Monday, January 5, 2009

"The Bumpy Road to Law Partnership"

The January 5 issue of Long Island Business News contains an enlightening article by Bernadette Starzee entitled "The Bumpy Road to Law Partnership":

In the legal world, the road to partnership is paved with hard work, professional excellence and the ability to bring in business for the firm. But the process by which associates become partners has undergone changes.

Length of time

Over the past five years or so, the length of time it takes a freshly minted attorney to become partner has crept up.

“In firms of any size – those with at least 40 or 50 attorneys – the trend was in the seven to eight-year range,” said Robert Andrew Wild, a founding partner and chairman of Garfunkel, Wild & Travis in Great Neck. “Now it tends to take nine to 10 years.”

There are exceptions to the rule, Wild said. “If someone lands Google as an account, they’ll be a partner in 15 minutes,” he said.

Additionally, it’s tricky to apply the nine to 10-year rule to Long Island’s legal landscape, where smaller firms with two to 12 partners abound, Wild said. “In some small firms, you might never become partner – there may be two partners, and that’s it,” he noted. “Or there may be three partners, and a fourth attorney is so important to the business that the firm doesn’t want to lose him or her, so he or she is made partner early.”

To read the rest of this article, go here.

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