Who Should Be Partner in a Post-Recession Profession?

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The 2007-2009 recession and its aftermath underscored the importance of a partner’s demonstrated and sustained ability to develop business. It is the most important pre-requisite for partnership. But in an increasingly competitive marketplace, with fewer seats at the table, a successful candidate for equity partnership must demonstrate a full complement of personal and professional skills and experience.

The profile of law firm lawyer ranks continues changing with growth in non-equity, income or similarly titled limited-ownership positions, as well as counsel and other lawyer positions.  These positions started to take hold around the mid-1990s in the legal profession and have grown significantly since then. They served as a means to limit full partnership ranks and thus retain control and income. There is some evidence that law firms are looking more carefully at criteria for limited-ownership positions as more lawyers populate those ranks. 

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