How many times can it be said — 2009 was a bad economic one for lawyers.
But that is not why Cravath named zero partners this year.
“We want to make partners even in bad economic times. But this year, no one met our standards,” said an unnamed senior partner to the Am Law Daily.
Though he did not say it as directly, Cravath’s deputy presiding partner, Allen Parker, said more or less the same thing.
“For our firm, whether to make someone a partner is a 30-year decision,” he said. “We never let the decision be influenced by short-term economic considerations.”
The unnamed partner provided a little more info — less than a handful of the 80 associates that started with the now partnership-eligible Class of 2002 are still at the firm. No associates left expected to be seriously considered for partner Am Law said.
Making partner at Cravath has always been a long shot; in the past two years only six total were elevated.
The economy could of course be partly be to blame, but the fact is that given the option to say they were just being conservative in a down year or telling the world they did not have any partnership-eligible associates that could make the cut, Cravath chose the former.
The environment at Cravath is notoriously tough — only the strong survive. That was certainly proven today.
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