rpupkin wrote:nickelanddime wrote:And to slightly clarify: it's not just that I was bothered by the hours and personalities. I just didn't see any payoff to working long hours for unpleasant people in terms of partnership chances or exit options (in other words - my firm was no better than biglaw in those respects).
I understand that your firm's partnership promotion model changed and that it is now more difficult to make partner than it once was, but is it really the case that the partnership prospects are "no better than biglaw"? Based on my own experience in a big law environment, and based on what I know from friends at other big law firms, partnership prospects are abysmal. In an entering class of, say, 30 associates, perhaps one or two will make partner. It seems like more and more big law firms are adding partners through lateral hires; internal promotion is becoming increasingly rare.
Based on what I've heard about the practices of most "elite litigation boutiques," you're certainly not guaranteed to become a partner if you stick around for six or seven years, and most hired associates are not going to become a partner for one reason or another. But unless your boutique did something really extreme (like stop all internal partnership promotion), I find it hard to believe that partnership prospects are no better than big law. With a 1:1 associate-to-partnership ratio, it seems like one's odds have to be at least somewhat better.
I can only share experience with my firm, as I don't have that much knowledge of other similar firms' business models. It may be the case that partnership odds at Susman (to pick one other similar firm) are better than biglaw, but at my firm, the partners were pretty clear that associates should not consider partnership a realistic option anymore. I don't think they stopped all internal promotion, but I think something like 5 people have made partner since 2008. The firm has become a stable set of partners with a rotating set of associates, most of whom stay 5 years or less.
I think the partnership odds were much better in the early- mid aughts, when the firm was still expanding. It has been in a holding pattern for the past decade or so in terms of size, and partnership chances have accordingly shrunk.