Career associates

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Career associates

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:05 pm

Does anyone have career associates at their firm? I’m a little concerned since my firm has a good number of associates who have been associates for like 15 plus years. It doesn’t seem like there is a good opportunity to ever become partner here. Do some people not mind being an associate forever?



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Re: Career associates

Post by JHP » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:28 pm

I'm not a career associate nor does my firm have career associates (at least, not openly marketed). That being said, I had spoken to a former career associate and associates at Ropes in the investment management group (Ropes always have an IM career associate position job posting up) and I got the sense that, yes, there are some people who stay on the career associate track for various reasons--it was the first position they got and hadn't bothered or weren't able to transition out of it, some people just like being in that position and not taking on too much more responsibility, etc. However, at least in Ropes' IM group, it did seem like being a career associate was a viable way to get your foot in the door and after year or two, the firm will consider moving you onto the "regular" associate track thus potentially leading to partner track.


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Re: Career associates

Post by minnbills » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:19 pm

This is actually a pretty common thing, particularly in NYC. People take themselves off the partnership track for a variety of reasons.


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Re: Career associates

Post by 1styearlateral » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:26 pm

We have a couple at my firm (not biglaw). How do raises work with positions like these where there's lockstep? Are you stuck at $300k forever (or until there's a market bump)? I realize that most "nontraditional" positions are paid less than partner-track ones, but there must be a ceiling on compensation.

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Re: Career associates

Post by AntipodeanPhil » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:43 pm

Seems like we're confusing two different things here already. Some firms have separate-track career associate positions. You're hired with a lower salary, more narrow or limited responsibilities and an understanding that there is no upwards potential. A friend of mine was hired by a biglaw firm in one of those positions a few years back - basically glorified doc review in her case. Other firms just don't force associates out or automatically promote them at any point. My biglaw firm does the latter - we have a ton of 10+ year associates. There's no cut off for promotion, so in theory they could still move up to counsel or partner - one of them actually did in my group a couple of years ago. I think most people find themselves in that position out of indecision or inaction. At any point in time, they're happy doing what they're doing and don't feel any impetus to move.

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Re: Career associates

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:16 pm

Are there any firms that are known for hiring those "stuff associates" ? How does one come about finding positions like that?

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