Fewer seats at the table
This is the year of low expectations, where even some who have been elected to partnership - and who expected to make the cut - sound surprised. "I was not so confident, given the economy," says Rena Chng, a newly-elected partner at Mayer Brown's Palo Alto office. Though Chng says she had successfully handled a big litigation matter this past year and was the only one in her office to be put up for partnership, she says, "If they had said, 'you won't make it this year,' I would have understood."Indeed, the number of newly-minted partners has generally plummeted since last year - along, presumably, with the firms' business. For instance, Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy promoted just four this year, compared to 11 last year; O'Melveny & Myers, 15 (23 last year); Mayer Brown, 27 (43 last year); Morrison & Foerster, 10 (24 last year); Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, five (eight for 2007; 13 for 2006); Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, eight (13 last year); and Weil Gotshal & Manges, seven (21 last year).
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