Sloan and Harrison: Non-Equity Partners Discontent Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Sloan and Harrison:                                                         Non-Equity Partners Disconten  Case Solution

Sloan and Harrison: Non-Equity Partners Discontent


Sloan and Harrison was established in 1959 in northwest Washington DC.The founders of the firm were two attorneys at that time and by the end of the year 2008 the firm included 700 attorneys and around 1000 support staff. Basically Sloan and Harrison are involved in the legal industry and they are present in this industry since a long period of time as a law firm. The firm offers a wide range of high quality legal services and is known as one of the best legal firms for intellectual property rights and government contract practice groups.The latter provided customers with guidance for congressional lobbying and competition pertaining in the federal marketplace. Sloan has a good reputation in the marketplace and its employees are usually those who are in the alumni having gone to successful careers such as legislators, congressional chief of staff and federal judges.

Furthermore, Sloan had offices in several countries around the globe including Paris, Madrid, Beijing, San Diego, Atlanta and Houston however,the firm’s largest office was located in Washington DC.

According to the case the people involved in the case are four non-equity partners including George Adams who was from the government contracts practice group, Tina Madison from energy, James Quincy from tax, and Andrea Harrison who was from the intellectual property division. Basically non-equity partners (NEPs) are concerned with the transparency of the advancement process, their skills and knowledge to position themselves as both leaders and rainmakers within the firm, and the promotion politics existing in the firm.

George Adams was recently promoted as a equity partner and after only three years as a non-equity partner. Secondly,Tina Madison was in her first year as a non-equity partner and was about to confront challenges for bringing in new clients for the firm, which was not an easy task but if one has the right set of skills and ability then he/she can effectively and efficiently manage such challenges. Thirdly,James Quincy was serving as a non-equity partner for the last three years and was a lateral hire. A lateral hire means people who are hired directly from law schools and by hiring attorneys away from other firms. Fourthly, Andrea Harrison was serving as a non-equity partner for the last four years.
The legal industry in 2008 comprised of 165000 law firms with an employee rate of around one million lawyers. The legal marketplace is fragmented with the biggest 50 firms holding approximately a 50% market share and around 150 firms had annual revenue generation of $100 million, which was not attracting the government enough and only 11 law firms had annual revenues exceeding $1 billion. Most of the businesses pertaining in the industry came from corporations, 40% from individuals and the rest from governments and other various corners.


There are several issues involved in the case which are as follows:
1. The rise of non-equity partners was due to the reaction of the economic downfall during the 1980. As the revenue was not growing accordingly, the law firms in solution to the decline of the revenue constrained the growth of equity partners. Logical reasoning behind this strategy was that having few equity partners will result in lesser distribution of profit amongst partners, there fore more could be utilized for business operations.
2. Managing the change from an associate to a non-equity partner was not that easy because employees got confused as they did get bigger offices with luxury items but they knew that the amount of responsibility had also increased. Similarly for female NEPs, the situation was different because there were limited or rather no advancement opportunities for females if they planned to have families, which was a dream for them while they were used to be in law schools and always preferred such things. Furthermore, there was no gender equality between men and women and many female NEPs found them working more and giving more time than their male counterparts however,they were not valued on an equal basis which was quite disheartening and demotivating.
3. Another factor was that there was no sufficient training for NEPs with respect to how to effectively and efficiently balancing new administrative responsibilities with present billing requirements........................

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