Right now, at this very moment, in a dark, secret back room filled with the stench of Cohiba cigar smoke (mixed with just a touch of Chanel No. 5) and accessible through a hidden mahogany door opened only when a secret knock is heard, an elite group of Big Firm partners (wearing powdered wigs and black velvet robes) have gathered around in antique leather wing-back chairs dating from the Firm’s inception (and brought out only once a year for this occasion) to decide which five of the 5,000 Cogs toiling away below them will join their ranks.

Yeah, OK, it’s a long sentence — maybe even a run-on sentence that didn’t bother to tie its track shoes before sprinting down the lane, but you know what? Cogs don’t make partner because of their grammatical skills. Cogs make partner because … because … wait a sec. The whole point of this column is to disclose that I — and probably you — have no idea how Big Firms decide who makes partner.

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