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Partners are evaluated pursuant to only four criteria:
  • Superior professional accomplishment 
  • Manifest commitment to the Firm 
  • Leadership 
  • Respect for the Firm, its culture, its people, its ways

Superior professional accomplishment is self-explanatory. Our clients demand and expect that a Jones Day partner will be a talented lawyer who not only understands the relevant legal principles but is also able to translate those into practical results. In many instances, these characteristics will also produce recognition by others in the profession of that ability. It also is a requirement for anyone who serves in a leadership position in Jones Day that they be a successful practicing lawyer; superior lawyers will only accept leadership from someone who has demonstrated that same capacity.

Manifest commitment to the Firm is perhaps not quite as obvious, but it is essential. Being a productive partner at Jones Day is hard work. It can require personal or even family sacrifices on occasion to meet client needs. In addition, it is critical that every partner support the Firm’s decisions once made, whether those involve how to approach a client, staff a matter, resolve a conflict, or organize a practice. We encourage open discussion and debate while decisions are being formulated, but once it is determined what is in the best interest of the Firm, the role of a Jones Day lawyer is to carry out those decisions without reservation.

Leadership is always in short supply; an institution like Jones Day cannot have too many leaders. Leaders come in many forms. They may develop new and innovative ways to meet client needs; they may show the way for the profession on an important subject of public interest; they may motivate and encourage extraordinary performance by a practice or office of the Firm; they may attract other fine lawyers to the Firm; or they may advance the reputation of the Firm by their recognition as a leader in some professional discipline.

Finally, it is a fundamental characteristic of the Firm that all our lawyers and professional staff respect the Firm, its culture, its people, its ways. Ours is a challenging profession, and it is undergoing significant change. Globalization has created new professional opportunities and challenges. No individual can deal with all these forces alone; to effectively respond to the client and other problems that lawyers must deal with today requires a committed group effort. We believe that we can continue to be successful only if our partners are committed to each other and to the long-term interests of the Firm. That requires that each partner accept and support his or her colleagues and their collective efforts as a Firm to both meet client needs and expectations and to successfully grow in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

You will note that these criteria do not include business generation, which appears to be a common compensation criterion at many other firms. We obviously know which of our partners are relatively more successful at creating, maintaining or enhancing our client relationships, and we encourage all our partners to do so. But there are many reasons that underlie the confidence of a particular client in entrusting its important legal work to Jones Day; we do not believe that applying formulas or metrics to these complicated relationships is productive. We know from simple observation of other firms that doing so can produce internal tensions and get in the way of good client service. What individual partners have done in building and preserving good client relationships are certainly part of a consideration of all of the criteria we do consider in making income allocation decisions, and are taken into account in ways that recognize the complexity and context of these accomplishments by all involved.