The Meeker, Needham & Ames (MN&A) is a long established metropolitan law firm that employs 100 associates, 20 partners, and is preeminent in corporate litigation. The main issue at MN&A revolves around part-time status and whether an associate who is part-time is eligible to become promoted to a partner. The current year’s partner nominations were discussed at a committee meeting which was chaired by managing partner of three years, George Hartwig. Hartwig was joined by committee members Maury Davidson, senior partner and managing director; Pamela Fisher, tax law specialist and only female partner; and Jim Welch, director of litigation.
Hartwig was instrumental in setting a precedent to allow Julie Ross, an associate, part-time status during the birth and care for her child. Ross had negotiated a flexible schedule, which was agreed upon by Hartwig and made MN&A the first firm of its size in the city to implement part-time schedules for its attorneys. This decision had been much debated by many senior partners who were adamantly opposed to part-time work and would ultimately lead to a cross road when deciding to make Ross a partner.
In my analysis I will concentrate on whether promoting part-time associates is in the best interest of the firm and if there is opportunity to formalize a policy to establish criteria and expectations. I am of the opinion that Julie Ross should be eligible to become partner and that part-time status should not be an automatic disqualifier. Ross has demonstrated her abilities to of both keen insight into legal issues and top-notch courtroom litigation. In addition, and maybe most important, she has shown capability of attracting new business; which the firm desires. Her reputation among clients was distinguished which lead to her clients referring her to other companies that engaged MN&A as their main counsel.
It is my belief that the firm could focus on a business model of quality...