Becoming a Partner: The Pros and Cons of Partnership

I love having conversations with partners. It is great to find out about how they came partner, why they became a partner and the highs/lows of their route to partnership and of course being a partner. It is accepted these days that not everyone wants to be a partner. More and more firms have non-partner roles to satisfy the different ambitions of their employees. However, for many partnership is still an option and a professional goal.

The practice of law is all-consuming – you need to work out – do you want it?

Some people will know they want partnership, others will get asked if they want partnership and will “umm and ahh” before making a decision. Others will not want to go down the route of becoming a partner. It is a personal decision, you have got to believe that it will work and you have got to start with the belief that you are in the right place at the right time, that it is the right firm and that you are the right person for them.

The Pros and Cons of Partnership

The pros of being a partner are described as …

  • the responsibility
  • the control and ability to make choices
  • running your own business
  • the respect and status that comes with being a partner.
  • better and more interesting work – the opportunity to refuse to do work (or delegate)
  • the financial rewards
  • the job security
  • freedom to develop the practice you want.

The cons of being a partner are described as …

  • the responsibility
  • the hours and commitment required
  • “burn out”
  • the impact it has on marital/family relationship and other relationships
  • the stress and other stress-related illnesses
  • low pay when profits are low
  • networking with people you would rather not spend time with
  • dominating forces within the partnership

At the end of the day, making partner is a choice – and one you shouldn’t take lightly.