X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Career Decisions Credit: MJgraphics/Shutterstock

The litigation associate track at Big Law firms is badly structured to the detriment of associates. The structural problems this article focuses on are not by design and are difficult to see until you are looking backward. My hope, therefore, is to give younger Big Law litigation associates that retrospective view before they reach the key decision points. If you have a better understanding of your future opportunities, you will be better positioned to plan for and take advantage of them.

The key structural problem is the combination of two facts: (1) You will find out if you are going to make partner somewhere in your seventh to 10th year out of law school; and (2) you are at your most marketable somewhere around your fourth or fifth year out of law school. The problems those two facts create should leap off the page, but here are two big ones. First, you need to make the decision about whether you want to try to make partner before you have a good sense of what that even means or how likely you are to get it. Second, every year beyond the fourth or fifth that you are committing to try to make partner at your firm is a year you are decreasing the ease with which you can transition to another job if you do not make partner. Put differently, as your job security decreases because you get closer to an up-or-out decision, your flexibility in replacing that job also decreases.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

You Can't Manage It If You Don't Measure It

How are you illustrating differentiation to clients and potential lateral targets? How are you measuring performance against peers? Use Legal Compass to benchmark a firm against its competitors, unearthing unique insights about performance, partner retention, market penetration and more. Click to log in, or begin your free trial.

Get More Information
 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.