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The Economics of Partnership for New and Aspiring Partners
11/10/2010
Terry W. Conner

How a law firm compensates its partners can dramatically impact the firm’s culture and its lawyers’ individual practices. And yet law firm economics are often a mystery to young lawyers, even as they approach partnership. Understanding the economics of law-firm partnership is crucial to a new or aspiring partner’s ability to successfully navigate his or her new role in the firm, particularly in light of recent economic turmoil. Indeed, in an effort to adapt to changing market and client pressures, many law firms are reassessing their economic models and partnership structures in ways that indelibly impact opportunities for young attorneys to be elevated to partner, and affect their ability to succeed should they be selected to join the firm’s partnership ranks.

In a preview of a panel discussion on the Economics of Partnership to be presented on February 25, 2011, at the ABA Young Lawyers Division, New Partner and In-House Counsel Conference in Philadelphia, first-year partner Kendyl Hanks of Haynes and Boone, LLP in New York explores the economics of partnership with her own firm’s managing partner, Terry Conner. Ms. Hanks and Mr. Conner are joined by ABA leaders Linda Klein, Managing Shareholder of Baker Donelson’s Georgia offices and member of the firm’s Board of Directors, and Jack Young of Sandler Reiff & Young, who has held numerous senior positions in firms of different sizes. These panelists are also joined by Lisa Smith, who is the head of the Law Firm Strategy & Structure Practice Group with the consulting group Hildebrandt Baker Robbins. The panelists offer young lawyers a peek behind the curtain of law firm economics, and share their views on the pros and cons of different compensation models.

Excerpted from Law Practice Today, November 10, 2010. To read the full article, click here.