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Career Advancement

Choosing a Destination: Proactively Managing Your Career as a Midlevel Associate

Presented by Marian Lee

Note: This is not for CLE. Part of the free Career Development Series, a monthly webinar series featuring practical tips from legal career experts. Live webinars are free and open to the public. The recorded program and materials are exclusively for ABA members.


While in the past, making partner was the presumed goal of every associate, in today’s legal market partnership is rarer and harder to attain than ever.  In addition, many associates today don’t want to become partners.  Despite these realities, many associates move through their midlevel years without stopping to assess the realities of partnership, what it will take to get there, whether they want it, or what direction they will go instead.  Too often, associates wait too long to proactively plan their career direction, and their future is decided for them.  In this session, Marian will discuss some tools and considerations for evaluating your options, identifying the career destination that fits best, and designing a plan to get you there.

Climbing the ladder.

Climbing the ladder.


Marian Lee, Founder, Career Reinvention, Denver, CO

Marian Lee is a coach, author, and consultant on lawyer career development.  After graduating from law school in 1988, she practiced as a commercial litigator for sixteen years.  In 2007, she joined Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, a 240-lawyer Denver firm, as its first Director of Professional Development.  At Brownstein, she created in-house training programs, a level-based associate advancement process, and special programs focused on first year lawyers, senior associates, and new partners.  She also wrote a book on lawyer career development, “Building Your Ladder: An Associate’s Guide to Success Beyond Partnership” published by ABA in 2013.  In early 2017, she left her firm and started Career Reinvention, a coaching and consulting practice focused on lawyers.

Video and Materials