big firms that are NOT up or out

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big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:28 pm

Honestly, the idea of being a career senior associate, of counsel, or non-equity partner is not at all unappealing to me. Anyone know any firms at which this is actually possible?

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:42 pm

Complete and total list
Munger

clone22
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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby clone22 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:07 pm

Willkie Farr and Debevoise both pride themselves on not having an up-or-out mentality. People who bill 1900 make partner, people who bill 2400 make partner. Obviously relatively few people per class make it all the way up the chain, but the attrition at least at these two seems to be more organic and less forced.

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BruceWayne
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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby BruceWayne » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:11 pm

Williams and Connolly.

goodolgil
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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby goodolgil » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:33 pm

Quinn Emanuel, some people say at least.

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby AP-375 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:37 pm

clone22 wrote:Willkie Farr and Debevoise both pride themselves on not having an up-or-out mentality. People who bill 1900 make partner, people who bill 2400 make partner. Obviously relatively few people per class make it all the way up the chain, but the attrition at least at these two seems to be more organic and less forced.

Any evidence to back this up at Debevoise? (Genuinely curious, thanks.)

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby anon168 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Complete and total list
Munger


Not correct.

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:08 pm

Irell
KVN
WLRK

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby anon168 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:09 pm

goodolgil wrote:Quinn Emanuel, some people say at least.


Which people? The people that were told, "You can absolutely stay here forever, but only if you agree to take a pay cut each year you are here from this point on out?

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby anon168 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:09 pm

BruceWayne wrote:Williams and Connolly.


Um ... no.

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:35 pm

Vinson & Elkins. One DC associate has been there like 13 years but doesn't want to go up for partner.

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby anon168 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Vinson & Elkins. One DC associate has been there like 13 years but doesn't want to go up for partner.


Hey, I saw one African-American person eat watermelon. Ergo, all African-Americans must like watermelon! :roll:

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BarbellDreams
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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby BarbellDreams » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:52 pm

Orrick has a whole program for career associates.

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:34 am

BarbellDreams wrote:Orrick has a whole program for career associates.


Second this. I had a screener with the Orrick partner in charge of career advancement and she was proud of Orrick's non-traditional associate/partner track. You can read more about it here (LinkRemoved), but one takeaway is that there are very viable non-partnership tracks that doesn't exist solely for the purpose of accommodating women who go on maternity leave.

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:41 am

AP-375 wrote:
clone22 wrote:Willkie Farr and Debevoise both pride themselves on not having an up-or-out mentality. People who bill 1900 make partner, people who bill 2400 make partner. Obviously relatively few people per class make it all the way up the chain, but the attrition at least at these two seems to be more organic and less forced.

Any evidence to back this up at Debevoise? (Genuinely curious, thanks.)


There are 10+ year associates at Debevoise, so there doesn't seem to be a "force out" culture. I've never heard any such idea that people who bill 1900 will make partner on the other hand.

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby rayiner » Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:57 am

It depends on how you define "big". There are lots of regional big law-ish firms (50-150 attorneys) that don't kick you out if you don't make partner.

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby RVP11 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:00 am

Virtually every firm that has a lot of non-equity partners is going to be less "up or out" than a firm with only equity partners.

For example, your typical big NYC firm might have like 100 partners (all equity) and 400 associates.

Your typical smaller market firm might have more like 70 equity partners, 140 non-equity partners, and 140 associates. This firm is just as leveraged, and it could be just as hard to get equity, but you're able to stay way longer.

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby thelaststraw05 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:49 am

Is associate to partner ratio a decent measure of this? Like if there are 2 partners per associate is it a fair assumption that it is easier to stay?

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:55 am

RVP11 wrote:Virtually every firm that has a lot of non-equity partners is going to be less "up or out" than a firm with only equity partners.

For example, your typical big NYC firm might have like 100 partners (all equity) and 400 associates.

Your typical smaller market firm might have more like 70 equity partners, 140 non-equity partners, and 140 associates. This firm is just as leveraged, and it could be just as hard to get equity, but you're able to stay way longer.


Notable exception: Kirkland (though your "virtually" carve out covers this, just want to make it explicit).

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:55 am

.
Last edited by Old Gregg on Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:
AP-375 wrote:
clone22 wrote:Willkie Farr and Debevoise both pride themselves on not having an up-or-out mentality. People who bill 1900 make partner, people who bill 2400 make partner. Obviously relatively few people per class make it all the way up the chain, but the attrition at least at these two seems to be more organic and less forced.

Any evidence to back this up at Debevoise? (Genuinely curious, thanks.)


