock market. It will affect not only the U.S. economy but also the global market," Mr. Fanone said.

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