Partners with no BoB or billables - how long before fired?

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Partners with no BoB or billables - how long before fired?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:24 pm

I work in a very large biglaw practice group. We have one serious rainmaker who alone sustains/helps sustain a few dozen partners and associates. Many of the partners under him are very clearly service partners. While some have their own BoB (nothing comparable in size to the rainmaker's), others, such as the younger partners, are working on developing their own BoB.

However, I have noticed a partner or two (mostly relatively recent laterals - say, the last 4 years) that literally have no business. And these aren't newly minted partners but partners with 20+ yrs experience in the field. One of them has gone almost all of this year without billable work (unless he is "secretly working" and not telling his associates). Consequently, a few of the associates who used to work with him have suffered immensely (extremely low billables, have had to solicit other partners for work). I actually haven't really seen him do much marketing, either.

How long can a service partner go without billing time before they get the axe? I'm perplexed at how long this has gone on since, I suspect if an associate were that slow for that long, they'd be gone by now.

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Lacepiece23

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Re: Partners with no BoB or billables - how long before fired?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:I work in a very large biglaw practice group. We have one serious rainmaker who alone sustains/helps sustain a few dozen partners and associates. Many of the partners under him are very clearly service partners. While some have their own BoB (nothing comparable in size to the rainmaker's), others, such as the younger partners, are working on developing their own BoB.

However, I have noticed a partner or two (mostly relatively recent laterals - say, the last 4 years) that literally have no business. And these aren't newly minted partners but partners with 20+ yrs experience in the field. One of them has gone almost all of this year without billable work (unless he is "secretly working" and not telling his associates). Consequently, a few of the associates who used to work with him have suffered immensely (extremely low billables, have had to solicit other partners for work). I actually haven't really seen him do much marketing, either.

How long can a service partner go without billing time before they get the axe? I'm perplexed at how long this has gone on since, I suspect if an associate were that slow for that long, they'd be gone by now.


Idk, a bunch of service partners at my firm were axed for this. I think they can go for a bit. Depends on whether the big rainmaker vouches and says they need this person. Depends on firm dynamics. Just depends. Why does this matter to you?

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Re: Partners with no BoB or billables - how long before fired?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:00 am

Lacepiece23 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I work in a very large biglaw practice group. We have one serious rainmaker who alone sustains/helps sustain a few dozen partners and associates. Many of the partners under him are very clearly service partners. While some have their own BoB (nothing comparable in size to the rainmaker's), others, such as the younger partners, are working on developing their own BoB.

However, I have noticed a partner or two (mostly relatively recent laterals - say, the last 4 years) that literally have no business. And these aren't newly minted partners but partners with 20+ yrs experience in the field. One of them has gone almost all of this year without billable work (unless he is "secretly working" and not telling his associates). Consequently, a few of the associates who used to work with him have suffered immensely (extremely low billables, have had to solicit other partners for work). I actually haven't really seen him do much marketing, either.

How long can a service partner go without billing time before they get the axe? I'm perplexed at how long this has gone on since, I suspect if an associate were that slow for that long, they'd be gone by now.


Idk, a bunch of service partners at my firm were axed for this. I think they can go for a bit. Depends on whether the big rainmaker vouches and says they need this person. Depends on firm dynamics. Just depends. Why does this matter to you?


Because I keep wondering if his being slow for so long means some associates will get the axe. The practice group is at its slowest in over a decade, and most associates are down on billables.

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deepseapartners

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Re: Partners with no BoB or billables - how long before fired?

Postby deepseapartners » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I work in a very large biglaw practice group. We have one serious rainmaker who alone sustains/helps sustain a few dozen partners and associates. Many of the partners under him are very clearly service partners. While some have their own BoB (nothing comparable in size to the rainmaker's), others, such as the younger partners, are working on developing their own BoB.

However, I have noticed a partner or two (mostly relatively recent laterals - say, the last 4 years) that literally have no business. And these aren't newly minted partners but partners with 20+ yrs experience in the field. One of them has gone almost all of this year without billable work (unless he is "secretly working" and not telling his associates). Consequently, a few of the associates who used to work with him have suffered immensely (extremely low billables, have had to solicit other partners for work). I actually haven't really seen him do much marketing, either.

