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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

WHOSE FAULT IS IT ANYWAY? - With the pressure to remain profitable mounting, the past year has seen Big Law lean into the process of “counseling out” unproductive partners, which is basically the law firm equivalent of “taking the family dog to live on a farm.” It sounds pleasant enough, but we all know what’s up. Still, what does it really mean when a partner is labeled “unproductive”? As Law.com’s Dylan Jackson reports, it can mean the partner hasn’t made significant contributions to pro bono efforts, recruiting or leadership within the firm. But, in almost every instance, the main measure of productivity is the amount of revenue a partner brings in, which is not always completely within that partner’s control. “When the firm applies the ‘underperforming’ tag to a partner that’s a huge scarlet letter and, in most cases, an unfair one,” said legal consultant Jordan Furlong. “If a partner or any lawyer has failed to meet any performance expectations, there’s plenty of blame to go around.”

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