With performance reviews underway at law firms this quarter, industry observers say Kirkland & Ellis won’t be the only top 50 firm using billable hours and work quality as reasons to weed out so-called underperformers during a period of slower demand in the legal industry.

Firm leaders say performance reviews of associates have multiple uses to firms—sometimes a form of feedback on an associate’s career trajectory at the firm, an evaluation to inform year-end bonus compensation or an occasion to tell them to find new employment.

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