What Is Expected Of You If You Want To Make Partner
[00:00:00] Does your advice apply equally to someone who has stuck it out in BigLaw for 10 years but doesn't expect to make partner? Should that person try to stay in BigLaw in a counsel position or go to a MidLaw firm where partnership prospects may be better?
Okay. Partnership is easy, this is a good question by the way. Thank you. There are different ways to think about partnership.
If you've been at a firm for 10 years, you'd probably understand and are at a very high competence level. So you're very good at what you do. And you have a lot of skills. The only thing that you need to change is your ability to generate business and clients.
And I say this to people every week that I remember when I was young there was a partner in my firm Bill Urquhart at Quinn Emanuel. And he always used to say that, he was doing some presentation about how to get business and he said that the biggest nerd in LA, we also had the most business.
There's no certain type of person that gets business. You don't have to have any certain type of personality characteristics, or it's not like someone that's out there like shaking hands and[00:01:00] there are all sorts of different types of people that can bring in business.
But, depending on the firm you're with if you could always get a counsel position in a major law firm being counsel in certain law firms is just as prestigious as being a partner in another law firm. So especially if you're in a major law firm, I don't think that the partnership title comes with anything other than probably an expectation that you will be able to generate business.
And if you don't feel comfortable generating business, there are different types of people in the world too, by the way, there's nothing wrong with being the type of person you want. There are people that are promoters that get out there and promote, some people are workers, there are people that are connectors, everyone has different types of personalities.
You don't have to be the type of personality that brings some business. You can do whatever you want. But my advice especially for younger attorneys is really to stick with law firms as long as you can. And if you want to be in a counsel position, that's good too.
I believe that those people are much happier and better off than they would have been had they gone in-house or gone to the government stuff. I think that they get good [00:02:00] work, they know what they're doing. They're respected. They get to use their mind. They're working on big clients. They're able to train people that, there are all sorts of good things about that. So I do recommend if you can stick with a law firm, even as a counsel, that would be my advice.
And, probably staying with a law firm you're at, or moving to another law firm. What happens is, there are a lot of big law firms out there where people all the time don't make partners. And if they don't make partners there, give them that option of making counsel or going to a smaller firm.
You may be better off if you go to a MidLaw firm and may refer business to you. There's a lot of attorneys that get referred all sorts of business from their firms that they've worked out in the past, or they're able to go to a firm and build something up, just remember that if you do move by, you're going to have a different set of responsibilities and you may be required to bring business or they may just give you a partner title and not expect you to bring in a lot of stuff.