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The series of events that resulted in my being elected to the partnership of Kenyon & Kenyon is rather straightforward. I accepted a summer associate position at Kenyon & Kenyon in 1992 and joined the firm in September 1993 as an associate. Since I have an electrical engineering degree and Kenyon & Kenyon focuses exclusively on intellectual property law, it was a natural fit. At the time, the prospect of being considered for partner in eight years was akin to a distant mirage. Strangely enough, eight years later, on Dec. 2, 2002, I received a call from the partners informing me that I was one of six people that they invited to join their ranks. Since partnership was retroactive to the start of our fiscal year, Oct. 1, I apparently had been a partner for two months and just did not know it. The class of 2001 saw Kenyon & Kenyon grow to 49 partners. Also, during my eight years as an associate, Kenyon & Kenyon, the firm, grew from 90 attorneys to more than 200 attorneys. Upon becoming a partner, I was inundated with information about being a partner. It arrived by e-mails addressed to my e-mail group — all of whose members are listed with the same ending: “~~partner” — by letter-sized, sealed blue envelopes stamped with my name and the reminder “Confidential;” by visits from other partners to discuss some matter or another being considered by the firm; by periodic partnership meetings; and by meetings with other departments including, most importantly, human resources. Mostly, the information detailed the ebb and flow of business and other firm financial matters. OWNER OF A BUSINESS After the initial euphoria and indoctrination into partnership, things returned to a routine, although one with subtle alterations from what I experienced before becoming partner. For one, I was an owner, albeit a small minority owner, of a business. Recognizing that a law firm is, in fact, a business was another realization. That reality is reinforced by a host of things large and small. For one, I received daily financial information on the health of the firm. I initially experienced minor highs and an occasional minor low watching these statements the way investors experience highs and lows watching their stock investments rise and swoon. Thankfully, the highs greatly exceeded the lows. I also received other financial information on a periodic basis with explanations of where our revenue comes from, what our costs and expenses are, and descriptions as to why this or that expense was above or below projections. An internal presentation for new partners by our CFO greatly assisted us in understanding the firm’s finances. It also further reinforced the notion that we needed to recognize that while it’s always been a profession, law has become, or perhaps always has been, a business. However, there was a clear understanding that there was a need for each individual partner to contribute his or her time to the running of the firm. NON-BILLABLE WORK Kenyon & Kenyon, like many firms, encourages some form of pro bono work and provides a fairly extensive legal training program. For associates, participation, while encouraged, remained optional. The encouragement included being given credit for such hours when bonus compensation was being awarded. As a partner, the type, tenor and number of these hours changed. While there were still the pro bono cases, practice group presentations and article writing, I was asked to do work for various firm partner committees, non-billable client relation work, speeches at intellectual property seminars and conferences and training. Also, a fair amount of this expanded non-billable work occurred when I was busiest at the office working on behalf of the firm’s clients. There was not a single week, and rarely a day, that went by without some type of matter concerning the firm ending up on my plate. These additional hours have added up to multiples of what I spent during any year as an associate. However, client work did not diminish. COMPENSATION The long answer is that as an owner my remuneration is now directly subject to the vicissitudes of the business. The firm performs its work. The dollar value of the work is put into WIP (work in progress). Bills are then prepared and sent. The outstanding bills that leave cause WIP to become Accounts Receivable. Eventually, if the system is working, the bills are paid and we have the magic of revenue. This revenue is then used to pay Kenyon & Kenyon’s vendors for the operation of the business (i.e., rent, utilities, etc.); vendors retained on behalf of clients (i.e., expert witnesses, court reporters, travel expenses incurred); and the associates and other employees that allow Kenyon & Kenyon to offer its services. Hopefully, when all is said and done, and all of the expenses are paid, there is something left at the end of the day — profit. How well the system works and how well the firm does determines my compensation. As a partner, participation in all aspects of this process is inevitable and a necessity. The short answer is that I effectively got a healthy raise. Unfortunately, that raise does not come without some strings. For junior partners, what the firm giveth, the firm and Uncle Sam taketh away. On the firm side, the initial price is a “buy-in” — my share of the working capital of the firm. Citibank was kind enough, in light of my newfound partnership status, to advance me the buy-in. Since the loan is tied to the prime rate, I am voting for Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan to keep interest rates low. I must also pay for my own medical insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, etc. I must say, a partner certainly is highly insured. Uncle Sam’s strings require that I now must also pay the employer part of Social Security taxes, and I am no longer eligible for a flex spending plan, dependent care, or pre-tax MetroCard. On the plus side, instead of only a 401K, I can now also take advantage of a Keogh plan. All in all, a good deal. TRUST I was told what amounts to a parable during the past year, which goes as follows: “If you owe the bank money, you are in trouble. If you owe the bank a lot of money the bank is in trouble.” In the first situation, you must trust the bank. In the second the bank must trust you. As an associate, I had to trust the partnership to give me work or else I was in trouble. As a partner, I must trust all of the attorneys at the firm to do the work properly, or else I am now in trouble; hence, the benefits of, and necessity of being involved in, training. Trust also needs to occur within the partnership. The partnership trusted you enough to bring you into the partnership, and as a junior partner you are entrusting the more senior partners to steer the ship. CLIENTS AND MARKETING As an associate it was certainly a positive step if you brought in a client, but it was not a requirement. As a partner, you are now an integral part of the marketing of the firm. Generally, there are two prongs to securing and maintaining clients, both of which are important. One, provide top-quality professional services, and two, make sure the market knows that you are offering these top quality professional services. As an associate, doing the first was required and the second preferred. As a partner, both are mandatory. Additionally, as a partner you need to make sure the firm’s clients are offered these services at an appropriate price point. THE NEXT GENERATION One thing about being a first year partner, much like being a first year associate, is that it only lasts a year. The next generation of first year partners at Kenyon & Kenyon was just made December 2002. Congratulations to Robert Hails, Linda Mettes, Alex Skucas and Robert Whitman. I hope they enjoy the ride too. Benjamin Hershkowitz is a partner with Kenyon & Kenyon and a member of the electrical and mechanical engineering practice group.

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