low or high partner to associate ratio?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
TLSNYC
Posts: 509
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:38 pm

low or high partner to associate ratio?

Postby TLSNYC » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:38 pm

Which is generally better? Does fewer partners per associate mean more substantive work?

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: low or high partner to associate ratio?

Postby bdubs » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:46 pm

TLSNYC wrote:Which is generally better? Does fewer partners per associate mean more substantive work?


Higher partner:associate ratio is better to a point (this is backwards from convention though, most do associate:partner). Too low means almost no substantive work for young associates (there are lots of senior associates absorbing the good stuff). Too high might be an unsustainable business model or signal of other problems (i.e. >1:1 is probably bad).

Lawyerhead
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: low or high partner to associate ratio?

Postby Lawyerhead » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:47 pm

TLSNYC wrote:Which is generally better? Does fewer partners per associate mean more substantive work?


When deciding on your firm, this is pretty meaningless, all things considered. There are far more important factors to take into consideration. To answer your question, though, what would matter, if it matters at all, is the associate:partner ratio in the particular practice group you want to work in. You also have to keep in mind that there are different kinds of partners - some partners only do client development and maintenance and other high level stuff.

On your interviews, you're better off asking, "how are matters staffed? Lean?" If it's a junior, a midlevel, a senior associate and the partner, you, as the junior, won't be doing a lot of substantive work in that arrangement.

User avatar
Bronte
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: low or high partner to associate ratio?

Postby Bronte » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:10 am

I would not worry too much about the ratio. It varies by city as well. Most big law firms in New York run pretty high leverage (fewer partners for every associate). Lower leverage tends to indicate a better chance of making partner, but partnership chances should be pretty low on your list of concerns at this point. And, in any event, leverage ratios are probably not a great indicator.

As to the proposition that a firm that generally staffs a partner, a nonshare, a senior, and a junior on a matter not having substantive work for the junior... I don't know. At big firms, you'll often have five partners and a sea of associates from multiple groups (e.g., corporate, restructuring, tax) on any given matter. The substance of the work you're doing just depends on the matter, the particular people on the deal, and the firm culture.

anon168
Posts: 920
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: low or high partner to associate ratio?

Postby anon168 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:16 am

TLSNYC wrote:Which is generally better? Does fewer partners per associate mean more substantive work?


Depends on what you are talking about.

The amount of leverage will vary -- drastically -- between biglaw and a plaintiff's firm. And within biglaw the amount of leverage will vary between practice groups -- transactional dept. will be more highly leveraged than their litigation counterparts (at least if the firm has a sustainable business model).




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.