Alternative Career Tracks, Avoiding Layoffs and Lessons from Lou ReedNovember 6, 2013
In today’s law firms, the traditional “up and out” career track whereby associates either move up to partner or move out is falling by the wayside. In fact, many associates may not even want to become partners—they’re often just happy to hold on to their jobs. That doesn’t mean today’s associates don’t want to do their best, so we’ve rounded up a few articles to help them on their way. Read on.
- As Greedy Associates points out, not all associates are interested in making partner. There are many reasons for not wanting a partnership, including having interests and a life outside of law, and several alternatives to partnership such as specializing in a niche or client base.
- “The legal industry has changed dramatically and few, if any, believe that we are ever going back to the days when every associate wanted to be a partner and many had at least a shot at making it,” Margaret A. Suender writes in Law Practice magazine. Some of the ways firms are responding include developing alternative track positions like staff attorney and knowledge management lawyers.
- A move toward alternative tracks won’t make being an associate any easier, of course. Success will still require a lot of hard work. To that end, Associates Mind gathered a lengthy list of resources and links to help associates succeed, from general practice and news sites to resources on writing, criminal law and more.
- Want to keep your name off the layoff list? HBR Blog Network examined the layoff list of a Fortune-100 company and found that good performance reviews didn’t predict who was laid off; only 23 percent of those on the list had gotten a bad performance review in the previous year. But everyone had at least two of six “just cause” traits, such as inconsistent results, poor ethics or interpersonal skills, and being resistant to change.
- According to Above the Law’s Philip Segal, there are two things that’ll help new associates do a better a job and keep their jobs longer: “how to find simple facts and how to bring in business.” He notes that face-to-face meetings are important, that snail mail can work wonders when trying to convince people to talk to you and that following up is critical.
- In honor of musician Lou Reed, who died over the weekend, Greedy Associates’ Gabriella Khorasanee wrote “Five Lessons for New Attorneys from Lou Reed.” They include keeping things simple, embracing the inevitable changes life will throw and you, and volunteering your time to good causes.