Law Firms

Some law firms are promoting record numbers of associates to partnership

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Several law firms have announced their largest new partner classes on record amid a push to reward lawyers and create an incentive for associates to stay.

Reuters and have stories on the phenomenon. They identify these law firms as among those promoting a record number of partners—or more partners than last year.

• Kirkland & Ellis, which promoted a record 151 lawyers to partner, up from 145 promotions last year.

• Latham & Watkins, which promoted a record 44 lawyers to partner, up from 33 last year.

• Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, which promoted a record 25 lawyers to partner, up from 20 last year.

• McDermott Will & Emery, which promoted a record 41 lawyers to partner, up from 37 last year.

• White & Case, which promoted a record 59 lawyers to partner.

• Polsinelli, which promoted a record 34 lawyers to shareholder.

• Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which promoted 27 lawyers to partner, up from 20 last year. The law firm said its new partner class includes 12 women and seven minority and LGBTQ lawyers, making it the “most diverse class ever,” according to and a press release.

• Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, which promoted 18 lawyers to partner, up from 15 last year. This was “the firm’s largest partner promotions class in nearly two decades,” according to a press release.

Not all the new partners will enjoy equity status, according to Reuters.

Gibson Dunn isn’t the only law firm promoting the diversity of its new partner class, according to Perkins Coie says 64% of its new partner class is diverse in that it includes women, people of color, LGBTQ lawyers, and people with disabilities. The class also includes lawyers who work reduced hours.

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