The race for profit primacy can be tiring, especially when the partner draws reach the stratospheric levels attained by Los Angeles’ top three firms.

Just ask O’Melveny & Myers, for many years the profits leader. More recently, however, the 114-year-old firm has lost ground to rivals Latham & Watkins and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. The gap widened even more in fiscal year 1998, as O’Melveny & Myers partners watched their counterparts pull down substantially more than the $650,000 they averaged.

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