An empirical test of “hire the partner or hire the firm”

If a single partner at a law firm accounts for more than 75 percent of the firm’s partner-level billings, it would be safe to say that the partner has the ear of the law department, not the firm as a whole. The more partners bill the client, the deeper the roots of the firm in the soil. The number of partners and degree of equality in hours charged has much to say about the relationship between a law department and the firm it retains.

The distribution and concentration of partner support by a firm could have various forms of mathematical expression, such as Gini coefficient analysis (See my post of Aug. 20, 2006: percentage of work going to core staff at firm; Oct. 22, 2006: Gini coefficients; May 28, 2009: the h-index and concentration of matters; Aug. 5, 2010: Herfindahl’s index of market concentration; and Aug. 16, 2010: Herfindahl and industry competitiveness.).

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