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career prospects of non-partnership track position

Hi, I have been in compliance/PMO roles for IBs and rece deladela12/17/17
The only prospect for non-partnership track associates is th isthisit12/17/17
I think the value of a non-partnership track position varies junkwired12/17/17
Hi junkwired, what would be the differences between firms? A deladela12/17/17
I believe staff attorneys make significantly less and have n junkwired12/17/17
You want transactional? Look in-house. You're just biding hairypalms12/17/17
VP = Vice President? Why would you want to go from a senior mrtor12/18/17
Hairypalms- don’t in house opportunities usually require x deladela12/18/17
make sure your title is associate and not staff attorney. dingbat12/18/17
deladela (Dec 17, 2017 - 4:02 pm)

Hi,

I have been in compliance/PMO roles for IBs and recently made VP, but I have been trying to look for opportunities in transaction law practice opportunity. I came across an opportunity of non-partnership track associate at a NY biglaw, handling review of transaction agmt. some paycut in the beginning, but a 20% jump after become perm associate (same pay as 1st year associate, but raise/bonus not guaranteed). This sounds like a great opportunity for me to enter transaction law practice, but I am curious as to people thoughts on this opportunity and its future prospect. Currently I have quite a good exposure to senior management at the IB, but I just do not think I want to continue doing regulatory and PM work.

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isthisit (Dec 17, 2017 - 4:07 pm)

The only prospect for non-partnership track associates is the unemployment line after a few years unless you jump somewhere else before you get canned.

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junkwired (Dec 17, 2017 - 4:28 pm)

I think the value of a non-partnership track position varies significantly depending on the firm. It isn't the same thing, necessarily, as being a staff attorney.

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deladela (Dec 17, 2017 - 4:55 pm)

Hi junkwired, what would be the differences between firms? And how is it different than staff attorney?

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junkwired (Dec 17, 2017 - 5:10 pm)

I believe staff attorneys make significantly less and have no chance of becoming a partnership track associates. Also, they're called "staff attorneys," not associates, which can look bad on a resume. A firm I'm talking to right now has a non-partnership associate program and it pays just as much as regular associate positions, one of these associates can become a regular associate position after a year or two, and on your resume your title is "associate." I consider these differences pretty huge, and if you're just looking to gain experience and move on, it's not bad at all. Of course, different firms will have different approaches. So if you have the opportunity, talk with the hiring person to iron out these details.

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hairypalms (Dec 17, 2017 - 6:27 pm)

You want transactional? Look in-house. You're just biding your time until you receive a pink slip in that firm role. Get in-house ASAP.

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mrtor (Dec 18, 2017 - 9:24 am)

VP = Vice President? Why would you want to go from a senior management to a front line grunt? You should have some degree of authority, respect, and mobility in your current position. As a non-partnership track attorney, you will have none of those. Staff attorneys are expendable. They perform relatively menial work, which harms their longer term value. Firms use their staff attorneys until they burn out or get too expensive. I would argue that your current position offers far more, despite it being less interesting.

Work to live -- very few people find work they truly enjoy. I think that chasing one opportunity after another can do more harm than good.

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deladela (Dec 18, 2017 - 9:59 am)

Hairypalms- don’t in house opportunities usually require x number of years of Biglaw experience?

Mrtor - yea Vice President. I do have pretty high exposure to senior management, but substantively I don’t know if I am interested in the work. It is largely project implementation work. I used to do transaction in administrative capacity and I feel like I want to continue to grow in that area. Admittedly it will be a step down if I go the non partnership route, but is there any other option I can go for?

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dingbat (Dec 18, 2017 - 10:31 am)

make sure your title is associate and not staff attorney.
make sure to keep your eyes and ears out for opportunities to become a partnership-track associate.

There are generally only two ways to get on the partnership track:
1 - jump ship to another firm that doesn't realize you were on a non-partnership track
2 - bring in business

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