The “classic” law firm business model is a pyramid, with a few partners at the top and many associates at the bottom. Sounds like a Ponzi scheme — but, of course, no lawyer would know anything about a Ponzi scheme.

The idea is that the few will generate work for the many, and the many will generate money for the few. The amount of your compensation varies directly with how high up on the pyramid you are perched. The location of your perch depends on how much business you bring into the Firm. At the tippy-top is the partner with the most business, the most busily buzzing worker bees and the highest comp.