Advice to law firm management: Require more partners to develop books of business. You need more institutional clients who regularly provide work, rather than hoping folks walk in the door for one-off litigation.
Pros: The people are nice and skilled at what they do. The firm has a desire to expand and be one of the "big dogs."
Cons: The firm made way too many partners into service partners with zero books of business. For decades, the firm relied on contingency fee work in patent litigation. When the contingency fee work was no longer profitable, the firm switched to focus on its insurance practice and shed a lot of associates, of counsel, and partners in their patent litigation practice.
Partners to Avoid and Why: None to avoid. But find out which are the service partners and which are the few that bring in business.
Favorite Things About this Firm: The work was great while it lasted. The firm will let you get substantively involved in discovery and early case issues, though it is much harder to get actual in-court experience.
Advice to law firm management: Work-life balance in a firm might sound like a ridiculous thing, but there are only so many hours in a day a person can work. There has to be some greater empathy for the lawyers.
Pros: This firm is really going places, it has grown tremendously fast over the past few years and working there I really get a sense of optimism and the potential for the future. The legal talent working there is often brilliant, and being part of that team fills me with confidence as well as always being helped by very smart colleagues when I come across problems.
Cons: It's stressful to work in a place with so many smart, talented people because I don't know when, if ever, I'll be able to move up the ladder. The competition is intense and I know that there are many there who simply are better lawyers than me.