You’ve got partners who bring in the work and deserve to be compensated for it, and partners who do the work and deserve to be compensated for it as well. It’s not unlike a professional sports team without the O line: A quarterback can be great, but they’re not much without a strong O line.
— an anonymous Biglaw partner, in comments given to Insider on “the invisible middle,” that is, the group of senior associates and service partners responsible for bringing in a substantial share of a firm’s revenue, who aren’t being paid nearly as handsomely as many of their colleagues. One former Dechert attorney spoke of a “massive” compensation gap between their firm’s lowest-paid partners and “superclass” partners. A Gibson Dunn partner noted that supercharged partner salaries could cause a “culture hit,” saying, “You can’t keep your culture when somebody is making eight times as much as someone else In what sense are those people partners? They’re not.”
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.