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What does it matter if a partner is an equity partner or not?

By one definition, equity partners in a law firm (1) own some portion of the firm, share responsibility for its liabilities, and earn distributions that rise or fall with the earnings of the firm, (2) contribute capital to the firm, and (3) earn 70 percent or more of their income from the firm. Does any of that matter to a law department (See my post of Sept. 5, 2005 on Dupont’s concerns in this area.)?

The quality of a lawyer’s work and the associated cost are all that should concern a law department. Not titles, roles, longevity, or equity ownership – all are irrelevant.