Go ahead and queue up the Luther Vandross, because we’ve reached the thrilling conclusion of our annual ATL March Madness.

Our newly expanded tournament pitted 32 teams in the hunt to be declared the law firm with the brightest future. After a string of close calls and upsets, it came down to second-seeded Paul, Weiss against fourth-seeded Gibson Dunn, the spunky underdog who’d knocked off the overall top seed Wachtell.

So who won?

Congratulations to every firm that made the field this year. In a way, you’re all winners. But in another, more accurate way, Paul, Weiss is the winner.

It finally struck midnight for Gibson’s Cinderella season. After knocking off two top seeds and a second seed, Gibson was really no match for Paul, Weiss, who beat the upstart by a 2-to-1 margin with the largest turnout of the entire tournament.

It makes sense to see Paul, Weiss prevail in a “brightest future” tournament. The firm enjoyed record profits and revenue last year. It maintained its leadership position in litigation, while its corporate department “exploded” with deals, in the words of firm chair Brad Karp. It was recently named one of America’s best corporate law firms. It has an excellent practice in Asia, where many Biglaw firms think the future lies.

So congrats again to Paul, Weiss, and thanks again to everyone who voted!

UPDATE (4/19/2013, 9:30 a.m.): Lat here. Some of you have contacted us to complain about possible irregularities with the voting. Unfortunately, we are unaware of any way to conduct a do-over that would be hackproof. The current polling software we use, a WordPress plug-in, is the best one we know of, based on all the ones we’ve tried over the years (e.g., Pollhost, Vizu, etc.). But it too may be hackable. If you know of any free polling software that is 100 percent incapable of being hacked or otherwise manipulated, something that may or may not exist, feel free to drop us a line. Thanks.

Which firm has the brightest future?

  • Paul, Weiss (67%, 69,524 Votes)
  • Gibson (33%, 34,002 Votes)

Total Voters: 103,517

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