Making partner in a law firm is not easy. There are a number of hurdles to jump.
Anyone who wants to become a partner should consider the things needed to reach this exalted position. The benefits of partnership include high salary, prestige and job security.
Here are the things one should definitely do to join the partner ranks at a law firm.
- Switch Firms
Yep, that is right. One of the latest trends among lawyers who want to make it to the top is transferring to another firm. The benefit in doing this is that they can leave behind much of the office politics. Co-workers at the second job will not have enough time to form a dislike of the incoming partner.
Just polish up that resume and apply for openings at the partner level. This lateral-move strategy is popular among tenure-desiring professors. Lawyers seem to be catching on.
- Bring in Clients
A law firm is a business. Many prospective partners forget this fact. No firm can survive without sufficient income. In fact, lawyers cannot afford to do pro bono work for the poor and needy if they have not first brought in the money to pay the bills.
Therefore, in the end, firms have to focus on the accounts receivable. This means that anyone hoping to reach partner, and enjoy a share of the profits, must demonstrate early on an ability to bring in clients. In popular parlance, they refer to this type of lawyer as a "rainmaker." Associate lawyers who cannot help the firm pay the bills will find it nearly impossible win a promotion to partner.
- Become an Expert
One way to bring in business is by specializing. Smart attorneys usually choose one field in which they are the firm expert. It can take a long time to gain respect in a specialty, however. A way to expedite this process is by publishing articles in law journals.
Practicing attorneys whose names appear in prestigious journals along with famous law professors have an advantage over others when clients call. It is even possible to become one of the talking heads on the evening news.
In the end, the firm partners will have a hard time ignoring one with such lofty attainments.
For More Advice on the Partnership Ladder
Making partner is the dream of almost every attorney. The time to start taking the steps towards this career goal is now. Speaking with a senior lawyer at a firm, such as Novey and Tomko Law Firm, is highly advised. These mentors can provide information on how to do all the right things to ensure success at a firm.