4 Questions To Ask Before De-Equitizing Your Partners

Law360, San Diego (April 9, 2015, 3:51 PM EDT) -- As law firms strive to maintain profits per partner, they're taking a closer look at de-equitizing underperforming attorneys. But the decision to de-equitize not only lands a blow to the ego of affected partners — it also can erode the morale of other attorneys and staff. 

De-equitization was not a term lawyers heard 20 years ago except in extraordinary circumstances, but now it has become one approach that law firm management can take to respond to underperforming lawyers and keep profits per partner from dropping, according to Scott Westfahl, a professor at Harvard Law School.

"It's considered a heavy hammer but...

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