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Donald Albert Brannen Jr., Fisher & Phillips, Atlanta. Donald Albert Brannen Jr., Fisher & Phillips, Atlanta.

Bert Brannen, who heads Fisher & Phillips’ Atlanta office, realized during the year-end review period seven years ago that his office’s most promising midlevel associates were at risk of not making partner, even though they were doing great work and billing enough hours. The problem was that they didn’t have any business of their own.

Jonathan Ringel

Jonathan Ringel is managing editor of the Daily Report, the ALM newspaper in Atlanta. He can be reached at jringel@alm.com. Twitter: @jonathanringel

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