If your firm has tapped you on the shoulder and indicated that you are on the partnership track what does this mean? How can you prepare? In most firms, the pathway to partnership extends over several years. This gives candidates time to develop their leadership skills, and the understanding of the law as a business, to grow a client base; to cement specialist legal knowledge and skills, and to gain an understanding of how the partnership operates.

Being a partner of a law firm is a two way street. You expect some things to change – increased status, different remuneration structure, greater responsibility balanced by the ability to contribute to the direction of the firm. Generally, these changes happen gradually as you progress along the partnership pathway. In reality, how you progress along the pathway will depend on the contribution you make. In other words, to a large extent, the quality of your partnership experience depends on you.

In the first instance, newly appointed partners are generally expected to focus on developing their subject and industry expertise; to develop people/team management skills and to start the process of developing a client base. What would you like to know about being a partner of a firm or a firm owner?