What are some signs that a senior associate is likely to make partner?

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esther0123

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What are some signs that a senior associate is likely to make partner?

Postby esther0123 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:00 am

As the new year is approaching, and the new class of partners are soon to be announced, I was wondering what people's observation has been for those associates who are close to being considered (e.g. senior associates 1-2 years out of consideration) who are going to make it.

toast and bananas

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Re: What are some signs that a senior associate is likely to make partner?

Postby toast and bananas » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:43 pm

The other senior associates are saying so. Here it's typically not a surprise come the time of the formal announcement.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: What are some signs that a senior associate is likely to make partner?

Postby The Lsat Airbender » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:29 pm

toast and bananas wrote:The other senior associates are saying so. Here it's typically not a surprise come the time of the formal announcement.


Yeah, the rumors are the most reliable indicator by far for someone who's already a 6-8th year.

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Elston Gunn

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Re: What are some signs that a senior associate is likely to make partner?

Postby Elston Gunn » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:45 pm

The other thing is that they are treated as de facto partners already. For example:
—they either already have their own smaller client relationships or are go-to people on big client relationships;
—partners defer to them on significant issues with minimal oversight/second-guessing.

2013

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Re: What are some signs that a senior associate is likely to make partner?

Postby 2013 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:54 pm

Usually everyone knows around the associate’s 7th year. The senior I work with is clearly going to make partner. There’s no doubt about it. Partners mention it in passing, associates mention it in passing.

It seems like more of a formality than anything at that level.

esther0123

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Re: What are some signs that a senior associate is likely to make partner?

Postby esther0123 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:36 am

2013 wrote:Usually everyone knows around the associate’s 7th year. The senior I work with is clearly going to make partner. There’s no doubt about it. Partners mention it in passing, associates mention it in passing.

It seems like more of a formality than anything at that level.


Would this be the case if the partnership track is 8 years? Or is this the case even if the partnership track is much longer?

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Re: What are some signs that a senior associate is likely to make partner?

Postby SFSpartan » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:09 am

esther0123 wrote:
2013 wrote:Usually everyone knows around the associate’s 7th year. The senior I work with is clearly going to make partner. There’s no doubt about it. Partners mention it in passing, associates mention it in passing.

It seems like more of a formality than anything at that level.


Would this be the case if the partnership track is 8 years? Or is this the case even if the partnership track is much longer?


Seems to be par for the course for an 8 year income partnership track - at my firm (which promotes folks to income partner in year 8 and equity in years 10-11), people openly talk about senior associates that are going to make (income) partner at the end of the year. Becoming an equity partner seems a lot more competitive, and not subject to the treatment as folks making income partner.

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nealric

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Re: What are some signs that a senior associate is likely to make partner?

Postby nealric » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:14 pm

toast and bananas wrote:The other senior associates are saying so. Here it's typically not a surprise come the time of the formal announcement.


Yes, although there can be a surprise to the negative. I've seen people who seemed a shoe-in for partnership get passed over due to politics, economics in the year they are up, or some other inscrutable reason.

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Re: What are some signs that a senior associate is likely to make partner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:32 pm

On a somewhat related topic, does anyone know what K&E does for laterals that come in at the mid to senior level as far as partnership goes (other than taking a step back by class year)?

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Re: What are some signs that a senior associate is likely to make partner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:29 pm

Really helpful post- starting out and this is a good reference!

esther0123

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Re: What are some signs that a senior associate is likely to make partner?

Postby esther0123 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:34 am

On a related topic, what are some signs that mid levels (3-5th years) should watch for? Or is it usually too early at that point?

esther0123

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Re: What are some signs that a senior associate is likely to make partner?

Postby esther0123 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:On a somewhat related topic, does anyone know what K&E does for laterals that come in at the mid to senior level as far as partnership goes (other than taking a step back by class year)?


In my limited experience, one senior has lateraled as non-equity partner while being able to become an equity partner after 1-2 years. I'm not sure if this is the norm or if this is par for the course.

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Re: What are some signs that a senior associate is likely to make partner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:41 am

At my firm, associates were told a year in advance at their year end reviews that they would make partner if they stayed the course (i.e., made good hours and didn’t make ruinous mistakes). How they got to that point was a combination of bringing in clients/$ (most important by far), going far above the hours requirements, and generally doing good work. As others said, it was generally pretty obvious who was going to make partner. Everyone who made partner satisfied these three requirements in varying degrees, and those 10+ year associates who never made it always failed to bring in business or hit their hours.



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