Lettow wrote:OP's larger small law firm of 25~ attorneys isn't going to be axing associates left and right. How many associates do people think actually get fired at places like this?
The majority of associates at small firms don't make partner for various reasons, most of which don't involve being "fired" in the normal sense of that term. You seen naive. A 25% chance of making partner is very high.
It's become clear we're discussing two different things; I'm not including voluntary attrition, while you're including it. I'm not including voluntary attrition because I took OP's question to contain an implicit presumption that he would actually work there for 6-7 years without up and quitting on his own.
jchiles wrote:Also why shouldn't we factor in voluntary attrition? It's definitely possible better career opportunities could come up for an attorney at a firm like this (both in and outside law) before the firm is willing to make them a partner.
Because voluntary attrition means the associate has personal reasons for leaving. Many of those personal reasons are, of course, personal and likely would not apply to OP's situation. Other personal reasons, such as burning out after three years, might apply to OP, but if we're going to take things like that into consideration then that risks opening a floodgate. OP could literally die before he makes partnership, but no one in this thread is checking death rate statistics to see if that "25%" should be lowered by the appropriate amount to include OP's chance of death.
rpupkin wrote:We're talking about the outlook for someone starting as a first-year associate. Sure, if you assume that a bunch of key variables will break the associate's way over the years, then partnership chances might look quite high. It's like some of you are saying this: "If the associate works hard, likes the work, is better than his peers, and stays for 7 years, then I think his chances might be better than 25%." Do you not understand why that's kind of silly?
You're misstating things. It's more like this: "If the associate/OP works at the firm, what are the chances of the law firm making him partner?" You don't need to include "works hard," "likes the work," "is better than his peers," because those are all things we know nothing about. OP question is essentially requiring us to assume that he will stay at the law firm during partner track and won't leave. That's why it's inappropriate to include voluntary attrition rate in this discussion, and it's especially
inappropriate to include voluntary attrition in a random percentage number you came up with without even telling anyone you're including it!