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what happens if you don't make partner?

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:49 pm
by dimreturns
So my understanding is at the prestigious firms (let's say v20) odds of making partner are usually exceedingly slim and most firms employ an up-or-out policy after year 8. So what do those biglaw associates who don't make the partnership cut do? Part of the biglaw draw are exit options, how exactly do these manifest for these folks? Lateral to a partnership position at a less prestigious firm? Something else? Assume the associate in question is motivated primarily by $$

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:52 pm
by stintez
If you don't make partner you generally are let go. Most try and apply to other firms and laterally move.

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:53 pm
by dimreturns
stintez wrote:If you don't make partner you generally are let go. Most try and apply to other firms and laterally move.


right, my question is where/how do people generally land?

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:54 pm
by T14_Scholly
dimreturns wrote: Assume the associate in question is motivated primarily by $$


lol

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:54 pm
by mallard
You're fucked.

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:55 pm
by Bosque
You lateral to another firm, go in house at a company (usually one you have worked with at the firm), go hang up your shingle and start your own practice, go try and use that friend you had in law school who is now in congress to get a government job... those are just a few examples. You go do whatever makes the most sense at the time.

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:57 pm
by romothesavior
You sell your Lambo, put your kids (if you have any) up for adoption, and burn your house down in an attempt to get some insurance money.

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:59 pm
by Anonymous User
romothesavior wrote:You sell your Lambo, put your kids (if you have any) up for adoption, and burn your house down in an attempt to get some insurance money.


+1

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:05 pm
by dukelawguy144
you kill yourself.

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:05 pm
by Mirrored
My opinion is, if you make it rain it doesn't matter.

You need to build up a book of business. If you succeed in doing that you will make partner.

If you are making it rain and have a large book of business, which is possible to do in eight years of practice, you are in the position of power.

You can bring that book of business over to other firms in return for partnership. You can open your own firm and bring some associates with you or recruit some new students and get them going at a modest rate that sure as hell beats contract work.

Basically, I would say that your exit options depend on your book of business. If you have a big one, I can't see things going wrong.

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:08 pm
by lsat_fear
Image

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:08 pm
by stintez
Mirrored wrote:My opinion is, if you make it rain it doesn't matter.

You need to build up a book of business. If you succeed in doing that you will make partner.

If you are making it rain and have a large book of business, which is possible to do in eight years of practice, you are in the position of power.

You can bring that book of business over to other firms in return for partnership. You can open your own firm and bring some associates with you or recruit some new students and get them going at a modest rate that sure as hell beats contract work.

Basically, I would say that your exit options depend on your book of business. If you have a big one, I can't see things going wrong.



+1

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:11 pm
by romothesavior
Mirrored wrote:My opinion is, if you make it rain it doesn't matter.

You need to build up a book of business. If you succeed in doing that you will make partner.

If you are making it rain and have a large book of business, which is possible to do in eight years of practice, you are in the position of power.

You can bring that book of business over to other firms in return for partnership. You can open your own firm and bring some associates with you or recruit some new students and get them going at a modest rate that sure as hell beats contract work.

Basically, I would say that your exit options depend on your book of business. If you have a big one, I can't see things going wrong.


Definitely depends on the firm and many different variables, but it is not nearly as easy as you make it sound.

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:17 pm
by Mirrored
romothesavior wrote:
Definitely depends on the firm and many different variables, but it is not nearly as easy as you make it sound.


I never said it was easy. Making it rain is hard. It's a sales job.

However, if you can make it rain as an associate (difficult) I can say that I work in house, and when an attorney we use, even non partner, has sent us a letter saying "I am now at X firm" we generally just update our contact info and keep working with them.

I know a lot of other in-house shops work the same way. I don't care about firm names, I care about the people who have been billing me $550 an hour for legal work because it's good legal work-- and I care more if they are able to lower that billing rate as a part of this move.

So yeah, it's a hassle, you have to let all of your clients know and you have to accept that some of them are going to have firm ties, some of them just aren't going to get your letters or care enough to do anything, but if you sell sell sell it can be done.

And this is much easier if you have a strong home office and make plans for D-day.

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:18 pm
by ggocat
dimreturns wrote:So what do those biglaw associates who don't make the partnership cut do?

Stay on as associate.
Stay on as "of counsel" or staff attorney or other non-associate title.
Stay on as a lower-tier level partner (firms have gotten creative to allow profit sharing while not making someone a full partner).
Lateral hire as an associate or of counsel.
Lateral hire as a partner (not as common as you may think).
Lateral hire into government (lose half or more of your salary).
Start your own firm, either as a solo or as a small partnership (small partnerships from groups of ex-biglaws seems to happen more than I thought it would happen).
Lateral hire as an in-house lawyer for a business; assistant, associate, or general counsel (although you'll probably be taking a pay cut).
/self.

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:45 pm
by T14_Scholly
ITT: a 0L wonders whether his dream of going to law school to get rich is viable.

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:06 pm
by nealric
They take you out back and shoot you.

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:16 pm
by solotee
nealric wrote:They take you out back and shoot you.


:lol:

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:18 pm
by paratactical
.

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:26 pm
by Grizz
Mirrored said "make it rain" so much that by the time I got to para, the term had lost all meaning.

And Romo's response is credited.

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:29 pm
by hiromoto45
dimreturns wrote:So what do those biglaw associates who don't make the partnership cut do?


Robots from the Sunset Squad take them away, never to be seen again.
Image

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:34 pm
by Posner
...

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:37 pm
by Kohinoor
weaboo.

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:49 pm
by stratocophic
Kohinoor wrote:weaboo.
Now see, this is why I like this guy.

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

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:15 pm
by XxSpyKEx
Mirrored wrote:My opinion is, if you make it rain it doesn't matter.

You need to build up a book of business. If you succeed in doing that you will make partner.

If you are making it rain and have a large book of business, which is possible to do in eight years of practice, you are in the position of power.

You can bring that book of business over to other firms in return for partnership. You can open your own firm and bring some associates with you or recruit some new students and get them going at a modest rate that sure as hell beats contract work.

Basically, I would say that your exit options depend on your book of business. If you have a big one, I can't see things going wrong.


if you have a big book of business then you aren't getting canned in the first place...