Out or Up

J.B. Ruhl
Follow your classmates and former colleagues as they weave their own career paths.

Follow your classmates and former colleagues as they weave their own career paths.

VP Photo Studio via Shutterstock

The Post-Normal Times is a column that follows trends in the legal industry, legal technologies, legal innovation, and access to legal services and offers insights into how new lawyers can turn them from agents of change into agents of opportunity. 

Soon after I started as a new associate at the Washington, DC, office of a large law firm, the managing partner gathered all six new baby birds for lunch to talk about the firm and the practice of law. What struck me most was his overview of advancement within the ranks and the road to partnership. He concluded with words I will never forget: “When we hire you, we aim to retire you.” Of course, no one in the room believed all six of us would retire at the firm—four of us stayed around long enough to become partners, and only one of us is still practicing with the firm—but we all believed it was possible. It wasn’t a crazy idea. It would be today. In fact, if that lunch were held today, we’d all be wondering where we’d be working in two years, including the managing partner!

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