Partnership Shell Game

After two years of advocacy by various organizations, the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) agreed last November to collect data on law firm partnership structures. Instead of just providing a partner headcount, firms would disclose the number of equity and non-equity partners. Equity partners...

The SMART Way for Associates to Grow a Career

Associate development requires planning, developing overall goals and specific strategies that are preparation for the partnership. The issue is not more billable hours by associates, it's what kind of billable work and what it contributes to the firm. The firm must be able to measure the growth...

How Do You Profit Your Firm?

If Oscar Wilde's famous definition of a cynic - "someone who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing" - is true, then many associates may need a dose of cynicism when assessing where they stand in their firms. Not the superficially cynical "why don't they appreciate...

Merit-Based Compensation for Associates

Law firm compensation looks a lot like a game of Simon Says. Simon (or Cravath ) Says pay all first years x. Simon Says pay all first years y. Pay first years based on their performance. Tsk, tsk . . . I didn't say "Simon Says." Most of the BigLaw firms follow the leader, paying the...