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24 Pages

Memorandum of Grant Stowe Concerning the Partnership of Felix Leitner, Prepared in 1959 in Connection with His History of Dinwiddie, Stowe & Whelan

ByLouis Auchincloss

The big downtown law firms of Manhattan have reached a size that most of them have senior partners, or committees of senior partners, who devote as much of their time to office administration as to the practice of law. They have learned that if overhead is not constantly watched, it will eat up the very fattest profits, and that if they fail to keep abreast of the latest business machines, they will soon find their competitive position impaired. And what they all now recognize must receive their first attention is the esprit de corps of the associate lawyers. If these are not made to feel that they have a future in the firm, if they come to see themselves as mere hacks to be driven as hard as possible and rewarded only when they have jacked themselves into a position to run off with an important client, then the firm will become a joyless whose vital will soon out.