Cordell Parvin Blog Developing the Next Generation of Rainmakers

Making Partner is an Event; Becoming a Successful Partner is an Achievement

Posted in Career Development

In January, many firms announced promotions to partner.

Did you just make partner in your firm? Do you know someone who just made partner in your firm or another firm?

Suppose you made partner or one of your friends made partner, now what?

Dating back to when I was practicing law in my old firm, I have given several presentations to new partners at their orientation and to senior associates who are being considered for partnership.

Justice Blackmun once said:

A Wedding is an Event; a Marriage is an Achievement.

Making partner is an Event; Becoming a successful partner is an Achievement.

There are a variety of important steps to become a successful partner. Clearly, one of the most important is to develop a team that will enable you to provide the highest quality work and extraordinary service for your firm’s clients. Developing the team and retaining associates has always been a challenge.

As you may know, I wrote a book: It Takes a Team. (The Kindle version is available for $2.99.)

I recently told someone that the book is about every ______ partner I have ever met who treats associates and staff like ____. You may have worked for lawyers like David.

David has a fixed mindset. He is bright, hard working and has developed a big ego. He acts as if he has never made a mistake. He is sure that successful partners are born not made. His superior attitude is insufferable because he projects that everyone else is out of step. Behind their backs, he describes lawyers others think are very talented, as dumb or lazy.

It Takes a Team

On your path to partnership, you surely received mentoring and you personally responded to these challenges yourself.

As a first step, I suggest that you revisit what you learned from your mentors and how you focused on establishing and achieving your goals. Your ability to lead and supervise younger lawyers will pay a large role in your success as a partner.