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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Law Firm Partnership: A Pyramid Scheme

Cartoon_lawyer_1Making partner at a law firm these days is becoming increasingly difficult.  From Law.com:

A report released in March by Citigroup Private Bank showed that the number of equity partners at law firms grew by just 2.5 percent last year, which is down from 3 percent from three years ago and 4.5 percent five years ago.

And as profits per partner climbed 9 percent last year to an average $960,000 among the top 100 firms ranked by The American Lawyer, a sister publication of The National Law Journal, it appears that gaining entry into the elite club is more difficult -- and more profitable.

It resembles a pyramid scheme gone bad.  Not so bad, however, if you’re already a partner. 

Posted by Daniel Solove on August 31, 2005 at 02:32 PM in Daniel Solove, Life of Law Schools | Permalink


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Dan Solove characterizes the law firm partnership track as a pyramid scheme gone bad, in light of this new report about the slowdown in the growth of equity partners. Does that slowdown surprise anyone? It shouldn’t. Law firms have been pyram... [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 1, 2005 9:10:54 AM


TSL is certainly not opposed to the notion of anyone making an honest buck, nor does he begrudge anyone their aspirations for wealth. Still, nearly $1M in profits per year seems excessive, perhaps shameful, especially in light of the manner in which this profit is realized. TSL has a hard time arguing for decent treatment of attorneys who work for the large firms because of the handsome compensation they receive, which is decidedly out of proportion to the quality and utility of the services they provide, but on balance it seems to TSL these partners should be subjected to first-hand experience with the saying "pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered."

Posted by: The Sardonic Lawyer | Sep 1, 2005 10:37:18 AM

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