10th Year Associate

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Anonymous User
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10th Year Associate

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:37 pm

Met a guy recently who is an attorney at a NY Big Law firm. Told me he has been with the firm for 10 years. I just assumed he was a partner. Looked at his profile on the firms website and he is listed as an associate. I know people that stay longer than 8-years and don't make partner are promoted to Of Counsel or Counsel but I didn't know you could just continue at the associate level for that long. is this common? Kinda goes against the up & out reputation of Big Law.

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blank403
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby blank403 » Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:14 pm

Edited: Okay, maybe my original post was overly harsh.

Law firms are run by real people who make real life decisions, and things are not as black and white as you are assuming. There are a ton of different possible explanations for this, and none of them are inconsistent with up or out.

E.g., firms don't all have the same titles for their employees, some employees might have uncommon background circumstances which make associate a more appropriate title, not every single employee is made partner/of counsel or fired at year 8, etc.
Last edited by blank403 on Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kwais
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby kwais » Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:20 pm

Poster above is mad.

I knew a guy like that at the firm I summered at. I had the same curiosity. I got the impression that he really lacked the sort of business development skills you need for partner but was good at a specific skill and was therefore valuable to the firm. Maybe the reason not to make them Of Counsel is to avoid the conversation that basically says, we've decided you won't make partner. It could be that neither the firm nor the associate wants to rock the boat because everyone is happy with the status quo.

09042014
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby 09042014 » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:05 pm

Not all firms have an 8 year partnership track.

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thesealocust
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby thesealocust » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:29 pm

After about 6-7 years at a firm, your future with the firm will be a question that gets discussed at least annually. Many firms are willing to keep people around even if they have no hope of partner, be it by promoting them to counsel or leaving them as associate. Also, not everybody starts at a firm then spends all of there time there - people leave to clerk, for other jobs, for kids, etc. and that can make things look different than they actually are.

truevines
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby truevines » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Met a guy recently who is an attorney at a NY Big Law firm. Told me he has been with the firm for 10 years. I just assumed he was a partner. Looked at his profile on the firms website and he is listed as an associate. I know people that stay longer than 8-years and don't make partner are promoted to Of Counsel or Counsel but I didn't know you could just continue at the associate level for that long. is this common? Kinda goes against the up & out reputation of Big Law.


Not all firms have an up-or-out structure. Many firms use a flexible structure, which allows you to stay at a certain level as long as you like. Compensation is determined based on the level, rather than seniority.

I see no harm to be a senior associate forever - getting paid 300k/year and no pressure for business development.

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minnbills
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby minnbills » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:39 pm

I know a guy who has been an associate for thirty years, just never made partner. Hey, it happens.

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IAFG
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby IAFG » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:44 pm

Some firms even have an official or unofficial 10 yr partnership track. At any rate, I know 13th yrs.

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kalvano
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby kalvano » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:49 pm

About half the time, I think being a partner is overrated anyway.

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Wholigan
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby Wholigan » Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:40 pm

Different firms have different rules for how their partnership track works, even the up-and-out firms. Some firms allow associates to be considered for partner multiple times. I know of a couple of associates who have been 9th/10th year associates, even though the firm formally has an 8-year track. I believe in both cases they were 2-year clerks, so maybe that had something to do with it since their first year at the firm would have been as a third-year.

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Old Gregg
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:17 pm

I see no harm to be a senior associate forever - getting paid 300k/year and no pressure for business development.


Except that when the shit hits the fan, you will be among the first people let go and no one will want to hire a 10th year associate.

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minnbills
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby minnbills » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:51 am

zweitbester wrote:
I see no harm to be a senior associate forever - getting paid 300k/year and no pressure for business development.


Except that when the shit hits the fan, you will be among the first people let go and no one will want to hire a 10th year associate.


This, except you are not getting 300k a year, in all likelihood.

911 crisis actor
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby 911 crisis actor » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:52 am

Be careful, OP. The taint of his crippling failure may have rubbed off on you

jarofsoup
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby jarofsoup » Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:02 am

Desert Fox wrote:Not all firms have an 8 year partnership track.


This.

Anonymous User
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:57 am

911 crisis actor wrote:Be careful, OP. The taint of his crippling failure may have rubbed off on you


I definitely wasn't trying to imply he was a failure. He's actually done pretty well for himself. At first, I thought he was being modest and didn't want to mention that he was a partner at the firm. I have a friend who's a surgeon and when people ask him what he does for a living he tells them he "works at a hospital." Thought he might be one of those types. My reaction to him still being an associate after 10 years at the same big law firm had more to do with my ignorance of how big law works I suppose and less to do with him being a "failure."

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OutCold
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby OutCold » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:41 pm

Jones Day has a 10-year partner track, among a few others.

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Devlin
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby Devlin » Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:20 pm

truevines wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Met a guy recently who is an attorney at a NY Big Law firm. Told me he has been with the firm for 10 years. I just assumed he was a partner. Looked at his profile on the firms website and he is listed as an associate. I know people that stay longer than 8-years and don't make partner are promoted to Of Counsel or Counsel but I didn't know you could just continue at the associate level for that long. is this common? Kinda goes against the up & out reputation of Big Law.


Not all firms have an up-or-out structure. Many firms use a flexible structure, which allows you to stay at a certain level as long as you like. Compensation is determined based on the level, rather than seniority.

I see no harm to be a senior associate forever - getting paid 300k/year and no pressure for business development.

I would take that over the stress of being a partner.

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5ky
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby 5ky » Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:46 pm

Devlin wrote:
truevines wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Met a guy recently who is an attorney at a NY Big Law firm. Told me he has been with the firm for 10 years. I just assumed he was a partner. Looked at his profile on the firms website and he is listed as an associate. I know people that stay longer than 8-years and don't make partner are promoted to Of Counsel or Counsel but I didn't know you could just continue at the associate level for that long. is this common? Kinda goes against the up & out reputation of Big Law.


Not all firms have an up-or-out structure. Many firms use a flexible structure, which allows you to stay at a certain level as long as you like. Compensation is determined based on the level, rather than seniority.

I see no harm to be a senior associate forever - getting paid 300k/year and no pressure for business development.

I would take that over the stress of being a partner.


No, you wouldn't

deebanger
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby deebanger » Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:28 pm

kalvano wrote:About half the time, I think being a partner is overrated anyway.


besides the salary, do you see any other benefits?

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Old Gregg
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:07 pm

deebanger wrote:
kalvano wrote:About half the time, I think being a partner is overrated anyway.


besides the salary, do you see any other benefits?


Significantly better job security.

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IAFG
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Re: 10th Year Associate

Postby IAFG » Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:23 pm

5ky wrote:
Devlin wrote:
truevines wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Met a guy recently who is an attorney at a NY Big Law firm. Told me he has been with the firm for 10 years. I just assumed he was a partner. Looked at his profile on the firms website and he is listed as an associate. I know people that stay longer than 8-years and don't make partner are promoted to Of Counsel or Counsel but I didn't know you could just continue at the associate level for that long. is this common? Kinda goes against the up & out reputation of Big Law.


Not all firms have an up-or-out structure. Many firms use a flexible structure, which allows you to stay at a certain level as long as you like. Compensation is determined based on the level, rather than seniority.

I see no harm to be a senior associate forever - getting paid 300k/year and no pressure for business development.

I would take that over the stress of being a partner.


No, you wouldn't

Well that's just dumb. These days, being a partner is basically running a business. If you don't want to run a small business, but do want to be a lawyer, being a career associate would be great.




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