There are 10+ year associates at Debevoise, so there doesn't seem to be a "force out" culture. I've never heard any such idea that people who bill 1900 will make partner on the other hand.


Any idea what it takes to become that? Really good at your job and no book of business?

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby dingbat » Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
AP-375 wrote:
clone22 wrote:Willkie Farr and Debevoise both pride themselves on not having an up-or-out mentality. People who bill 1900 make partner, people who bill 2400 make partner. Obviously relatively few people per class make it all the way up the chain, but the attrition at least at these two seems to be more organic and less forced.

Any evidence to back this up at Debevoise? (Genuinely curious, thanks.)


There are 10+ year associates at Debevoise, so there doesn't seem to be a "force out" culture. I've never heard any such idea that people who bill 1900 will make partner on the other hand.


Any idea what it takes to become that? Really good at your job and no book of business?

I think it generally involves being capable of becoming partner, but not willing to put in the time

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
AP-375 wrote:
clone22 wrote:Willkie Farr and Debevoise both pride themselves on not having an up-or-out mentality. People who bill 1900 make partner, people who bill 2400 make partner. Obviously relatively few people per class make it all the way up the chain, but the attrition at least at these two seems to be more organic and less forced.

Any evidence to back this up at Debevoise? (Genuinely curious, thanks.)


There are 10+ year associates at Debevoise, so there doesn't seem to be a "force out" culture. I've never heard any such idea that people who bill 1900 will make partner on the other hand.


Any idea what it takes to become that? Really good at your job and no book of business?


FYI - senior associates at V10's generally do not have books of business. Yes, clients might ask for the senior associate to be staffed on matters, but it's not like the senior associate leaving SullCrom is going to take a bulge bracket client with them.

If you want to make partner (or counsel) at a top firm, generally the keys are:

(1) do excellent work, every single time

(2) Meet and do projects for as many partners as possible, and make sure that you do excellent work, every single time

(3) Develop expertise - you want to be the guy (or gal) that the partners go to every time that, say, a CFIUS issue comes up in a merger (ok, if a CFIUS issue came up, you would probably bring in outside counsel who specializes in CFIUS, but the point remains the same). And, you want to be the guy (or gal) that partners tell clients about when making pitches - "oh yeah, we have this associate who is an expert in CFIUS, therefore we can certainly handle any issues that come up."

(4) Be lucky - when your up for partner, you have to hope that your firm has needs in your practice group/area of expertise. You can't predict this - when you're a second year associate who starts becoming an expert in FCPA matters, you can't really predict whether there will still be a need, in your firm, for another partner in that area.

Finally, people should be aware that, at least at the top firms, becoming a junior partner is just another step in training. It's not like SullCrom suddenly cuts the junior partner loose to go shmooze with GS. Rather, the more senior partners will continue working with the junior partner to develop them.

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby anon168 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
AP-375 wrote:
clone22 wrote:Willkie Farr and Debevoise both pride themselves on not having an up-or-out mentality. People who bill 1900 make partner, people who bill 2400 make partner. Obviously relatively few people per class make it all the way up the chain, but the attrition at least at these two seems to be more organic and less forced.

Any evidence to back this up at Debevoise? (Genuinely curious, thanks.)


There are 10+ year associates at Debevoise, so there doesn't seem to be a "force out" culture. I've never heard any such idea that people who bill 1900 will make partner on the other hand.


Any idea what it takes to become that? Really good at your job and no book of business?


Whenever that happens, it's a temporary reprieve, not a long-term commitment to the person.

Your typical situation is where the person has an area of expertise, or is serving a long-term client on a major project (think environmental compliance or real estate financing), and it is more cost-effective (and client-friendly) to keep that person on for X years beyond the firm's normal partnership track without forcing him/her out. They become "Of Counsel" or "Sr. Counsel" or some other nebulous title, and then when they have served their purpose for the firm and/or client, then it's all of sudden, "Uh, Mr. Senior Associate, you're a very talented lawyer, but perhaps your talents are best utilized elsewhere."

(Don't believe me? Peruse the V50 websites and see how many 15+ year associates/of counsel/sr. counsel are around that have started with the firm from day one. Laterals don't count in this equation.)

This happens alot, but it does not mean that the firms have a program where you can work there indefinitely, be off partnership track, and never worry about bringing in business. Heck, even non-equity (or income) partners have limited lifespans.

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Re: big firms that are NOT up or out

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:34 pm

I mean, biggest worry is that I stick it out at my big firm, get shot down and try to move when it's too late. Ideal time to lateral out if I'm reasonably sure I'm not making equity partner?

Is making non equity detrimental to ones career if one is almost positive equity isn't in the cards?




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