Reviewed by: Paul Rogerson
Author: Heather Townsend and Jo Larbie
Publisher: Kogan Page
The young practising solicitors who attended the Gazette’s roundtable for junior lawyers recently professed to be unconcerned about their prospects of making partner. The perceived obsolescence of the partnership structure; the corporatisation and liberalisation of legal services; and a market braced for wholesale consolidation in a stagnant economy made this a question for another day.
The premise of this book is that this is the wrong attitude. ‘Don’t be like the lawyers who, when asked what they want, answered that it is "too early to tell",’ the foreword warns.
You would expect a book like this to be peppered with motivational-speak. It does not disappoint – John Lennon and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are among those quoted early on. The authors seek to demystify what is so often ‘shrouded by hearsay and conjecture’ – the path to partnership and the best routes to get there.
They are impressively practical and exhaustive. This is a ‘how to’ guide – peppered with tips, action points and case studies which would-be partners in the legal profession can learn from. The book is split into discrete sections, not the least important of which is the first one: ‘Is partnership right for you?’
Generations X and Y place a higher premium on work-life balance than their predecessors – and this is not a gender-based but a generation-based issue, they usefully point out. ‘It is possible to make partner and still have a life,’ you may be reassured to know.
The other sections cover: building a firm foundation for partnership; surviving the early years; how to build your client portfolio and team; and how to make it through the selection process. If you’re ambitious, or think you are, this could be 30 quid very well spent.
Paul Rogerson is editor-in-chief of the Law Society Gazette