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Much has been written about the importance of “culture” in companies and in law firms. Building it. Encouraging it. Enforcing it. In law firm partnerships, culture is as widely discussed as the concept of “meaningful work” and “prestige.” But behind closed doors and in compensation committee meetings, what really matters (if we are being honest) is compensation—the engine that drives most law firm partnerships.

At the end of the day, it’s the money (stupid) that makes the practice of law possible. But how a law firm or its executive management choose to allocate that money can make the difference between a law firm that fosters a culture of cohesion and collaboration or where the battle for a bigger share of a finite pie promotes a culture of “me vs. them” competition.

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