Should I Consider Being a Law Firm Partner?

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A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

Should I consider being a law firm partner?



Even if you amass a tremendous number of billable hours, you might still not have the essential skills required to be a productive partner. So, yes, work toward partnership, but just don't assume you've got a shot at it unless you can satisfy the following questions: What is your business development potential? Are you comfortable with client contact? And, can you demonstrate some outside interests (writing, lecturing, and participating in business networks)? Associates who can do all that - as well as maintain a supportive, flexible attitude toward juniors and staff, and maintain good humor and esprit de corps (even in tough circumstances), are more likely to get the partnership nod.


Do you like the partners in your firm? These are the people who will be reviewing your candidacy (or at least writing the evaluations that will be received by the partnership committee). If you do not like any of them, it is a fair bet that few of them like you, and your partnership potential will suffer. And if you truly find the partners in your firm off-putting or dull, it may be very difficult to demonstrate the kind of people skills that indicate your potential for client counseling and business development.

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Summary: Should you consider being a law firm partner? Read on to find out.

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