It’s nearly impossible to become a partner these days, say a significant number of members of a group that should know: newly minted partners.

Despite attaining the goal themselves, a sizable percentage of respondents to the 2014 American Lawyer New Partners Survey—42 percent—agree with associates at large firms who say that it is nearly impossible to become a partner at their firms. And even among the 58 percent who disagreed with that assessment were respondents who wrote comments such as “It’s not impossible, but it is certainly very competitive and difficult.”