Just here to vent that I feel severely disadvantaged for being a POC with partnership aspirations my firm. I've seen much younger white associates in my practice group get to go on client pitches, and as an nearly 7th year associate, I haven't been invited to go on a single one (even after voicing concerns about this to the partners in my group). I do great work, bill a lot of hours, and think I have a solid reputation but it's hard not to read the writing on the wall here. :(

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As an equity partner and POC at a v10 firm, my advice to you is to make and build your own network of potential clients however you can. Even after one makes partner, the exclusion will continue and it’s up to you to power through it. It’s not fair, but you just have to say f them all and just get it done yourself.

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And make it a point to make friends with white people and people you don’t really like. Affinity groups and fellow POC’s will help you out, but that’s rarely going to be enough.

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THIS is why myself, a Caucasian person, enjoys this group. I want to learn more insight as to why a person’s skin color, ethnic background, or anything other than their work product and professionalism should reflect upon their developments and transitions up within a company or Firm in regards to pay or rank and should ever affect their position because of this. It certainly baffles me and would make ME not even want to work there.

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I hope me being in this bowl isn’t offensive to anyone. I got some hateful comments at first. I am legitimately here to learn from your experience to best work with people or every culture, race, heritage, etc. and TRULY understand what it’s not like to have white privilege.

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The only way this gets better is if diverse in house counsel actively go seek out and hire diverse outside counsel.

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I'd move.

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I agree. Move to a firm with POC partners who will pay more attention to your business development. Or try to find allies.

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I experience the same thing at my firm. I constantly hear that the best way to develop business is to do good work and you’ll end up taking on the Partner’s clients. I do good work, but there’s clearly favoritism when it comes to giving other associates access to clients. I don’t even think it’s intentional. I think that people help those they are familiar with.

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I relate so much to this. My form of business development has mostly been doing good work (and staying in touch with business people I’ve met), to the point where many clients will call me with questions before they’ll call the actual relationship partner, but it ultimately doesn’t seem to matter. I just feel like there is such an uphill battle here and it is exhausting trying to navigate it and get access to working with more “important” partners and clients.

Seems like not just racism but poor strategy and decision making by your firm. Clients like to work with a diverse team as well

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Sounds like a discrimination lawsuit to me.

I'm so sorry you're going through this though I am not surprised. I would seriously give thought to finding another firm.

Go where you have more value obvi. Alternatively, maybe you’re not as good of a lawyer as them?

Law clerk, take a sit and keep quiet! OP won’t be a 7th year, if they were shitty to work with

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So sorry to hear about this. Have you ever thought about changing firms? Maybe you should give it a try.

Be careful suggesting that, Associate 6 will scathe you

That was me at my prior firm (5th year)! Managing Partner and committee members would call me the star associate in front of others, but my practice team partners and rainmakers never involved me in their client pitches or larger projects, while younger associates and newer laterals were. Ended up switching firms and things are much better now!

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