A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

Suppose you spend 7 years at a law firm and don't make partner.  I know that not making partner does not always mean that you did crappy work, especially if they kept you there for 7 years.  What can you do in your career at that point?  Do you leave?  Are your chances of making partner anywhere greatly diminished?

It is hard to tell based on your question whether you are anticipating the possibility of not making partner someday, or have actually been ignored for partnership at your current firm.  Either way, you should remember that the partnership track is different from firm to firm.  You might have spent 7 years with a firm.  Some firms do make decisions about partnership after 7 years, however, many firms have partnership tracks based on 8, 9, 10 or 11 years.  At a firm with a track of 10 years, it would not be at all unusual to be a 7th year associate who was not yet up for partner.  In that situation, the fact that you aren't a partner would not be any indication that there is something wrong with your legal presentation skills or your professional development.