Law firm partners have never been able to make as much money as they can now. The highest profits per partner on our Am Law 100 rankings in 2015 came in at $6.6 million at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, while the rainmakers and leaders at a select few firms can make at least twice that. But being paid more at the top can mean less for those below, stretching the definition of “partner.”
The legal profession has never been more cutthroat. As the race for revenue intensifies, firms are putting more pressure on their partners to perform in a number of criteria. If they don’t, it will be reflected in their compensation, title and possibly their place in the firm. For a profession that once provided a secure path to upward mobility, some partners are sliding back down in compensation, to the benefit of those still on the climb.
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