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Strategies for junior lawyers keen on a path to partnership

A BigLaw partner has imparted his top tips for lawyers looking to head down a similar career trajectory.

user iconEmma Musgrave 13 November 2023 Big Law
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Speaking on a recent episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Madison Marcus director Benoir Bayssari imparted his top tips for becoming a law firm partner.

First and foremost, Mr Bayssari said it is vital for junior lawyers to keep a finger on the pulse of market developments and legislation changes likely to arise in the near future.

“There needs to be a heavy focus on getting ahead of the changes [before they happen],” he said.


“They can be really hard to foresee because every day, there’s a new sort of AI software or something that’s coming out. You need to be actively reading and actively monitoring the media and understanding where things are headed.”

Making sure you get in front of people is key to becoming a partner. Building up your reputation and diversifying your client base will help ensure that you’re the person often thought about when matters arise, Mr Bayssari explained.

“Being able to jump across different types of matters as much as you can and to service different types of clients [is important]. If one area of law or if one part of the profession does slow down a bit, you’ve always got the diversity to go somewhere else in the profession,” he said.

“Extend your skill set to different types of matters. As much as people should specialise, because obviously, that’s how we get our best lawyers, I think a good skill set is to have the ability to be flexible and to be able to do different types of things that you’re not used to.

“You can break that mantra of, ‘Oh, that’s not my type of work, I’m not going to touch this’. It’ll go a long way in not only your own personal development but also in terms of the broad range of clients whom you can act for,” Mr Bayssari continued.

“Whether it’s specifically acting on different things or not, but to be able to give client general advice on an area of law which you might not be your specialty, but just you have a general amount of knowledge on, can go a long way in expanding your network of clients and bringing more work in for you and the firm as a whole.”

For those newly promoted partners, Mr Bayssari said it’s important to back yourself but remain humble at the same time.

Obviously, when you get the promotion, the overwhelming emotion is excitement. At the same time – I know I experienced it – you always have a bit of: ‘Am I ready for this?’ So, I think the best advice I can give someone who’s newly promoted is, obviously, it’s happened for a reason. Somebody sees something in you, whether it’s potential or whether it’s realised already,” he said.

“You just need to be confident enough to repay the show of faith. Once you do get the promotion, at that point in time, you’re a leader to somebody else immediately. Whether that’s the promotion from a lawyer to associate or whether it’s senior associate to partner, you are becoming a leader just to different stages of people. So you need to obviously embrace the role and remember that people are now looking up to you.

“Keep learning and have confidence in the reason why you were promoted. You’ve got to realise that it’s happened because you’ve deserved it. Don’t doubt yourself; you’re doing something right.”

NB: This transcript has been edited slightly for publishing purposes. You can listen to the full episode here:

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