‘Tis the season to be jolly — unless you’re coming up for partner this year. Making partner at a big New York firm is a crap shoot, but in this recession the odds have gone from bad to dismal. At many prominent firms, the number of new partners has dropped precipitously: four at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (eight in 2008); two at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz (six in 2008); two at Debevoise & Plimpton (six in 2008); and three at Weil, Gotshal & Manges (seven last year).

And now the year’s grand finale: Cravath, Swaine & Moore has just confirmed that it will be making no new partners. That’s right: Zero.

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