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Several years ago I was working with an extremely talented attorney in Silicon Valley who was up for partner in a major law firm. She had an extremely distinguished record and a phenomenal history of achievement. She had graduated at the top of her class from a very good college and excelled during law school at Berkeley. Her parents had immigrated to the United States and opened a restaurant to survive. My candidate spent her childhood working for her parents at the restaurant and her entire legal career working for the same law firm. She was “tough” and had an exterior and personality that came from a life of working hard, overcoming odds and sticking up for herself. Her confidence was such that I remember thinking to myself that she was among the tougher attorneys I had spoken with in a long time—men or women.
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

She received stellar reviews throughout her time at the law firm and in her most recent review, a year prior, she was told that her chances of making partner “looked good” and that she should continue doing what she had been doing. What she had been doing was billing 2,500 to 3,000 hours a year, having very little personal life and basically giving everything she had to the firm for her entire career.

“I need you to get me an offer, with a comparable firm as a partner, within the next two months before they let me know what they are going to do,” she told me. “I’ve seen them screw over people before and I need to be prepared in case they try to screw me over too.”