Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at customercare@alm.com

Roy Strom

Based in Chicago, Roy Strom has been reporting on the legal world since 2011. He covers law firms with a focus on how the Big Law business model is changing. He writes a weekly column for Law.com called "The Law Firm Disrupted," covering changes in the legal services market. He can be reached at rstrom@alm.com. On Twitter: @RoyWStrom

More from this author

Law Firms Mentioned

<img class="alignnone wp-image-964 size-full" src="http://www.almcms.com/contrib

  • Sidley Austin

/uploads/sites/405/2017/10/Kirkland-Partners-Where.jpg" width="620" height="372" /> Kirkland &amp; Ellis announced last week that <a href="http://www.kirkland.com/sitecontent.cfm?contentID=230&amp;itemId=13062" target="_blank">97 new lawyers will be joining</a> the firm���s income partnership. That partnership tier is relatively welcoming���both compared��with other��Am Law 100 firms,��and especially compared to Kirkland���s equity partnership. Consider this: Kirkland had 359 equity partners last year, <a href="http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=1202783501019/Kirklands-Gross-Revenue-Partner-Profits-Hit-New-Highs" target="_blank">according��to The American Lawyer���s reporting</a>. The firm currently lists about 975 total partners. The simple fact is that most income partners���or ���nonshare partners��� in Kirkland lingo���will not go on to reap the windfall that comes with an equity stake in the high-powered firm. But just how many nonequity partners don���t make the cut? And what happens to them? <a href="http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=1202770008488/Shearman-Gambles-on-Wall-Street-Rarity-Nonequity-Partners" target="_blank">Past reporting by The American Lawyer</a>��has described the Kirkland partnership as an ���up-or-out��� model, with roughly 20 percent of income partners joining the equity tier after <a href="http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=1202575852183" target="_blank">they become eligible about four years</a> into their income partner tenure. But an analysis of past income partner classes suggests that <a href="http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=1202774960269/Top-Partners-at-Kirkland-amp-Ellis-See-Cuts-to-Equity-Shares" target="_blank">Kirkland���s so-called sharp elbows</a> may not be all that pointed. The American Lawyer researched the current jobs of the 315 lawyers that Kirkland announced as incoming partners��between��2010 and 2013. Of the 316 partners promoted during that four-year period, 43 percent remain at the firm. The analysis found that 43 percent of the <a href="http://www.kirkland.com/sitecontent.cfm?contentID=230&amp;itemId=9465" target="_blank">70 income partners made up in 2010</a> are still at Kirkland. The 2011 class, <a href="http://www.kirkland.com/sitecontent.cfm?contentID=230&amp;itemId=9946" target="_blank">which featured 82 lawyers</a>, has winnowed to 29, or 35 percent. Half of the <a href="http://www.kirkland.com/sitecontent.cfm?contentID=230&amp;itemId=10404" target="_blank">84 partners made up in 2012</a> are still at the firm. And 44 percent of the <a href="http://www.kirkland.com/sitecontent.cfm?contentID=230&amp;itemId=10878" target="_blank">2013 class</a> remains at Kirkland. While more lawyers enter Kirkland���s income partnership every year than almost any other firm, the position at Kirkland is less of a long-term play than at other firms. Jones Day���s partnership is comparable only insofar as it promotes a relatively high number of lawyers every year. In 2012, <a href="http://www.jonesday.com/jones-day-names-45-new-partners-12-13-2012/" target="_blank">the firm promoted 45 lawyers</a> to what it��states is a ���<a href="http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=1202779428361/A-Quiet-Law-Firm-With-a-Famous-Client" target="_blank">one-tier��� partnership</a>. Today, 73 percent remain at the firm. The most common landing ground for Kirkland���s income partners is at other Am Law 200 firms. Across the four Kirkland income partner classes analyzed by The American Lawyer, roughly a quarter of those lawyers are��now practicing at other firms, according to those firms��� websites, state bar registrations and individual profiles on professional networking website LinkedIn. Two of the most common firms for Kirkland refugees are King &amp; Spalding and Sidley Austin. After other jobs in Big Law, the second most common role after a Kirkland income partnership is an in-house position. That is where