09/17/2020

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6 Signs You Won't Make Partner at Your Law Firm

6 Signs You Won’t Make Partner at Your Law Firm (And What You Can Do Next)

If you’re a young lawyer working at a law firm, you probably envision being named partner someday. But, as you know, the road to partnership can be tough to traverse, even for the most prepared associate—and it’s only gotten more rigorous in recent years. Consider this: The number of equity partners at firms has increased by only 27% over the past 15 years, while the number of all other attorneys has increased by nearly 86%. Additionally, the demand for law firm services has been fairly stagnant for the past eight years, with the exception of a brief rise in 2011, according to the 2016 Report on the State of the Legal Market. The increasing competitiveness among firms has resulted in a thinning of the ranks for equity partners, which means a much longer timeline to being named one, if at all.

While you can’t predict whether you’ll be named partner, you still have significant ability as an associate to steer your career in the right direction. Because it’s now more difficult than ever to make partner, you’ll want to know if you are on the right track, so you can come up with a game plan to reach that goal more quickly—or decide whether you want to pursue other options.

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