Maryland Lawyers: Partnership Track Getting Harder?

The Maryland Daily Record has an article in its Maryland Lawyer section today underscoring what I think we already know: it is a tough legal market in 2009. This article focuses on the lack of associates making partner in Baltimore law firms.

Interesting, if you look at the numbers which the Daily Record provides with a cool chart, the number of people making partner has not gone down that dramatically. But what you don’t know is the number of these partners that are non-equity partners, which means you are an associate with the firm and you have been here a while, so we will call you partner, but you are not an actual shareholder in the firm. The non-equity partner trend has been huge over the last 10 years as big law firms join the rest of the world in running their business like a business. Of course, it also does not include the number of lawyers who made equity partner, but the firm is so under budget they would have made more as an associate.

Another thing in this article that really stood out to me: only ten lawyers in Piper DLA’s Baltimore office have made partner in the last four years. Over this same time period, the firm has added 237 partners to the firm. Yeah, Piper & Marbury came from Baltimore, but I guess Piper is long past its Maryland roots.

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