Do all partners have their own book of business?

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Do all partners have their own book of business?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:02 pm

Does one have to have a book of business to make partner? Is it possible to make partner just by being a superb lawyer, and being entrusted to take over first or second chair positions in big trials?

Let's say a firm has a few huge institutional clients, and they've always had those clients. Does that mean an associate just has to prove they can be trusted to work well with the client in order to make partner?

Abbie Doobie

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Re: Do all partners have their own book of business?

Postby Abbie Doobie » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:13 pm

no, not all partners have their own book of business. in fact, many of them do not. they are called "service partners" because they service (i.e., manage the day-to-day activities) clients of rainmaker partners.

and it takes a whole lot more than trust to make partner.

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Re: Do all partners have their own book of business?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:18 pm

At both firms I worked at, none of the incoming junior partners had significant business. That being said, all had expectations of bringing in business eventually. Being a non-rainmaking (or even drizzlemaking) partner is a precarious position. If you're in a firm with non-equity partnerships you might get pushed out after a few years; if you're in an all-equity firm you might have your distribution cut or monkeyed around with. And you still have 20+ year service partner veterans to compete with to run cases for the rainmakers.

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Re: Do all partners have their own book of business?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:19 pm

Abbie Doobie wrote:no, not all partners have their own book of business. in fact, many of them do not. they are called "service partners" because they service (i.e., manage the day-to-day activities) clients of rainmaker partners.

and it takes a whole lot more than trust to make partner.


Thanks. I ask this because during my associate lateral search, I've had many people make comments to me about how a partner lateral search would be different. The focus would be on book of business more so than on skills. Is it hard for "service partners" without a book of business to lateral then?

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Re: Do all partners have their own book of business?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Abbie Doobie wrote:no, not all partners have their own book of business. in fact, many of them do not. they are called "service partners" because they service (i.e., manage the day-to-day activities) clients of rainmaker partners.

and it takes a whole lot more than trust to make partner.


Thanks. I ask this because during my associate lateral search, I've had many people make comments to me about how a partner lateral search would be different. The focus would be on book of business more so than on skills. Is it hard for "service partners" without a book of business to lateral then?


Yes. It's for this reason that it isn't too uncommon to see partner laterals disappoint - they overestimate (or oversell) their book of business, get brought in with fanfare, then proceed to have few to none of their clients (or supposed clients) actually switch firms.

gregfootball2001

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Re: Do all partners have their own book of business?

Postby gregfootball2001 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:10 pm

It also depends on the size of the firm. At my mid-size, it's essentially impossible to become even an income partner without some of your own business. At larger firms, pleasing the institutional client can be the priority.

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Re: Do all partners have their own book of business?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:51 pm

Partners have bosses too. Even within big law. The partners with books are the ones calling the shots. If a partner is brilliant, personable and gets cut off when he or she speaks, they probably made partner because they're a good lawyer. If a partner is crude, smells funny, is given respect and looks like he or she just chewed off and ate a baby's head while yelling "mmmmm baby!", they're probably a rainmaker.



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