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"Should Associates Vote on Partnerships? Latham's Do"

Don't you think paralegals have just as much to contribute to partnership decisions as associates?

"Making partner usually means stiff competition with other associates.

"But at Latham & Watkins, associates are asked to put down their swords and shields and objectively evaluate whether their peers have what it takes to make partner.

"Most firms wouldn't do it. They'd be looking to prevent scheming associates from using any power they have to benefit their own chance at partnership.

"But at Latham, associates are selected to serve a two-year term on the associates committee, which makes partnership recommendations for the firm's partners to vote on. The committee has 45 members -- half are partners, and half are associates.

"'Empowering associates and having them involved in decision-making is terrific for employee morale," said Latham partner Richard Bress, who chairs the committee. 'It's also good for partners on the committee because associates have grassroots ways of knowing things.'"

I mean, really, who's better placed in a law firm's "grassroots" than paralegals? Okay, maybe secretaries....

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