Anonymous User wrote:Client development in a smaller market or at a certain level of business that V10s don't participate in (like construction law or start-ups), it's going to matter how well you get along with businesspeople, golf, schmooze, whatever.
At a V10 working with huge corporations, it's not going to be like that. Clients choose a law firm primarily based on how well that choice is going to cover their ass if it all turns to shit (e.g. "we hired the best!") instead of how likable that lawyer seemed. If you think you have mad client development skills, don't take those skills to an NYC V10.
The question was: "how do you become a V10 partner?" Not: "who do big corps look for when they have big deals?" You become a V10 partner by having your own book of business. You don't get your own clients by serving as a V10 partner's bitch for 10 years. You have to get client contact one way or another.
Partners at CSM, S&C, DPW, STB, etc, don't become partners by building a valuable book of business. The firms just aren't structured that way. They're big institutions that have institutional clients and drum up business through formal channels. Over time partners build up some of their own clients, but even then many don't have a lot of portable business. Their clients are the firm's clients.
Now, client contact is definitely important, but in a different way than you're suggesting. It's more about building excellent relationships with existing clients and having them ask for you to be staffed on your deals. This involves some schmoozing, but also technical skills and interpersonal skills. Spend some time actually talking to V10 partners. Look at the bios of the people recently promoted to partner. The business is much more sophisticated than your TV show/golf outing picture.