Partnerships are the lofty goal of many a legal worker. Sure, there’s big money and prestige, but is it the right career path for you?
Is Partnership A Realistic Goal For Those Working Legal Jobs?
It typically takes 7-10 years to obtain a partnership. You’ll start as a summer associate and work your way up through various legal jobs until you reach senior associate. The next step is partner. According to the National Law Journal, about 30 percent of the associates are going to eventually make partner if they remain on-track. This number is much better for associates at smaller firms, where the statistic is closer to 50 percent. The average salary for partners in small companies ranges from $80,000 – $90,000, whereas the biggest 250 firms pay their partners a median income of $1.5 million.
How Can I Become A Law Partner?
People working in legal jobs would do well to make sure they are well-liked and valuable team players. It’s recommended that you…
- Bill 2,000 hours a year or more
- Research your work
- Specialize in a niche practice area
- Get along with paralegals and partners
Many people in legal jobs are able to put in the hours, but the select few who become partners are the ones who do the “heavy lifting” in client retention and sniffing out new business.
When Will I Know If My Legal Job Will Pay Off?
By your third year of being an associate, you should have a sense as to whether you’re being groomed for bigger and better or if your results aren’t what the firm had in mind. In that case, it’s better to cut and run. Staying too long at a firm will only show you are not partnership material and it will become harder to market yourself to the contrary. A recruiter should be able to help you find legal jobs with partnership potential.