What to Know When Making Partner as a Lawyer

A regular partnership can be up to seven to ten years on average. The partner starts with the summer associate title. A few lawyers make it through about 121,500 to be approximate. About half of associates get hired by small firms on their way to becoming partners. If you want to continue along the path of partnership, then you’ll want to present value and a positive attitude at all times. You’ll want to put in no less than 2,000 hours each year, generate well-written and on target researched work, and improve your instincts in your particular area of expertise. Also, one should be sharp politically with the ability to be amiable with everyone.

Business development is the number one priority. An associate shouldn’t just want to be the typical attorney who simply puts in time, but they should also aim to be set apart by holding heir own taking and taking on harder tasks, keeping existing clients, and finding new ones. When the third year comes around, you will likely know whether or not you’re the one for the job. Watch for warning signs. For example, if you hear that your work production has been poor or the hours you billed did not meet expectations.

Next, an associate will want to network when their own marketability is as high as it can be. Make relationships with good recruiters so that when the right opportunity comes along, any of said recruiters will choose the associate who had the best relationship with him or her. If a partnership is made, know what the offers are. A new partner will want to be in the loop about how the cake is being sliced, so to speak, on profits and payday. Most firms pay partners a draw and then give out distributions quarterly or once a year. The better half of most of firms offer either equity or non-equity. With an equity partnership, they would buy in. The non-equity side for a partner is more like profit sharing, titles, and prestige, not owning the firm as a shareholder.

A new partner will have to work very hard the first year as it may take a while to see a return in revenue. Once an associate becomes a partner, they are no longer an employee. The first year’s pay may be lower than that of a senior associate. The reward is greater, but the work required from partners is greater as well.

Originally published at https://chartwestcott.org.

Chart Westcott is Co-Founder and COO at Ikarian Capital, LLC a long/short equity biotech focused investment adviser. Read more at http://chartwestcott.net.