about 21 percent of former Kirkland lawyers end up. These are often high-ranking positions, with 13 partners from just four years worth of income partner promotions now occupying chief legal officer or general counsel roles. The list of companies that now employ Kirkland partners as in-house attorneys includes: Amazon.com Inc.; Boeing Corp.; Hulu LLC; Intel Corp.; Johnson &amp; Johnson; Kate Spade &amp; Co.; Koch Industries Inc.; McDonald���s Corp.; Sony Corp.; Target Corp. and more than a dozen others. Government jobs���ranging from��assistant U.S. attorneys��to administrative judges at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office���are the third most common, with less than 10 percent of lawyers taking a government paycheck. A sprinkling of lawyers start their own firms, become entrepreneurs in business or go into academia. There are also significant gender disparities in the jobs data. The gaps show up mostly in three places. First, men are more likely to be promoted to income partner than women, with 69 percent of the 316 partners promoted at Kirkland over the four-year span being men. That is roughly in-line with the percentage of nonequity partners that are women���about 30 percent���according to the <a href="http://www.nawl.org/page/2017" target="_blank">latest survey by the National Association for Women Lawyers</a>. (The highest percentage of women promoted to income partner in a single year of those analyzed at Kirkland was 2011, when 38 percent of new partners were women.) Second, men are also more likely to stay at Kirkland than women. Of the 99 women promoted to income partner in the four-year period analyzed by The American Lawyer, 31 percent are still at the firm. Of the 217 men promoted in that same timeframe, 47 percent remain at Kirkland. Thirdly, women are more likely to work in-house than men after leaving Kirkland. About 30 percent of the women who have been promoted to partner at the firm are now working in-house, compared to about 18 percent of men. In recent years, <a href="http://biglawbusiness.com/kirkland-ellis-the-feel-good-law-firm/" target="_blank">Kirkland has invested in programs</a> that help lawyers at the firm find their next job, while also trying to strengthen bonds between the firm and its impressive list of alumni. For instance, Kirkland launched a training program aimed at teaching its associates and alumni about in-house career paths. Thirty participants attended seminars from December through March of this year that included panel discussions with current in-house lawyers. Kirkland said the goal of the program was to prepare lawyers for future transitions to in-house roles and to support women who used to work at the firm in their effort to return to the practice of law. Kirkland did not immediately return a request for comment about the data. In the past, the firm���s management has <a href="http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=1202666907615/At-Kirkland-Another-Hire-Amid-Steady-Stream-of-Departures?mcode=0&amp;curindex=0&amp;curpage=ALL" target="_blank">attributed the turnover in its partnership</a> as a necessary byproduct of <a href="http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=1202596737781" target="_blank">turning itself into a global legal giant</a>. According to the <a href="http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=1202784597030/The-2017-Am-Law-100" target="_blank">most recent Am Law 100 rankings</a>, Kirkland trailed only Latham &amp; Watkins as the world���s most profitable firm when measured by gross revenue. Kirkland came in at No. 5 when measured by profits per equity partner. <img class="alignnone wp-image-970 size-full" src="http://www.almcms.com/contrib

  • Sidley Austin

/uploads/sites/405/2017/10/Male-v.-Female-Kirkland.jpg" width="620" height="372" /> <

  • Sidley Austin


Lean Adviser Legal

Think Lean Daily Message

"To every extent possible, the improvement stage should include clients. They can improve their own internal processes. The entire issue of how GCs and their internal clients work together is an under considered topic. Then it goes further. Clients can improve and be better partners to their external law firms, and they can also highlight areas for external counsel to improve, and look for the commitment of law firms to do this. Law firms which do embrace improvement initiatives from clients lay foundations with them for the next project."

Learn More


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2018 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.