Biglaw Firms Shrinking Their Equity Partnership Ranks Are ‘Gaming’ The System

Ed. note: Welcome to our daily feature, Quote of the Day.

It is increasingly rare to see firms meaningfully grow their equity partnership. It signals that law firm management is confident about its future. It implies success in the lateral partner market. It can be a boost to associate and non-equity partner morale. It is usually an indicator that a firm is experiencing healthy revenue growth.

And, it is obvious when the figure has been “gamed,” which itself says a lot about a firm.

— Roy Strom of Bloomberg Law, in a column analyzing the Biglaw firms that are “gaming” their profits per equity partner by shrinking the size of their equity ranks. “The path to equity partnership—Big Law’s most lucrative position—has become a harrowing route, and things only got bleaker last year,” he says. “Firms have been pulling up the ladder, limiting the number of lawyers who receive the bulk of their compensation through owning shares in the operation.”

Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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