Steven Di Fiore, Chief Operating Officer of Epstein Becker Green, participates in a panel breakout session, “A Diamond as Big as the Ritz: Rethinking Law Firm Leverage,” at the 2019 Law Firm Financial Performance Forum.
Recent industry trends have elicited renewed interest in law firm leverage models throughout the Am Law 100. According to new ALM research, the “totemic pyramid” (to borrow a phrase from Bruce MacEwen) of yesteryear—which saw a small group of partners controlling a larger associate base—has gradually morphed into a “diamond”-esque configuration replete with a middle bulge of non-equity partners and Of Counsel titleholders. Ignoring for the nonce many of the psychological forces driving this development, the discussion asks participants to examine their own organizational structure in order to ascertain whether or not leverage is still a viable lever for measuring firm profitability and health. Are the growing ranks of non-equity partners a sign of things to come?