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Law And More: Big Law Free Market System


One associate challege which usually isn’t discussed is this: What happens when the partner who assigns the lion’s share of work leaves?

That situation is posted on Subreddit Big Law. Here you can read the thread.

There is no chance of being invited to follow that partner since the move is to in-house. Given the free market system of partners’ doling out the work, the third-year associate could be left stranded without a lot to do. That would result in not making quota in billable hours – or dazzling because of exceeding the quota.

The advice coming in is: Hustle asking around for work but do that smoothly. If the clients stay with the firm they will still need service. The associate should approach those partners taking over the account. In addition, ask around to other associates if there is any work to be done.

However, hustle might not result in landing assignments. Fit with other partners and associates can be iffy. What had panned out fine with the previous designated partner might not in the future. And the fit in a highly political system like the large law firm is almost everything. 

Meanwhile, the power of associates could be dwindling as the economy sours, some lines of business such as IPO are in decline, and uncertainy increases. In the UK Allen & Overy froze associate salaries. Here is Law and More’s coverage of that scary development.

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