How (Not) to Make Partner

, Texas Lawyer


4. Go it alone. This brings us back to that pie and how to get a piece. Some will say that it pays to cultivate relationships, in law school and within the firm. Keep in contact. Be a friend. Be selfless. Be genuinely helpful to friends. Look for people who have the business and the skills that you admire, then help them and learn from them.

Organically, over seven or eight years, a lawyer who does this will develop business, skills and circles of influence that the firm can ill afford to do without. She may grow to liked by partners. If other lawyers need and like a partnership candidate, they may give her a share of their firm.

Just kidding—that's all nonsense. You're shooting for partnership in a big law firm. If you wanted to bake your own pie, you would've just hung out a shingle after law school. What was the point of all that focus on grades and law review if not to join an organization where others bring pie out on a platter?

You are the rookie of the year, or you were seven years ago. You have done more hours of meaningless document review than any human being in history. Indeed, you have so little human contact that continuing to call you a human being is a stretch. But now is your time, and it's time for some pie.

Bon appétit.

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