Financial stability within a law firm practice does not guarantee harmony within the partnership itself. Far from it. Witness the constant present. And law firm management that does not acknowledge or reflect the contributions and needs of its members endangers the firm’s cohesiveness and even its very existence, no matter how many clients come through the front door.

Eddy Beckett & Moore (a hypothetical firm) is at a crossroads. It is no longer the firm that was founded 18 years ago by three partners — Mark, Dean and Randy — who left a larger firm because of the dissatisfaction with a big-firm setting. Today their own firm is run by a management committee comprising the three senior (and founding) partners. The committee determines policy, makes major decisions affecting the firm and sets partner compensation. Partner meetings are held monthly. Agenda and summaries of financial reports are distributed to partners at the meetings.

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