A question that seems a bit lost in the discussion is just how do big-firm lawyers become grinders or drones? With the tremendous number of billable hours big firms require, might the firms be responsible for their own plight — by turning otherwise social, interesting young lawyers into grinders and drones to get those billable hours in? I do know this, big firms aren’t complaining when a second year associate ignores his/her family, forgoes a social life, and loses touch with former classmates while clocking 2,417 billables.
If the firms spent more time nurturing the skills that help young lawyers become rainmakers, instead of letting those skills atrophy, perhaps there would be a bunch more rainmaking partners.
UPDATE: Check out the Greatest American Lawyer’s Post on the same topic. As usual, he says it better than I did.