Partners, Senior Associates, and Fellow Mid-Levels: what goals do you think a 4th year associate should have for 2021?

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Have at least $500k in originations, Bill 3600 hours, win a SCOTUS decision and publish at least 10 articles on novel legal issues 😊.... but seriously, by your 4th year I think the biggest thing is that you’d expect to be at a point where you are gaining a bit more independence, you should see your work product edited less and be able to make decisions on your own... so by my 4th year when I was working with a partner I would have our cases pretty much mapped out and have a litigation strategy prepared and noticed that the partner was concurring with me more often than correcting me which led to greater independence and responsibility... for example I was working closer with juniors on larger projects... a lot of it depends on the size of your firm, nature of your practice and practice area and where you currently are in your development

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Start to run deals mostly independently, have a steady flow of work from various sources, ideally doing some substantial business development of your own. Have close relationships with a few partners who can advocate for your advancement within the firm. Continue to expand your network and your brand. I'm corporate but a lot of this will translate to any practice area.

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Following I am also a fourth year

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If you’re in lit you should be starting to manage cases without step by step oversight, including independently coming up with strategy decisions that you can discuss with more senior people, putting together discovery plans by yourself, managing juniors by yourself, giving work product to seniors that doesn’t need redoing. You should also have identified at least one (and preferably more) clients that you can look to for steady work (or would have the ability to develop that over the next year or two). If you want to do trials start volunteering for leading roles on cases going to trial.

Fourth year is also a good year to take stock of what you want from your career and where you want to be. If you want to be a partner and there’s little chance where you are, go elsewhere. If you want to go in-house, go soon.

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A3, not entirely sure. There’s an in house bowl that would have more info on that. But I know I see many ads looking for people in like 5-7th year and many of my friends went in house around that time. Point being don’t sit around forever. If you’re a 4th year and hate this it probably won’t become sunshine and roses at 8th year.

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Depends on your position, but assuming you were a lottery pick, 4th year is the leap year. 20+ ppg and an all star selection.

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Not sure if you’re kidding, but I think by “lottery pick” he’s referring to sports drafting order (as in a 1-3 selection by the lottery winning team)... purely a sports joke playing off the “depends on your position” lead in (in hockey traditionally defensemen take longer to develop)

Relationships with senior lawyers who have your back.

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