How long can a service partner go without billing time before they get the axe? I'm perplexed at how long this has gone on since, I suspect if an associate were that slow for that long, they'd be gone by now.


Idk, a bunch of service partners at my firm were axed for this. I think they can go for a bit. Depends on whether the big rainmaker vouches and says they need this person. Depends on firm dynamics. Just depends. Why does this matter to you?


Because I keep wondering if his being slow for so long means some associates will get the axe. The practice group is at its slowest in over a decade, and most associates are down on billables.

That last sentence means more than whether or not 1-2 younger partners have a book of business yet. If this is actually true and everyone is consistently low on hours, you should really start looking to move.

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Re: Partners with no BoB or billables - how long before fired?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:10 am

deepseapartners wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I work in a very large biglaw practice group. We have one serious rainmaker who alone sustains/helps sustain a few dozen partners and associates. Many of the partners under him are very clearly service partners. While some have their own BoB (nothing comparable in size to the rainmaker's), others, such as the younger partners, are working on developing their own BoB.

However, I have noticed a partner or two (mostly relatively recent laterals - say, the last 4 years) that literally have no business. And these aren't newly minted partners but partners with 20+ yrs experience in the field. One of them has gone almost all of this year without billable work (unless he is "secretly working" and not telling his associates). Consequently, a few of the associates who used to work with him have suffered immensely (extremely low billables, have had to solicit other partners for work). I actually haven't really seen him do much marketing, either.

How long can a service partner go without billing time before they get the axe? I'm perplexed at how long this has gone on since, I suspect if an associate were that slow for that long, they'd be gone by now.


Idk, a bunch of service partners at my firm were axed for this. I think they can go for a bit. Depends on whether the big rainmaker vouches and says they need this person. Depends on firm dynamics. Just depends. Why does this matter to you?


Because I keep wondering if his being slow for so long means some associates will get the axe. The practice group is at its slowest in over a decade, and most associates are down on billables.

That last sentence means more than whether or not 1-2 younger partners have a book of business yet. If this is actually true and everyone is consistently low on hours, you should really start looking to move.


Ok thanks. Although, the slowest partner I'm referring to is actually not a jr partner (he's been in the practice for over 25 yrs, recently lateraled to our firm... am wondering if he was given the axe from his old firm).

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Re: Partners with no BoB or billables - how long before fired?

Postby RaceJudicata » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:28 am

There were some articles on this recently... I forget where. But the gist was that lateral partners Frequently don't work out at their new firm. Per the article, many laterals overstate the number of clients they can bring over or clients fail to make the jump - despite assurances otherwise.

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Re: Partners with no BoB or billables - how long before fired?

Postby Desert Fox » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:20 am

One of the partners I worked never had much work. He'd scrape together some stuff to keep occupied but never really was busy busy. Tended to service a lot of institutional clients.

He jumped to a new firm. Took one case with him, that's it. And it settled right away. Over a year later he hasn't gotten work beyond really small potatoes stuff. Several associates went with him, but they regret it.

I sorta wonder if he got shitcanned at my old firm. People said no, but he was already slow. I dunno what tall tales he told to get the new firm to accept him.
Last edited by Desert Fox on Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Partners with no BoB or billables - how long before fired?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:09 pm

OP here. I guess I'm just stunned that vetting lateral partners can be such a crapshoot. I would agree that our lateral partners seem weaker - we've got a good one who sustains himself with his own business, but two have literally 0 work of their own and one of them has not been entrusted with our big institutional client and has been sitting around not marketing much or doing billable work either.

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elendinel

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Re: Partners with no BoB or billables - how long before fired?

Postby elendinel » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:16 pm

It's not necessarily a vetting issue; it's always hard to predict the true volume of work you'll be able to bring over to a firm (because of conflicts, because the client doesn't want to switch firms cause it'd be too much work, because the client doesn't like the partner as much as he thought it did, because the client comes over but their work resolves 6 months into the lateral, because the new firm does billing in a way the client doesn't like so the client leaves 6 months in, etc.), and it can be difficult to hustle for new clients while trying to learn the ropes of a new firm/trying to learn how to market the new firm/trying to recruit additional associates to take on potential projects/etc.. A lateral partner could be great at what he does and still face difficulties in retaining old clients, attracting new ones, and integrating into a new firm that may play by an entirely different set of rules.



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