Under 30 – The first step to making Partnership

Author Hayden Gordine
March 12, 2021

If you are under 30 years of age and working at a top law firm, you undoubtedly would have spent the last 10 years studying and training to be a first-rate lawyer. You did well at law school and then landed that prestigious summer clerkship, turned it into a full-time associate position, and are now billing thousands of hours a year, all in the hope of making a partnership before you hit 40.

The problem is, however, that making Partner is not about being the best lawyer, it’s about bringing in clients and business.

Fundamentally, today’s lawyer, associate and senior associate needs to be much more than just a good technical lawyer. You need to be an all-around businessperson, capable of winning and retaining clients and developing long-term relationships that generate serious income. To achieve this, you need to have a broad skills base which revolves around being strong at business development and client relationships.

So, what is the first step to making a partnership? How do you make sure you stand out from the crowd? 

The first step we recommend for every young lawyer is to create a career plan. As the saying goes, ‘if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’.

One key goal of your career plan should be getting a reputation as ‘Partner Potential’ and the easiest way to achieve this is by focusing on your personal brand both internally and externally. External business development is paramount to a lawyer’s progression within a firm, but internal brand awareness is just as crucial. Develop strong relationships with colleagues at your level, but also Partners across other areas. To be clear, the focus is on increasing your market value to your law firm.

For all their faults, rankings in legal directories and awards are part and parcel of the business of law. Law firms love a good ranking in Chambers, Legal 500, and Doyle’s, however, it is for the individual lawyer that the importance of a ranking or an award really comes into its own.

As a young lawyer, your first opportunity to stand out from the crowd is The Lawyers Weekly 30 under 30 Legal Awards. It is your first opportunity to be recognised as a practitioner, to show the partners that you are ‘Partner Potential’ and to show clients that you are objectively better than the rest.

Achieving 30 Under 30 status offers the foundation for career progression, providing industry-wide recognition for professional competency while highlighting a passion for the law and dedication for personal advancement.

As legal search and recruitment specialists, our consultants at Taylor Root see first-hand the importance and marketability of 30 Under 30 status. A nomination will have a dramatically positive impact on your personal branding, while a winner adds as much as 20% to their market value and it opens many doors.

Taylor Root has been the principal partner of The Lawyers Weekly 30 under 30 since its inception, we see the value in an award that sets you apart from your peers and that strengthens your position in the profession by elevating your personal brand.

As part of your career plan, we recommend taking that first step to being recognised as one of Australia’s rising stars.

Even if you are unsuccessful on the night, it is a valuable first step in your career plan, you are highlighting your achievements, highlighting your passion for the profession and when it does come to the evenings it is a great opportunity to network and celebrate with your peers, partners, friends, and family.

The 2021 Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30, sponsored by Taylor Root will be held on 11 June. Nominations are now open and close on 9 April 2021.

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