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You Can Never Stop Making It Rain

Back when I was in law school, Biglaw partnership was viewed as nirvana -- almost like university tenure but at a much higher salary. But now it seems that if you want to maximize the benefits of partnership, you can never stop working -- and more importantly, never stop rainmaking, as suggested by this article, Firm Looks to Bigger Bonuses to Stave Off Poachers, The American Lawyer (July 18, 2006).   

The article reports that most firms are implementing bonuses at the partnership level. Big firms have determined that bonuses are a way to reward rainmakers and ensure that they don't bolt, with their book of business, for another firm. In particular, bonuses give extra compensation to younger partners who may bring in lots of business but aren't senior enough to command a large cut of the profits. Finally, bonuses are also a way that firms can keep money from underperformers. Typically, when a firm has a good year and profits increase, underperformers might wind up getting paid much more than they're worth. By removing profits from the pot and moving them to a bonus pool, firms can ensure that partners who don't bring in business won't reap a disproportionate share of profits.

So for anyone who thinks that partnership at Biglaw remains a collegial or uncompetitive environment, think again. As with associates, it's still about the money, only on a grander scale.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on July 19, 2006 at 07:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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