Eat what you kill?objctnyrhnr wrote:Anybody want to explain this Kirkland setup that everybody’s talking about?
I’m in the dark on that.
Like I say, not really Kirkland specific anymore, but essentially historically law firms paid everybody in each class year the same, from first years to partners. This model is called “lockstep”. People liked it back in the day because law firms saw themselves as operating differently to normal businesses, and thought the lockstep concept kept everyone collegial and from stepping on other people’s toes. A first year partner could be the biggest rain making rockstar and he or she would still be making the same as every other first year (and significantly less than a senior partner at the end of his or her career).
This lockstep model obviously still applies to almost every V30 law firm at the associate level; they all pay the same at each class year and it’s all very open and public. But some law firms realized that as much as “lockstep” made partners “collegial” with each other, it also bred resentment and did not appropriately incentivize business development and the expansion of the firm’s footprint.
Much like Soviet Russia, lockstep partners were expected to do everything they could for the good of the firm as a whole, knowing that one day, when they’re too old to actually enjoy their Ferrari, they too would be paid a lot more money.
Eat what you kill firms looked at this model like good, red blooded, capitalist Americans and said, this model sucks. And they started paying partners based on a whole mix of factors depending on the firm, but usually based in large part on the size of a partner’s book of business.
Unsurprisingly, young rainmakers are generally keen to get compensated for what they are worth as early as possible, and lockstep firms get quite prickly and defensive about the whole thing. But that’s America, you know? Gotta play the game.