How to make partner?

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chenghsiang
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How to make partner?

Postby chenghsiang » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:15 pm

If you work really really hard, will you make it? Or is it more like a connection-based thing? How do some associates successfully make partner?

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Cavalier
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby Cavalier » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:24 pm

Rain-making and ass-kissing are both important.

A&O
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby A&O » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:13 pm

If you're a genuine superstar at what you do, it is possible to make partner without having the big book you otherwise would need, and this was more possible back in the day than it is now.

The best path to partnership is some combination of hard work, luck, personality, rainmaking ability, and raw talent.

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Veyron
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby Veyron » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:13 pm

Gun for midlaw. Bring in clients. Be personable.

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ResolutePear
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby ResolutePear » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:15 pm

Veyron wrote:Gun for midlaw.

So.. Big law hours and small law pay?

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Veyron
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby Veyron » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:19 pm

ResolutePear wrote:
Veyron wrote:Gun for midlaw.

So.. Big law hours and small law pay?


Don't know about other markets but around here a fair number of midlaw firms pay is 80-115 + small bonus for slightly fewer hours than biglaw. Doesn't seem like a bad deal to me.

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ResolutePear
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby ResolutePear » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:21 pm

Veyron wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
Veyron wrote:Gun for midlaw.

So.. Big law hours and small law pay?


Don't know about other markets but around here a fair number of midlaw firms pay is 80-115 + small bonus for slightly fewer hours than biglaw. Doesn't seem like a bad deal to me.


I was trying to take a stab. Thanks for ruining it.

Frathard
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby Frathard » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:23 pm

A&O wrote:If you're a genuine superstar at what you do, it is possible to make partner without having the big book you otherwise would need, and this was more possible back in the day than it is now.

The best path to partnership is some combination of hard work, luck, personality, rainmaking ability, and raw talent.


big book?


rainmaking ability?

Renzo
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby Renzo » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you work really really hard, will you make it? Or is it more like a connection-based thing? How do some associates successfully make partner?

The same way you build any successful business. Provide better quality service than your competitors, build a reputation, and bring in clients.

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Veyron
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby Veyron » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:30 pm

A&O wrote:If you're a genuine superstar at what you do, it is possible to make partner without having the big book you otherwise would need, and this was more possible back in the day than it is now.

The best path to partnership is some combination of hard work, luck, personality, rainmaking ability, and raw talent.


I don't understand why you would get a bump to partner for being a good lawyer unless superstar means like one of the very best in that practice group in the entire country. This seems akin to a car dealership promoting a salesman who knows everything about cars, fufills all of his responsibilities exceptionally, works his ass off, but can't fucking move product.

It seems as if this dynamic would be even more prevelent in law since there is a glut of awsome lawyers out there but a shortage of attorneys who can actually bring in buisness.

HITeacher2
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby HITeacher2 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:35 pm

If you can get into Wachtell, their associate/partner ratio is really equitable and they seem to try to move everybody to partner.

A&O
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby A&O » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:38 pm

I don't understand why you would get a bump to partner for being a good lawyer unless superstar means like one of the very best in that practice group in the entire country.


They typically keep other partners' clients around. For litigation, a stellar trial lawyer might not have a big book of business, but his talent keeps other partners' clients using the firm not only for the initial stages of litigation, but also for later stages.

And sometimes, you just need service partners around. One partner might bring in the clients, but you might need multiple partners to handle the entire work.

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Re: How to make partner?

Postby Renzo » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:39 pm

HITeacher2 wrote:If you can get into Wachtell, their associate/partner ratio is really equitable and they seem to try to move everybody to partner.

cute.

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Veyron
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby Veyron » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:39 pm

A&O wrote:
I don't understand why you would get a bump to partner for being a good lawyer unless superstar means like one of the very best in that practice group in the entire country.


They typically keep other partners' clients around. For litigation, a stellar trial lawyer might not have a big book of business, but his talent keeps other partners' clients using the firm not only for the initial stages of litigation, but also for later stages.


Trial specialists in biglaw are so rare though that the few excelent ones that exist were usualy hired in from elsewhere precisely because they are the best in the country.

A&O
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby A&O » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:40 pm

HITeacher2 wrote:If you can get into Wachtell, their associate/partner ratio is really equitable and they seem to try to move everybody to partner.


...except for the fact that they made no partners this year.

Minor detail, of course.

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Veyron
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby Veyron » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:40 pm

A&O wrote:
HITeacher2 wrote:If you can get into Wachtell, their associate/partner ratio is really equitable and they seem to try to move everybody to partner.


...except for the fact that they made no partners this year.

Minor detail, of course.


