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Cravath Confirms: No Partners to be Named in 2009
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Making partner at a big New York firm has been a possibility for only the shining stars of the legal profession. In this recession, however, the chances of becoming partner have quickly gone from bad to worse. At many prominent firms, the number of new partners has significantly dropped: four at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (six in 2008); two at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz (six in 2008); two at Debevoise & Plimpton (six in 2008); and three at Weil, Gotshal & Manges (seven in 2008). Finally, and by far the most dismal of all: Cravath, Swaine & Moore has just announced that it will not be making any new partners this year.

While Cravath has always carried the reputation of being hard to break into partnership, there has yet to be a year where not one associate has made partner. There have been rumors that the firm was hit harder than other firms during the economic crisis, as Cravath did suffer a 24 percent drop in its profits per partner for 2008.

Cravath’s deputy presiding partner, Allen Parker, denies that this decision has been influenced by the economic crisis, but rather attributes it to the fact that no one has met the firm’s standards. There are reports that only a handful of attorneys from the class of 2002 are left with the firm and that the superstars all got out several years ago.

  
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