Law firms across the state tightened their belts in 2009 after a year of recession-forced layoffs and cutbacks. This year, although the slow economy is still staring the profession in the face, some firms decided to loosen up the purse strings a little, while others continued to scale back. At Smith Moore Leatherwood's Raleigh office, Brad Risinger said the firm wanted to be frugal. "The emphasis is to protect a nice bonus for the staff," said Risinger, the managing partner of the Raleigh office. At the firm's Greensboro office, employees are traditionally treated to a catered lunch. But one of the real hits of the holiday season was attorney Kent Auberry's (pictured) portrayal of Santa Claus.
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