Interviews: Shareholders vs. Partners vs. Associates

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dougroberts
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Interviews: Shareholders vs. Partners vs. Associates

Postby dougroberts » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:20 pm

Generally, what are the types of messages an interviewee should convey to shareholders, partners, and associates? What are these three types of people looking for in general?

For example, perhaps shareholders may want to see that you are committed long-term to the firm, whereas associates put more emphasis on your personality and interests than a partner or shareholder.

Anonymous User
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Re: Interviews: Shareholders vs. Partners vs. Associates

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:53 pm

dougroberts wrote:Generally, what are the types of messages an interviewee should convey to shareholders, partners, and associates? What are these three types of people looking for in general?

For example, perhaps shareholders may want to see that you are committed long-term to the firm, whereas associates put more emphasis on your personality and interests than a partner or shareholder.



WTH? Shareholder? What law firms have shareholders (I've seriously never heard of law firms having stocks)?

270910
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Re: Interviews: Shareholders vs. Partners vs. Associates

Postby 270910 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dougroberts wrote:Generally, what are the types of messages an interviewee should convey to shareholders, partners, and associates? What are these three types of people looking for in general?

For example, perhaps shareholders may want to see that you are committed long-term to the firm, whereas associates put more emphasis on your personality and interests than a partner or shareholder.



WTH? Shareholder? What law firms have shareholders (I've seriously never heard of law firms having stocks)?


PLCs, or LLCs, or whatever that weird structure is if I had to guess. Alternatively it might be a name some firms use for partner as a title thing only.

dougroberts
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Re: Interviews: Shareholders vs. Partners vs. Associates

Postby dougroberts » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:WTH? Shareholder? What law firms have shareholders (I've seriously never heard of law firms having stocks)?



Yea, the firm uses shareholders instead of partners. And law firms can have shareholders, like any privately-held company (shares need not be publicly-traded).

NYAssociate
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Re: Interviews: Shareholders vs. Partners vs. Associates

Postby NYAssociate » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:10 pm

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Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bwv812
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Re: Interviews: Shareholders vs. Partners vs. Associates

Postby bwv812 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:14 pm

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Last edited by bwv812 on Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NYAssociate
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Re: Interviews: Shareholders vs. Partners vs. Associates

Postby NYAssociate » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:17 pm

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Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Interviews: Shareholders vs. Partners vs. Associates

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:31 pm

NYAssociate wrote:
The only type of firm that would differentiate between shareholders and partners is one where "partners" have no equity, and equity partners are called shareholders.


Yup.


Kirkland more or less does this, where "partner" = senior associate.

Anyway, back to the question, I asked partners questions that were more about the firm as a whole, and made sure to get out categories of questions like "strategy for the future" type stuff, anything related to staffing / training / way in which associates are brought onto teams, and then filled time with questions designed to elicit war stories. Senior associates got "why did you choose to stay at the firm," comparing their experience there to other firms, questions about associate development, client contact, etc. Juniors got more questions about day-to-day, etc. There was some overlap of course, and it gets a lot easier with practice.

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Re: Interviews: Shareholders vs. Partners vs. Associates

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:40 pm

Did any of you take business organizations.

A law firm cvan operate as a partnership- in which case the owners are "partners", whose share of income and losses is a function of how the partnership allocates them. You also usually have to make "caoital contributions" when you neter partnership- which reduces your take home in ealry years of "partnership". Your share will vary according tohowever the partners decide to divvy things up. Bring in houtrs and business and your share goes up.

The whole game of "non equity" partners and "equity partners" is just that- a game. if it is a partnership- you're a "partner"- you just have no capital account and get what the "equity partners" want to give you. LLCs and LLPs act the same way- you just have "limited liability" but get taxed as a partner in a partnership- single taxation.

Now if the firm operates as a "professional corporation"- you are a shareholder, just like any corporation. And the shareholders get to decide your "salary" as an "employee" of the PC. You pay tax on your salary. You then get a "dividend" based on the number of "shares" in the PC that you own. A new "shareholder" has very few shares, so gets a smaller dividend. As long as the PC dividends out most of its income, there wil only be single taxation, but if it retains earnings, there is actually double taxation on the arnings in the PC and then again on the distributed dividend. Oh yeah, and you can be required to "purchase" your shares- a form of "capital contribution" that reduces early "shareholder" earnings, although the firm will usually float a loan to allow you to purchase over time.

In short, call it what you want, the results to a new "shareholder" or "Partner" are pretty much the same- although the tax consequences can vary wildly. Watch out for those capital contributions too. They can be a very unhappy surprise when you finally get the brass ring.




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