One of the most pronounced trends among the nation's top law firms in the past 10 years is that most firms — the overwhelming majority of firms — are two-tiered partnerships. A decade ago, 80 percent of the 100 largest law firms in the United States were single tier equity partnerships. Now 80 percent are two-tiered partnerships (see, e.g., '''De-equity' Stirring Big-Firm Partner Ranks'' by Dick Dahl for Lawyers USA, August 27, 2007). Although the importance of retaining a single-tiered partnership may seem diminished given the groundswell in favor of promoting non-equity partners, there are still important considerations in choosing between a one- or two-tiered partnership.
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