Not making Partner

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Sup Kid
Posts: 557
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:49 pm

Re: Not making Partner

Postby Sup Kid » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:39 am

ArthurDigbySellers wrote:
EdmundBurke23 wrote:I'm assuming that a senior associate has at least one or two clients that he can steal from the law firm when leaving with a severence package.


I don't know if it's common practice in BigLaw (like in many other industries) to have non-compete clauses in employee contracts that would put a nail in that sort of thing. But I don't know--if you've been trained in a specific niche, what the fuck else ya gonna do?

Well, I'm not an expert, but according to my professional responsibility and ethics class, those types of agreements are not applicable to the legal profession -- essentially, clients pick their lawyers, and lawyers can't make agreements to limit future representation or employment (see Model Rule 5.6, reproduced below). Because of this we see partners switch firms all the time, and take their clients with them. I see no reason why an associate couldn't do the same (other than most associates don't have enough client interaction to be able to steal them from a partner or the firm, and most clients wouldn't want to go from a top biglaw firm to a new start-up).

Rule 5.6 Restrictions on Right to Practice

A lawyer shall not participate in offering or making:

(a) a partnership, shareholders, operating, employment, or other similar type of agreement that restricts the right of a lawyer to practice after termination of the relationship, except an agreement concerning benefits upon retirement; or

(b) an agreement in which a restriction on the lawyer's right to practice is part of the settlement of a client controversy.

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ArthurDigbySellers
Posts: 398
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:49 pm

Re: Not making Partner

Postby ArthurDigbySellers » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:42 am

Sup Kid wrote:
ArthurDigbySellers wrote:
EdmundBurke23 wrote:I'm assuming that a senior associate has at least one or two clients that he can steal from the law firm when leaving with a severence package.


I don't know if it's common practice in BigLaw (like in many other industries) to have non-compete clauses in employee contracts that would put a nail in that sort of thing. But I don't know--if you've been trained in a specific niche, what the fuck else ya gonna do?

Well, I'm not an expert, but according to my professional responsibility and ethics class, those types of agreements are not applicable to the legal profession -- essentially, clients pick their lawyers, and lawyers can't make agreements to limit future representation or employment (see Model Rule 5.6, reproduced below). Because of this we see partners switch firms all the time, and take their clients with them. I see no reason why an associate couldn't do the same (other than most associates don't have enough client interaction to be able to steal them from a partner or the firm, and most clients wouldn't want to go from a top biglaw firm to a new start-up).

Rule 5.6 Restrictions on Right to Practice

A lawyer shall not participate in offering or making:

(a) a partnership, shareholders, operating, employment, or other similar type of agreement that restricts the right of a lawyer to practice after termination of the relationship, except an agreement concerning benefits upon retirement; or

(b) an agreement in which a restriction on the lawyer's right to practice is part of the settlement of a client controversy.


Very interesting, thanks. No point in speculating about this right now anyway, but that does clear some things up.

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drylo
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:41 am

Re: Not making Partner

Postby drylo » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:28 am

Sup Kid wrote:
ArthurDigbySellers wrote:
EdmundBurke23 wrote:I'm assuming that a senior associate has at least one or two clients that he can steal from the law firm when leaving with a severence package.


I don't know if it's common practice in BigLaw (like in many other industries) to have non-compete clauses in employee contracts that would put a nail in that sort of thing. But I don't know--if you've been trained in a specific niche, what the fuck else ya gonna do?

Well, I'm not an expert, but according to my professional responsibility and ethics class, those types of agreements are not applicable to the legal profession -- essentially, clients pick their lawyers, and lawyers can't make agreements to limit future representation or employment (see Model Rule 5.6, reproduced below). Because of this we see partners switch firms all the time, and take their clients with them. I see no reason why an associate couldn't do the same (other than most associates don't have enough client interaction to be able to steal them from a partner or the firm, and most clients wouldn't want to go from a top biglaw firm to a new start-up).


I would be pretty surprised to learn of an associate at any NLJ 250-size firm who has a significant client that would follow the attorney away from the firm. I'm pretty sure that's when you say, "I'd like to be partner." But seriously, especially at a firm that big, I don't think that is a realistic expectation.




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