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How To Ensure You Make Partner This Year, Law360, ft. Joel Shackelford

Posted Sep 8, 2015

Joel T. Shackelford, Partner at Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck, LLP in Los Angeles, was quoted in Law360, New York (September 4, 2015, 5:32 PM ET) —

He shares his tips on how to reach the goal of that coveted spot in the law firm – Partner.

Know the Decision Makers

Like it or not, becoming a partner doesn’t hinge solely on legal work and skills — it also involves a bit of politics. Candidates for partnership should get to know the people who will be making the final decision.

Joel T. Shackelford , a partner for Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck LLP in Los Angeles, said that for those on the cusp of partnership, personal relationships with both clients and colleagues could play a role in how the vote swings come decision day.

“Be the person people like to be around,” he said. “These people are going to vote and you want them to vote for you.”

One way senior associates might endear themselves to the decision makers is to simply introduce themselves.  Especially in larger firms, the people at the top will see hours on a spreadsheet but might not know anything about the person behind those numbers.

Senior associates who work in branch offices should find reasons to visit the “mothership” and book a few business appointments while in town. A meeting with the evaluators can help them put a name to a face, and a good encounter can be a powerful statement, Shackelford said.

“I think it’s helpful to go out and talk to people at the mothership,” he said. “It shows an interest in the firm, number one, and it’s good to know people, talk with them face-to-face.”

“If I was a decision maker and on the fence between two people and one came down and saw me, that’s the person I’m going with,” he added. “That’s the go-getter.”

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