LOST LEADERS? – Lewis Brisbois’ abrupt leadership shake-up in light of a large group departure reveals the threat that lateral churn presents to law firms’ stability, Law.com’s Jessie Yount and Justin Henry report. Adding pressure to achieve net growth, law firms are also challenged by the consensus-driven nature of their typical business model. “Most partners feel they could run the firm,” said Tom Sharbaugh, a former managing partner of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and a professor of practice at Penn State Law. “It’s sort of the way people talk about the Senate—everybody feels they could be the president. Most partners think these are not hard jobs. When things aren’t going well, they can point to other firms doing better. It’s just natural for people to think, ‘Why aren’t we doing as well as other firms we compare ourselves to? Why didn’t management position us better?’”
PEDIGREE AND PAY – Looking good on paper earns you more paper, according to a new study. In-house attorneys who went to a Top 50 law school earn an average of 30% more than those attending schools ranked 100 or lower. If they went to a Top 50 law school and worked at an Am Law 50 law firm, they earned 76% more than those who didn’t. Those were among the findings from the recruiting firm BarkerGilmore’s recently released annual compensation report, which was based on responses from 3,800 U.S.-based corporate counsel, 48% of whom attended a top-50 U.S. law school. Graduating from a top law school puts an attorney on a path to success, Dimitri Mastrocola, a partner in the in-house counsel recruiting group at Major, Lindsey & Africa, told Law.com’s Maria Dinzeo. Those degrees help attorneys land at top law firms, which then helps them land in highly paid in-house posts.