Didn't they make like 3 last year tho?

A&O
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby A&O » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:40 pm

Trial specialists in biglaw are so rare though that the few excelent ones that exist were usualy hired in from elsewhere precisely because they are the best in the country.


That was just one example. As I said in my edited post above, some firms just need grinders to handle all the work a single rainmaker will bring in. You can't just hand all that stuff to associates.

A&O
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby A&O » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:42 pm

Veyron wrote:
A&O wrote:
HITeacher2 wrote:If you can get into Wachtell, their associate/partner ratio is really equitable and they seem to try to move everybody to partner.


...except for the fact that they made no partners this year.

Minor detail, of course.


Didn't they make like 3 last year tho?


Of course, firms with better leverage, on average, present better partnership prospects. This is because your departure from the firm is not as anticipated/relied upon at low leverage firms as it is at high leverage firms.

But, on the other hand, choosing a specific leverage model for a firm is making a conscious decision about the kind of work you'd want the firm to handle.

A&O
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby A&O » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:46 pm

Keep in mind that whole practice groups, and thus partners in them, in a firm are often not rainmaking groups in themselves. They sometimes exist solely to service the work of another group that generates the work (usually tax practices in big M&A firms are like this). For associates in groups like those, partnership promotion depends less on rainmaking ability. The corollary disadvantage, however, is that usually that associate will be made partner only to fill in space left by a partner who's no longer there (e.g., because he left, retired, passed away, etc.).

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Veyron
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby Veyron » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:17 pm

A&O wrote:
Trial specialists in biglaw are so rare though that the few excelent ones that exist were usualy hired in from elsewhere precisely because they are the best in the country.


That was just one example. As I said in my edited post above, some firms just need grinders to handle all the work a single rainmaker will bring in. You can't just hand all that stuff to associates.


Why not make them of council then?

A&O
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby A&O » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:34 pm

Why not make them of council then?


...because you want to keep them around? Partner compensation is greater than "of counsel" compensation. To keep talented people around, you usually have to make it make economic sense for them to stay. If Ted Wells made an "of counsel" salary at Paul Weiss, I'm pretty sure you'd see Wells LLP a few weeks later.

And not every firm uses the "of counsel" in the same way.

But for most of the old line NYC firms, "of counsel" is pretty insulting. It's usually a career dead-end, has very negative connotations, doesn't command the same degree of respect as partners in the traditional firm hierarchy, and pisses off the person who has to take the position. Again, this is assuming "of counsel" functions the way it does at a place like Skadden.

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thrillhouse
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby thrillhouse » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:44 pm

How does "of counsel" function at Skadden? I'm pretty clueless as to how "of counsel" functions at all, really. I've heard so many different version that I'm not sure what to believe. Anybody feel like they have a strong sense of what "of counsel" entails generally?

Tsispilos
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby Tsispilos » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:48 pm

thrillhouse wrote:How does "of counsel" function at Skadden? I'm pretty clueless as to how "of counsel" functions at all, really. I've heard so many different version that I'm not sure what to believe. Anybody feel like they have a strong sense of what "of counsel" entails generally?


Think of it as being an old associate. Permanently.

A&O
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby A&O » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:53 pm

thrillhouse wrote:How does "of counsel" function at Skadden? I'm pretty clueless as to how "of counsel" functions at all, really. I've heard so many different version that I'm not sure what to believe. Anybody feel like they have a strong sense of what "of counsel" entails generally?


Again, it varies significantly from firm to firm. At some firms, it functions like an "emeritus" title does for a professor at a university, or is sometimes conferred to partners who have significant responsibilities outside the firm.

Regarding Skadden:

The special counsel position was reportedly offered to lawyers who were as capable as partners and, in view of their legal achievements, proved the worth of the new title. But most special counsels were viewed by associates as figures marked by an asterisk–different, if not second-class, and kept primarily because the firm needed an experience lawyer to fill a technical role that no partner did. Matt Rosen (a partner): "A client called up and asked whether he could take a security interest in somebody's tax-refund claim. I made some phone calls and found there was a woman here"–a special counsel–"who knows everything there is to know about this."


Would post more, but don't want to get in trouble. This was taken from, "Power, Money, and the Rise of a Legal Empire: Skadden."

Edit: Turns out you can read the relevant passage by searching for the page on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Skadden-Power-Mon ... 425&sr=8-1

Just search for "special counsel" and read the pages.

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thrillhouse
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Re: How to make partner?

Postby thrillhouse » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:02 pm

Thanks for the link. Thinking of "of counsel" like and permanent old associate, does that mean one is paid like a first year associate, mid-level, or 8th year just-before-partner associate?




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