Being seen as a Member of the Club is one out of 12 key indicators for making it to Partner. What are the key indicators we hear you ask? Well, they are a list of criteria that we have come up with to test whether you are ready to go for partnership. Based on our experiences of working with hundreds of lawyers, accountants and consultants, we found that only the candidates who performed strongly in these 12 key areas, were successful in being made up to Partner.

You can only know what you need to work on when you assess yourself, so take our Partnership Readiness Assessment now. This will tell you how you score in the 12 key areas, highlighting which of the indicators you need to work on. The results of this assessment will be invaluable to you as it will help you to prioritise and take purposeful steps to progress your career to Partner. 

Why is becoming a "Member of the Club" so important to your future career progression?

Being seen as a member of the club is the emotional part of your Personal Case. It's not enough to match up against the criteria required for partners in your firm (the rational part of your Personal Case). Your partners have to like you and trust you enough to allow you to buy equity in THEIR business. Before your partners will vote for you to be made up to partner in the partnership vote, they need to be proud to call you their business partner. That means, they need to know who you are!

To put it simply, they want to make sure you are the right type of person to uphold the values and culture of your firm. They are not going to vote for you if they have the slightest worry that you may cause conflict around the partnership table.

Shouldn't the best candidate for partnership always get to partner? Well, while that does make sense, that's not always what happens. It is fairly common to hear about partners sitting around the table, openly acknowledging that a candidate has a very strong Business Case, will credibly lead their part of the firm, and is very likely to make the firm lots of money. But then something is missing. Something doesn't connect for the partners at the table, so they turn the candidate down for partnership. No partner wants to introduce someone into the club who will upset the natural order of the club.

Ultimately, you may be asking some of your partners to trust you with the business that they may have founded or grown over the last 20 to 25 years. Can they trust you to carry on the business and take it into the future? Remember, their capital may be at stake if you muck up! If your partners don't intrinsically trust that their business is in safe hands with you, they will not make you up to partner.

This is why you need to spend time before the formal part of the Partnership Admissions Process strengthening the emotional part of your Personal Case. You can do this by:

  • Growing your profile across the partnership,
  • Lobbying and building your fan base in the partnership, and
  • Running your own internal PR campaign.


How to demonstrate you're a Member of the Club

To tip the odds in your favour, here are a few things you can do to demonstrate that you're a Member of the club:

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    Change the type of conversations you have with your partners and your team
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    Create strong relationships with the influential groups of partners
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    Build up a strong network with the junior partner population plus the next generation of partners
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    Make your partners' lives easier
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    Turn up to work as your authentic self
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    Review your reputation and fix it if it is damaged

If you need more help with positioning yourself as a Member of the club, read Chapter 10 of Poised for Partnership here.

A selection of the resources in Progress To Partner to help you with Member of the Club

Workbooks, books and guides

Guide to being more assertive in specific situations
Guide to creating your internal PR campaign
Poised for partnership 3rd edition book

Short videos

How do you stand out and maximise your chances of making it to senior associate?
How to change your firm’s perception of you when your are seen just as a safe pair of hands
How to overcome imposter syndrome
How to think commercially
How to thrive but still be authentic in a male-dominated environment
How to gracefully say no to a partner
What can I do if I seem to be irreplaceable and my career progression has halted?