From Start to Finish
A glance at promotion figures from the top quarter of New York's largest law offices shows the percentage of New York attorneys making partner holding steady or declining, a trend that legal market observers say is due to a combination of smaller class sizes, diminished legal demand and legal market growth outside the city.
Lawrence N. Mullman, a partner at global legal search firm Major, Lindsey & Africa, writes that Dewey & LeBoeuf had many outstanding successes, and employed scores of legendary attorneys, but did not contemplate carefully enough the potentially negative aspects of some of its practices and ended up taking many of those practices to unprecedented extremes. They were no longer functioning in the world of "standard operating procedure." They had crossed over into the world of excess, thereby providing the rest of us with some very important lessons.
Joy Newton Martini of Martini Consulting writes: I've been watching rainmakers closely over the last 16 years, finding that 10 common elements set the rainmaker apart from the sopping wet service lawyer. And the rainmaker never forgets these basicand earneddrivers of success.
Jamie Diaferia and Zach Olsen of Infinite Public Relations write: Successful law firms are employing new and creative PR strategies that identify and attract new business opportunities, as well as help attract, retain and develop new partners; plan for and execute timely succession within the firm; and help associates develop into partners that are dynamic, effective spokespeople.
Ed Poll, principal of LawBiz Management, writes: We now appear to be past the peak of the de-equitization tsunami, but that doesn't mean the phase-out of older partners has gone away at larger firms. The fundamental truth is that partners must contribute to the well-being of their firm. If they don't, they will be terminated irrespective of their partnership status or equity interest.
David G. Ebert, a member of Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti, offers advice to those leaving a firm, and to those who are staying behind, with the goal being to avoid litigation at almost all costs, while placing yourself in the strongest possible position if one or both sides can't let go.