5 keys to becoming a partner in a law firm before the age of 35

The long road to becoming a partner in a law firm requires ambition, perseverance, and patience. Not in vain, the average to acquire such a position in a large firm ranges between 10 and 15 years Law tutors.

In some firms such as Pérez-Llorca, Cuatrecasas, Uría Menéndez, Garrigues or Gómez-Acebo & Pombo the average age of joining as a partner is around 38 years. However, doing so before 35 is an achievable goal for those ‘millennials’ in the legal sector who wish to forge a long career as lawyers.

Some tips to achieve it:

1. Understand your company’s expectations
It is necessary to understand from the beginning of your professional career what your firm’s career plan is in order to be able to chart your path towards becoming a partner. Javier García, Managing Consultant of the Legal, HR and Training Division at Walters People argues that “It is surprising to meet lawyers who long to achieve membership, but who do not know the expectations required for the position in terms of self-generated work, profitability or whether the office has an equitable structure or not.”

It is very common for most law firms to have formal, defined and structured planning for the professional career of their lawyers, which allows them to train and acquire the necessary skills for promotion.

Some firms have even implemented mandatory meetings to inform and discuss the individual professional development of their lawyers, which translates into an increase in the adaptation, motivation and loyalty rates of talent.

As is normal, most firms have very different criteria for what it takes to become a partner, so it is advisable that these conversations begin early with those responsible for human resources and immediate reporting lines.

2. Adds value to business development immediately
Don’t wait to be promoted to Senior Associate to think about your office’s sales development plan.

Being proactive and adopting critical business thinking could facilitate your promotion to partner, allowing you to demonstrate key senior-level skills, generate business opportunities for your firm and have an immediate impact.

“I would encourage lawyers to focus on the business, to be entrepreneurial from the beginning and not leave ‘business thinking’ only to current partners,” says Javier.

Many professionals stand out because they are being creative and developing very practical plans for firms to support their initiatives.

Because of this, “establishing relationships with business development or marketing functions and creating an impression from the beginning will also help you raise your professional profile within the firm.”

3. Specialize in a high-growth area
Being attentive to the evolution of the sector can allow you to specialize in future areas of high demand in the legal profession.

It is very important that professionals know how to detect a trend and anticipate economic cycles. For example, the amount of work being generated around blockchain and data analytics is staggering, and some law firms are increasingly investing in these areas.

Financial products and their derivatives are also two areas in which some firms are getting ahead of others thanks to the innovative ideas of their lawyers.

4. Build a professional network
Engaging with diverse professional mentors is proven to help you achieve partner status earlier in your career.

Greater exposure to the sector through alumni events, trade shows, chamber of commerce events, professional development events, as well as former university contacts, offers you great opportunities to build a strong professional network and accelerate your progression in the field. field.

5. Develop your skills in the company
Working in private companies for a period of time is no longer considered an obstacle to becoming a partner. Some of the positive aspects include:

– The effective use of your time to generate business.

– Have a mentor outside your law firm.

– Perfect your skills by advising a single client: the company.

– These subtle nuances could help you advance to partner in the future.

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