lying about partnership prospects

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

lying about partnership prospects

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:54 am

This scenario:
As a rising second, third, fourth, fifth-year associate, you are progressively told you're one of the top associates, everything's fantastic, and are even told you're on partner-track as a 3/4/5th year.
Then, as a sixth, seventh, and eighth year, you are given several reassurances by high-ranking partners that things are gravy and your partnership prospects are golden. No complaints whatsoever.
As a ninth year, you're STILL told you're good to go, good stuff, wink wink.
Then, year 10, they dump you at the altar and you are left a decade older with whatever savings you could make as an associate. Too late to make partner elsewhere. Too early to have a substantial book.

How common is it, based on your second-hand knowledge? I'm assuming users of this website are either law students or at most, first or second year associates, given how long this site has been around - so I'm going to assume nobody has first-hand knowledge. Maybe something off the rumor mill?

I get how they're in their right to deny anybody partnership. It's their property. But it seems a lot iffier for partners at a firm to proactively and artificially inflate expectations to induce sticking around at a firm.

Is the takeaway this: Build own book. Build own book. Build own book. Ignore positive feedback, use negative feedback to get better.

MrAnon
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Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: lying about partnership prospects

Postby MrAnon » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:01 am

It wouldn't work like this. First of all partners are not shy to tell people where they stand. Some will be told they have a good shot, some will be told no shot and get out, and others will be told its okay to stay but thats all

Plus most people who make partner have some kind of political connection that will help them out on that front. Once they have the assurance from their partner friends, that assurance is golden.

You do see more and more 6th, 7th, 8th, even 10th years hanging around firms these days. Have they been told they will be partners? No. Have they been told there are any problems with work product? No. Have they brought any clients in? Nope. They don't really have a future with the firm, but they can't find anything else, and their work doesn't suck, so they survive another six months.

Anonymous User
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Re: lying about partnership prospects

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:09 am

MrAnon wrote:It wouldn't work like this. First of all partners are not shy to tell people where they stand. Some will be told they have a good shot, some will be told no shot and get out, and others will be told its okay to stay but thats all

Plus most people who make partner have some kind of political connection that will help them out on that front. Once they have the assurance from their partner friends, that assurance is golden.

You do see more and more 6th, 7th, 8th, even 10th years hanging around firms these days. Have they been told they will be partners? No. Have they been told there are any problems with work product? No. Have they brought any clients in? Nope. They don't really have a future with the firm, but they can't find anything else, and their work doesn't suck, so they survive another six months.


You're describing the norm. Everyone knows that people get told "no partnership prospects for you" and they still stick around like deadwood because they have nowhere else to go. My ask was about the exception. Does the scenario I described happen occasionally? Have you heard of it?

Anonymous User
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Re: lying about partnership prospects

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:11 am

MrAnon wrote:Plus most people who make partner have some kind of political connection that will help them out on that front. Once they have the assurance from their partner friends, that assurance is golden.


Bend over. Nothing is golden.

Hell, even makign PARTNER ain't golden. My adjunt prof was a partner at a firm and got his equity taken from him because he didnt sustain his book. This happened LAST year. Thankfully for him, his alma mater (my law school) took him in as an adjunct.

So he's gone from equity partner to now an adjunct. And a shitty one at that. He's of course not only an adjunct. He's now "of counsel" at a shit v250 or something. And from the sounds of it, he ain't about to make partner there for what he calls "morale" related strategic concerns at the new shit-firm. I'm guessing he WILL eventually return to the partnership ranks in midlaw. But that's my best bet.

http://abovethelaw.com/tag/de-equitized-partners/

LawIdiot86
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Re: lying about partnership prospects

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:
MrAnon wrote:Plus most people who make partner have some kind of political connection that will help them out on that front. Once they have the assurance from their partner friends, that assurance is golden.


Bend over. Nothing is golden.

Hell, even makign PARTNER ain't golden. My adjunt prof was a partner at a firm and got his equity taken from him because he didnt sustain his book. This happened LAST year. Thankfully for him, his alma mater (my law school) took him in as an adjunct.

So he's gone from equity partner to now an adjunct. And a shitty one at that. He's of course not only an adjunct. He's now "of counsel" at a shit v250 or something. And from the sounds of it, he ain't about to make partner there for what he calls "morale" related strategic concerns at the new shit-firm. I'm guessing he WILL eventually return to the partnership ranks in midlaw. But that's my best bet.

http://abovethelaw.com/tag/de-equitized-partners/


I know at least two other lawyers in very similar situations (partners at V50s who were de-equitized and landed in career "counsel" jobs at shit NLJ250 firms). If you've got the credentials to have options come OCI, spend part of your 1L summer meeting with lawyers at your target firms' competitors. Ask them hard questions about who they consider peers in their industry, what do they think of X firm in the market, who is growing/shrinking, etc. Even if you can ask those questions post-CB, you won't get as honest an answer as you will from a competitor you aren't interviewing at, who therefore has no reason to lie to you.

Anonymous User
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Re: lying about partnership prospects

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:39 am

Exhibit A: Mayer Brown fired or demoted 45 partners (about 10% of the equity partnership) earlier this year to “drive our ‘stock price’ up,” in the words of its chairman. Exhibits B and C: Jenner & Block and Powell Goldstein also recently demoted or fired partners. Here’s the whole story, but here are four money quotes:

The expectation had always been that if associates worked like pack mules for seven or eight years, the stars among them would have a shot at being anointed an “equity partner,” who derives his or her income largely from the firm’s profits. Now, that climb has not only gotten longer — often nine years or more — but the ladder, once climbed, can be yanked away.

“Partnership is no longer a tenured position,” says Michael Boone, a member of the board of Haynes and Boone in Dallas, which has at times demoted partners or has asked them to leave. “You have to get up every Monday morning and prove yourself all over again.”

David Richards, a New York real-estate lawyer (and renowned Kipling collector), was at Sidley Austin for 17 years when he was demoted in 1999. “It was surprising and hurtful,” he says. “I thought I had been a good soldier.” He was allowed to remain at the firm until the end of 2000 in a reduced capacity. He is now a partner at McCarter & English, where he says there is less pressure to bill at high rates. “McCarter is more sympathetic to middle-market practices and rates than a large firm trying to keep up its ‘stock price,’ ” he says. “Formerly, firms tolerated [lulls]. Now they don’t.”

“Mayer sent a message to all lawyers, including associates, that partnership is not a pinnacle,” says Jonathan Asperger, the firm’s former marketing director. “Partners are expected to continue to climb by either bringing in new business or developing skills for which there is a strong market demand.”

MrAnon
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Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: lying about partnership prospects

Postby MrAnon » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:
MrAnon wrote:Plus most people who make partner have some kind of political connection that will help them out on that front. Once they have the assurance from their partner friends, that assurance is golden.


Bend over. Nothing is golden.

Hell, even makign PARTNER ain't golden. My adjunt prof was a partner at a firm and got his equity taken from him because he didnt sustain his book. This happened LAST year. Thankfully for him, his alma mater (my law school) took him in as an adjunct.

So he's gone from equity partner to now an adjunct. And a shitty one at that. He's of course not only an adjunct. He's now "of counsel" at a shit v250 or something. And from the sounds of it, he ain't about to make partner there for what he calls "morale" related strategic concerns at the new shit-firm. I'm guessing he WILL eventually return to the partnership ranks in midlaw. But that's my best bet.

http://abovethelaw.com/tag/de-equitized-partners/


I don't know what shit firm your professor was at, but in any event I was speaking about associates being told something like "next month at the partnership meeting, you will be made partner." Speaking of very short term promises only, made by someone like the managing partner of the office to an associate.

rad lulz
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: lying about partnership prospects

Postby rad lulz » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:28 am

.




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