weighing firms for future partnership potential ?

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weighing firms for future partnership potential ?

Postby kukusayO » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:07 am

What do people mean when they say "there are more opportunities for partnership at firm x." I've heard it thrown around, and don't understand it. Are people looking at the number of partners in the firm? the time it takes to become partner? Where is this information... can someone point me in the right direction and also give me insight as to what I should be looking for? Thanks :)

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Re: weighing firms for future partnership potential ?

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:51 am

Generally they mean "What % of an associate class actually is made partner internally?"

The time to become a partner is less relevant than the odds you will be a victim of attrition before you become a senior associate. It's a little like the "You fly 25 bomber missions over Germany, you go home" where the average survival time was single digit missions. Almost by definition, the big firms with the huge associate classes will have very, very high attrition.

Partnership promotion is also notoriously political and subjective, but if less than 10% of the associate class are actually still at the firm as 6th year associates, you have bigger issues in your calculation than who to play politics with.

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Re: weighing firms for future partnership potential ?

Postby BruceWayne » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:59 am

They're talking about things like leverage. Many of the big "Giant and Giant" style firms are essentially pyramid schemes. If making partner is something that you really want to do in your career, you should:

1. Avoid NYC firms like the plague (excluding a few notable exceptions like Patterson Belknap Wachtell etc.)
2. Focus on litigation boutique style firms ( these firms promote their associates to partner at a MUCH higher rate than the massive traditional biglaw firms)
3. Really push yourself to make great grades in law school; many of the firms that follow this model are especially selective.
4. Seriously consider working for firms in places like Texas and the South (ie "secondary markets") . There are more firms in these locales where an associate to partner promotion is actually likely.

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Re: weighing firms for future partnership potential ?

Postby Cavalier » Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:55 pm

Look at the partner to associate ratio at the firm using the NALP form. You'll have much better odds at making partner at a firm with a 1 to 1 ratio than at a firm with a 1 to 4 ratio.

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