The Law Firm Partner Interview and Path-to-Partnership Process

Law Firm Partners

There are three types of Partners.

Equity Partners

Equity Partners buy into the firm with a set amount of money required in advance and have voting rights.

Non-Equity Partners

Non-Equity Partners are the first level of partnership in advance to equity partnership, allowing them time to build up their book of business.

Working Partners

Working Partners usually do not have a large book of business and are not on track to build a book.  They are hired as experts in their practice area or for law firm management.

Partner interviews, generally, take longer than associate interviews.  As Members of the firm, Partners will meet with other partners, counsel, and associates in addition to executive members of the firm.  Scheduling takes longer because they are meeting more law firm members.  Creating a workspace and bringing in attorneys and staff to round out the team for the partner or partners can be time-consuming.  In addition, because their income is higher, the approval process can take longer, as can resolving potential conflicts.

Law firms require conflicts reviews before bringing a new attorney on board.  To prepare your information for the Conflicts Review forms, ensure you have the billable hours you worked for the past three years and your bill rate.  In addition, include the companies you worked with, the matters you worked on, and any potential conflicts, including names of the Counsel and Opposing Counsel.

Partner Salaries and Billable Hours vary depending on their book of business and billings and the value they bring to the firm.  Path-to-Partnership generally takes 8 to 10 plus years.