Our firm is a 14 lawyer firm in Phoenix, Arizona. We are a new firm (formed 8 years ago) and we have 5 equity partners and 9 associates. Several of the associates have been with us since day one (8 years) and are asking us about partnership. We want to be fair and keep our top talent. What are your thoughts on this topic?
A common complaint that we hear from our interviews of associates is lack of feedback on short term performance and what is takes to "make partner" and how they are progressing toward eventual partnership. During a recent interview an associate told me – I would like to know:
I suggest that you and your partners consider developing what I call a Law Firm Associate Career Progression/Partnership Program and put it in writing. Here is an approach you might take:
Regarding equity partnership – make the criteria tough – and require a buy-in or capital contribution. Business development and a client following should be required by most firms for the equity tier.
Click here for our blog on law firm partnership
Click here for our law firm management articles
John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC