The Seven Year "Pitch"

Robert Half Legal Survey: Making Partner Takes Lawyers an Average of Seven Years

TORONTO, Nov. 21 /CNW/ - Does it take longer than it used to for law firm associates to make partner? Not according to a new survey from Robert Half Legal. Lawyers interviewed said they believe it takes an average of seven years to reach partner status today, which remains unchanged from when the survey was conducted in 2003.

The Canadian survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a premier legal staffing firm specializing in lawyers, law clerks, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 75 lawyers at the largest law firms in Canada.

Lawyers were asked, "What would you estimate is the average number of years it takes for an associate to make partner?" The median response was seven years.

"Although the number of years it takes to make partner remains consistent, competition for partner positions has intensified," said John Ohnjec, division director of Robert Half Legal in Canada. "In fact, some firms have been thinning the ranks of partner by promoting fewer associates."

The demographics at a given firm also can impede or hasten an associate's route to partner. Ohnjec adds, "If many senior partners at a firm have decided to postpone their retirement plans, fewer positions may be available for associates."

Robert Half Legal offered the following advice to lawyers interested in advancing their careers:

    - Focus on professional development. In addition to legal skills,
      concentrate on helping the firm improve client service levels and grow

    - Align yourself with a mentor or career coach. Find a more senior lawyer
      who can provide advice and guidance, as well as help you identify ways
      to raise your visibility at the firm.

    - Immerse yourself in the profession. Become involved in the local
      chapter of the bar association, do pro bono work, volunteer in the
      community or contribute to well-regarded legal publications or forums
      online. All these activities will enhance your professional reputation.

    - Network consistently. Expand your roster of professional contacts and
      stay in regular communication with them. The more people you know, the
      more likely it is that you'll hear of new opportunities that could help
      you keep your career on track.

About Robert Half Legal

Robert Half Legal is the legal staffing division of Robert Half International. The company provides law firms and corporate legal departments with highly skilled professionals, including lawyers, paralegals, law clerks, and legal support personnel, on a project and full-time basis. Robert Half Legal offers online job search services at

SOURCE Robert Half Legal

For further information: TO SPEAK WITH A LOCAL EXPERT, CONTACT: Robert Half Legal, Nadia Santoli, (416) 350-2330,


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