A bronze statue of scales of justiceIt used to be that aiming to become a partner in a law firm was a given. It was why you put up with all the education, long hours and everything else. And it’s true that becoming a partner remains the goal for most – and that the rewards can be massive. But there are other factors to consider too. Here’s what we think you should be weighing up before setting your sights on partner status – and some ways in which EJ Legal can help you achieve your goals.

The first point to think about is whether partnership is something that you definitely want and if this is the right time to go for it. With the amount of work and the stresses and responsibilities involved, it’s really important to consider, as we do in another blog post: work/life balance.

If you’re not sure about partnership, is it because of you or the firm you’re with? Would you be better moving or perhaps considering a slightly different career path?

If continually practising law is of paramount importance to you, then partnership may not be the best way to go.

We cannot make your mind up for you, but we can certainly assist you with some potential ways forward. For example, we could help you to become an in-house lawyer – the opportunities in this sphere continue to grow. Or you may want look at broadening your skill set with an international move – our team has particular expertise across Europe and the Middle East. And if you feel that the time is not yet right for partnership and want to consider your options, then an interim role could be the answer.

Do you have the right skill set?

Now for what your law firm might want from their potential partner.

For example, do you have the ability to manage and develop your colleagues? The same goes for your ability to relate well to clients – and to find and develop new ones.

Any lawyer worth their salt should have a modicum of financial nous, so if yours isn’t up to scratch, you need to get more adept – fast. If you happen to have more advanced expertise in this area, that’s good news. Many law firms actively seek partners with this kind of knowledge.

Partnership needn’t be for life

If you’re set on partnership but your current firm is not quite so set on you, then consider elsewhere. Outside London and a few other key locations, firms may well be more accommodating. The path to partnership is often less time than the eight years plus that’s standard in a big City firm.

Bear in mind too that, these days, partnership is less tied to one particular firm for the duration of your career. Larger commercial firms in particular are more open to the idea of movement between firms, whether to offer new opportunities, seek greater earnings or to get away from a work environment or culture that’s no longer conducive to your best interests. So don’t let a worry about life-long commitment put you off partnership.

What kind of partnership do you want?

If partnership is your aim, there are several types of partnership available, including salaried partnerships, fixed share partnerships and equity partnerships. Each has its pros and cons when it comes to risks and rewards. In our next blog post we’ll be looking more closely at the different options.

In the meantime, why not read more on developing your legal career.

And, as always, do feel free to discuss your possible career options with us at any time. Simply call George Catt on 020 7400 2000 or email georgec@ejgroup.co.uk.