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When two or more lawyers have an ownership interest in a law firm, they must consider the appropriate business form. The most common of these forms is the partnership, although lawyers are increasingly choosing other models as well.

A law partnership is not very different from other types of business partnerships except that a law partnership engages in the practice of the law.

There are many reasons for lawyers to form partnerships. Partnerships provide a framework while allowing for flexibility. How detailed the partnership agreement will depend on how well you know your partner or how long you have worked with your partner.

There is no set way to organize a law partnership. Some questions to consider include the general philosophy of the organization, what services you want to provide, and  your vision for the firm (i.e. will it grow to be a large firm or stay a small firm, etc.).

Although a law partnership is a business enterprise, it is also like a family. A partnership is a family with a pre-nuptial agreement. While the business of law practice is important, the personal side of the organization is equally important and cannot be neglected. Many of the disputes that arise among partners are rooted in miscommunication, ego, and money.

Prospective partners should address the above issues in a partnership agreement.

Inside Partnerships