Business of Law

Rainmakers are paid too much, says 'Lawyer Bubble' author (video)

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The spread between the highest- and lowest-paid equity partners at the nation’s biggest firms has grown too large, according to Steven J. Harper, an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law and former partner at Chicago’s Kirkland & Ellis. In recent decades, it’s increased from 3 to 1 up to 10 to 1 or more, he tells Bloomberg Law’s Sarah Kopit.

It’s been driven by a “lateral hiring frenzy” that has “destabilized the profession,” with managing partners “fearful [that they’ll] lose somebody with a big book of business to someone else,” says Harper, who is the author of the recently released book The Lawyer Bubble: A Profession in Crisis.

Related article: “‘Lawyer Bubble’ author discusses what the future looks like for today’s new lawyers” (podcast)

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