How to signal the desire for, and get on, the partner track
Consider your short, medium and long-term aspirations for life in the broadest sense. To what extent does your professional practice take priority in those mental images and do you see it changing over time? The reality is that becoming a partner is a life decision and may be something you want 'but not yet' or 'yes, but not here'. Setting up your own practice may be your ultimate goal. If you are unsure or have questions about the physical, mental, financial and familial impact of becoming a partner, talking to partners in firms other than your own may be helpful. In their book How to Make Partner and Still Have a Life, authors Heather Townsend and Jo Larbie write: "As a partner ou have all the pleasures and pains of a business ownership, while enjoying/suffering the collegiate and consultative culture of a partnership."
Katy Wedderburn, partner, MacRoberts LLP
Toni Ashby, partner, Clyde & Co
Lynsay Kelly, solicitor, J&A Boyd
Standing back and assessing your current firm, how possible and appealing does partnership look? Think about the basis on which recent partners have been made so and speak to existing partners about what they are looking for in future partners. Commerciality, commitment to the firm's vision and values, management and leadership aptitude, work ethic and both your internal and external 'market value' are all likely to be high on the list. The importance of these and other factors will vary by practice.
Sheana Campbell, associate, BBM solicitors