Fenwick patent litigation chair Mike Sacksteder spoke with Law360 on steps associates up for partner should take to secure their promotion.
Sacksteder emphasized that making partner is a career-long effort.
"I've always thought of partnership in a law firm like the diploma the scarecrow got in 'The Wizard of Oz' — you've always had a brain, you just needed something to validate it," he told Law360. "By the time you make partner, you've already proven you should be."
However, associates under consideration for partner should avoid making errors that will jeopardize their chances despite their years of effort. Working significantly fewer hours without explanation or stopping nonbillable tasks they used to complete faithfully may indicate associates have lost their drive, Sacksteder said.
"Normally people who have worked so hard to get there are motivated people and not likely to drop the ball at the goal line," Sacksteder said. "But if you are doing everything right for however many years previous to that year but start demonstrating that you don't care so much, then that certainly could be a bad thing.
The full article is available through Law360.