WASHINGTON -- The number of in-house lawyers at large banks and other financial institutions is increasing, according to the fifth annual "Who Represents Financial America," a study by the National Law Journal.

Growing ranks of lawyers are seen as a sign of the institutions' health. In 1991, the study said, the average big bank had 23 attorneys. In 1992, the average fell to 21.9; this year, it rebounded to 22.7. The country's 100 largest banks, 50 largest savings institutions, and 50 largest diversified financial services companies as listed by Fortune magazine were surveyed.

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