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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Law Firm Partnership: Waiting for Godot?

Certainly no surprise, but of interest -- a recent article discusses the increasing length of time it takes for law firm associates to make partner.

The time it takes lawyers to attain partnership has increased from five years in the 1980s to 10 or more today, local lawyers said. One of the main reasons for the difference is the increased number of lawyers -- both young and old. More lawyers means more competition for leadership positions.

As a result, some law firms have restructured the way they promote lawyers, so that they only skim the best from the pool. That includes requiring more work of budding partners and even instituting a two-tier system with a junior level of partnership that does not yet share in the firm's profit. . . .

The increase in the pool of lawyers has forced higher-ups to change the way they promote people. Many firms adopted the "grinders-minders-finders" concept to help sift partner-appropriate lawyers from the pot. Grinders are hard workers; minders have good client relationships; and finders are good at bringing in new clients. If a lawyer has all three qualities, he or she may be promoted to partner.

This article is based on some firms in Ohio, but I'm sure that the trend is nationwide. 

Link thanks to JD2B.

Posted by Daniel Solove on June 15, 2005 at 02:22 PM in Daniel Solove, Life of Law Schools | Permalink

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