Whether the frequent gripe is true that “associates today don’t want to work hard and pay their dues like we did,” what is certainly true is that a number of forces have conspired to make equity partnership less attainable and less desirable in many firms than it used to be.

As the typical law firm career path becomes more fluid, less traditional and less predictable, law firm leaders and associates alike are struggling to come to terms with what the changes mean for recruiting, retention, professional development, promotion, capitalization, individual contribution and compensation, just to name a few of the many question marks. It seems that the ultimate prize of equity partnership is not sufficiently motivating for associates in many firms. What does that mean for law firm leaders?

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