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December 20, 2011


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Bill Turnier

A really nice contribution, Bernie. Perhaps in a future effort you could go into the different types of practices that make firms vary in profitability. Wachtell, for example, concentrates on deals (e.g., M&A) that are so lucrative that they are highly profitable with a low associate to partner ratio. Sullivan used to function with a very large stable of investment banks that made it quite profitable because for it's client base attorney hourly fees were chump change. Firms that rely on a corporate client base normally need a far higher associate to partner ratio because they must remain somewhat competitive with in-house counsel and have more pressure to help the corporate client hit a bottom line. I am sure that there are many other variations on the themes that I sketched above and I know that you ate knowledgable about them. I am sure that regularly lounge lizards, such as myself and others, would benefit greatly from your knowledge and insights on law firm economics and the variation in profitability based on variation on client base and firm expertise.

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