We like to keep track of “new partner” announcements here at Above the Law (under our “New Partner Watch” feature). Partnership decisions often shed light on the current state of a firm, its prospects for the future, and its priorities.
How many new partners did a firm make? How does the number of new partners this year compare to past years? In which practice areas did it make new partners? How many of the new partners are women or minorities?
As we’ve discussed before, many firms have cut back dramatically on making new partners, thanks to the recession. See here for examples of firms that have cut their new partner classes by 25 percent, 50 percent, or more.
At other firms, however, it seems to be business as usual — like Jones Day.
Earlier this month, Jones Day named a whopping three dozen new partners — larger than many a boutique law firm. The number was down from last year, but just barely — 36 versus 40.
It’s a sign of the firm’s resilience in the recession, according to one Jones Day lawyer: “While other firms continue to eat their young, we’re apparently still going strong.”
What’s the secret to the firm’s success? Some factors were identified in an internal memo from earlier this year:
Our geographic and practice balance; our one-Firm attitude; our belief that our real focus has to be on the long run, while managing the short-term problems that we face; and the fact that we understand that, in addition to our clients and our partners, the Firm has a responsibility to deal with our staff and associates in a way that recognizes that they and their families depend on this institution–all of these mean that we will come out of this crisis stronger than we went in. We have been able to avoid the drastic steps that many other firms have resorted to, in part because we are better positioned to minimize exposure to economic stress, and in part because our partners are committed to the principles that created our better position, even if it means some short-term burdens that they must bear.
A second secret: secrecy. When it comes to compensation — i.e., how much the guy (or gal) down the hall is earning — could ignorance be bliss? That seems to be the JD philosophy.
In any event, congratulations to the new Jones Day partners. Perhaps you know some of these fine folks? Check them out here (nice gallery of headshots — some hotties).
Have a tip about new partners and what they say about your firm’s future? Please email us (subject line: “[Firm Name]: New Partner Watch”). Thanks.
Jones Day names 36 new partners [Jones Day]
Earlier: New Partner Watch: No Partnership for You!
New Partner Watch: Girl Power at Sullivan & Cromwell