Long term goals: making partner vs. alternative

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Bobray20032003

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Long term goals: making partner vs. alternative

Post by Bobray20032003 » Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:01 am

Background: 3rd year IP litigation associate at V20 in major market. Electrical engineering background. My work has been focused on high tech litigation in D.Ct., PTAB, and ITC.

I've been working at my current firm since I graduated law school and have had a good experience. I've been decently busy-- as typical in litigation, my work flow has gone from 80 hours to 300 hour months. I've surpassed minimum/bonus hours each year. I do enjoy the work and think it's exciting and cool. The stress gets crazy sometimes, but I've coped with it well so far and it's nothing that I wasn't expecting coming in.

The past three years have just come and gone and I've mostly just done what I've been told (as junior associates do). But I feel like I'm slowly reaching the point in my career that I have to take my career in my own hands and think long-term, or at least start thinking about and becoming more cognizant of how my career could potentially evolve in the future.

I really haven't come to any conclusions about exactly what I want to do (i.e., try to make partner, jump in-house, try to start my own firm, etc.). But I'm curious about what people think some realistic options are. And what I need to do, or at least start thinking about, in order to be successful. For example, if I want to try to make partner, what are the things I need to do.

AaronCarter

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Re: Long term goals: making partner vs. alternative

Post by AaronCarter » Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:44 pm

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Sackboy

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Re: Long term goals: making partner vs. alternative

Post by Sackboy » Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:51 pm

As far as I see it, your options are partner, in-house, or government.

I think these are most of the relevant considerations for deciding which one is best for you is: (1) what kind of work-life balance do you want, (2) what sort of compensation are you comfortable with long-term, and (3) do you like being in the weeds of your practice area or would you like to manage several of the projects you work on?

Once you figure those questions out and figure out which lane you want to be in, I think it's appropriate to start thinking about what you need to do next to position yourself best.

Bobray20032003

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Re: Long term goals: making partner vs. alternative

Post by Bobray20032003 » Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:17 pm

Sackboy wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:51 pm
As far as I see it, your options are partner, in-house, or government.

I think these are most of the relevant considerations for deciding which one is best for you is: (1) what kind of work-life balance do you want, (2) what sort of compensation are you comfortable with long-term, and (3) do you like being in the weeds of your practice area or would you like to manage several of the projects you work on?

Once you figure those questions out and figure out which lane you want to be in, I think it's appropriate to start thinking about what you need to do next to position yourself best.
Thanks.

So what are the things you think I need to be doing if I want to make partner?

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Re: Long term goals: making partner vs. alternative

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:53 am

Sackboy wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:51 pm
As far as I see it, your options are partner, in-house, or government.

I think these are most of the relevant considerations for deciding which one is best for you is: (1) what kind of work-life balance do you want, (2) what sort of compensation are you comfortable with long-term, and (3) do you like being in the weeds of your practice area or would you like to manage several of the projects you work on?

Once you figure those questions out and figure out which lane you want to be in, I think it's appropriate to start thinking about what you need to do next to position yourself best.
why not long term associate or long term part-time associate

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nixy

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Re: Long term goals: making partner vs. alternative

Post by nixy » Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:59 am

Long term associate seems like the worst of both worlds (also do all firms allow people just to continue indefinitely as an associate?).

Long term part time associate seems equally frustrating and unlikely to find.

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Re: Long term goals: making partner vs. alternative

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:12 pm

nixy wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:59 am
Long term associate seems like the worst of both worlds (also do all firms allow people just to continue indefinitely as an associate?).

Long term part time associate seems equally frustrating and unlikely to find.
Some firms will create counsel positions for associates that aren't interested in partnership (or don't have the business skills to make partner) but have made themselves indispensible to the firm somehow. These positions are few and far between, but the people in these positions (at least at my firm) seem pretty happy because they have a little more flexibility and autonomy than they did as an associate since they aren't supervised by partners in the same way.

nixy

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Re: Long term goals: making partner vs. alternative

Post by nixy » Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:35 pm

Sure. I just presumed that “long-term associate” actually meant associate. I agree that counsel positions can be great for people not interested in developing business, if such a position is an option (it seems like different firms can handle counsel/of counsel/non-equity partners very differently).

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