what happens if you don't make partner?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
eandy
Posts: 2725
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:07 pm

Re: what happens if you don't make partner?

Postby eandy » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:39 pm

Where do you go after 8 years?
--ImageRemoved--


Maybe I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that most people don't last 8 years. 4 years is pretty good. So, chances are, you won't have to worry about it. By time you do have to worry about it, you'll have the answer.

Kochel
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:36 pm

Re: what happens if you don't make partner?

Postby Kochel » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:57 pm

Time was, if you made it 8 years it was generally because you had been given to understand that you'd make partner when the time came. Surprises were rare--they happened, but those who weren't going to make it would have been gently nudged out the door ahead of time. These days, firms are less genteel and it's more possible that you get strung along by the firm (in order to continue billing at maximum levels) and ultimately get denied. ITE has given firms another excuse.

But even today firms are reluctant to burn their bridges with senior associates (junior associates are another story), as senior associates who aren't good enough to make partner are still usually good enough to go in-house at a client or prospective client. They're also often good enough to serve as "of counsel," and firms' use of that purgatorial position has increased over time.

User avatar
TheTopBloke
Posts: 486
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:29 pm

Re: what happens if you don't make partner?

Postby TheTopBloke » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:59 pm

You shrivel up and die.

User avatar
RVP11
Posts: 2774
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:32 pm

Re: what happens if you don't make partner?

Postby RVP11 » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:01 pm

I don't get the "exit options tied to book of business" argument. If you're at a major-market big firm, you're probably not developing any significant portable book of business as an associate.

User avatar
Kohinoor
Posts: 2756
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:51 pm

Re: what happens if you don't make partner?

Postby Kohinoor » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:34 pm

RVP11 wrote:I don't get the "exit options tied to book of business" argument. If you're at a major-market big firm, you're probably not developing any significant portable book of business as an associate.

EXPLAIN where new business comes from.

AJRESQ
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: what happens if you don't make partner?

Postby AJRESQ » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:52 am

Depends on your practice areas and your book.

If you are taking good clients with you, it's easy to lateral.

If you practice in an area that is in demand, but you can do in a small firm, it's easy to partner up somewhere or start your own firm if you have cash reserves. A book also helps.

If you have no clients, and your practice area isn't in demand, or your practice area can't be served by anything but a BIGLAW firm, you take any job that will hire you doing the same thing.

NYAssociate
Posts: 713
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:15 pm

Re: what happens if you don't make partner?

Postby NYAssociate » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:06 am

.
Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NYAssociate
Posts: 713
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:15 pm

Re: what happens if you don't make partner?

Postby NYAssociate » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:07 am

.
Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

NYAssociate
Posts: 713
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:15 pm

Re: what happens if you don't make partner?

Postby NYAssociate » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:10 am

.
Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NYAssociate
Posts: 713
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:15 pm

Re: what happens if you don't make partner?

Postby NYAssociate » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:12 am

.
Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NYAssociate
Posts: 713
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:15 pm

Re: what happens if you don't make partner?

Postby NYAssociate » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:14 am

.
Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kochel
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:36 pm

Re: what happens if you don't make partner?

Postby Kochel » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:45 am

NYAssociate wrote:
Time was, if you made it 8 years it was generally because you had been given to understand that you'd make partner when the time came. Surprises were rare--they happened, but those who weren't going to make it would have been gently nudged out the door ahead of time. These days, firms are less genteel and it's more possible that you get strung along by the firm (in order to continue billing at maximum levels) and ultimately get denied. ITE has given firms another excuse.


Very nice. I agree with this.

Just want to add that there's a lot of self-selection involved too. Ask any 2nd year, 3rd year, 4th year, etc. how many associates from their class are left, and the numbers will shock you. And it's not even that they were necessarily nudged out. Most associates who enter biglaw don't have the partnership in their crosshairs. I know it might seem shocking for some, but biglaw just isn't right for a lot of people, and people who are wise enough to admit that generally make the best of what they can at a big firm and leverage that to get a job they really want. Outside of the partnership track, a big firm name in a major market on your resume is a huge asset.


As a Biglaw exile myself, I endorse the above. I left after 4 years, having concluded it wasn't the career I wanted (even if I might have made partner eventually). Out of a starting class of app. 65, only 6 or so made partner after 9 years, and a few more are still hanging on as of counsel. Of the rest of us, most, like me, bailed for in-house life. A few were let go involuntarily. But those who stuck around were ones the firm wanted to stick around.

Tsispilos
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:37 pm

Re: what happens if you don't make partner?

Postby Tsispilos » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:29 am

your wife leaves you for your best friend who DID make partner; your house gets foreclosed on; even your dog loses respect for you; depression sends you into a downward spiral of alcohol and drug abuse; this habit forces you into bankruptcy; you begin living in a Buick from the 70s whose title is held by a pawnbroker; eventually you die of hunger.

User avatar
Matthies
Posts: 1253
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:18 pm

Re: what happens if you don't make partner?

Postby Matthies » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:44 am

Kohinoor wrote:
RVP11 wrote:I don't get the "exit options tied to book of business" argument. If you're at a major-market big firm, you're probably not developing any significant portable book of business as an associate.

EXPLAIN where new business comes from.


The Biglaw fairy comes and puts a book of biz under your desk while your passed out after slaving for 16 hours writing pointless memos
--ImageRemoved--

And Neclric response is credited




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.