May 13, 2019
Law360’s latest head count survey of the largest law firms in the U.S. reveals 19 firms that keep their partnership ranks exclusive, a tactical decision made with an eye toward boosting a firm’s competitive edge, and its profits. For firms in the ranking with at least 200 attorneys, the partner ranks by year-end 2018 were on average about 45% of their total U.S.-based attorneys. But a small club of firms has particularly lean partnership ranks. And the fewer partners there are, the more valuable that brass ring becomes. Decipher Founder and General Counsel Michael Ellenhorn told Law360, “The strategic talent model is somewhat Darwinian. There’s no question that the nature of their economic model incentivizes very, very directed associates.”
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