Law Practice Management

Megafirm DLA Piper Poised to Overhaul 'Lockstep' Model


The nation’s largest firm, DLA Piper, is planning to continue scaling back the size of its associate classes and rethink its associate program.

DLA has already cut associate salaries and delayed start dates for its ‘09 first-year associate class, which is down to 85 lawyers from 100 the year before. The next class will be even smaller, and the firm intends to rely more on its staff attorneys, the National Law Journal reports.

But perhaps the biggest changes are yet to come. DLA Piper tells the NLJ that by year’s end a new associate compensation and training model will be in place, one different from the current lockstep model, which pays associates by years of service.

How different it will be remains to be seen, considering one of the firm’s leaders tells the NLJ that the current model isn’t broken.

Still, says Lee Miller, one of the firm’s chief executives, “People really want to rethink the model.”

“I don’t think the model is broken, but people want to rethink what they’re doing and why they’re doing it,” he says.

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