How many associates make partner?

If an associate sticks around at their firm, what are their chances of making partner?

Michael Bird, June 2020

We'd forgive you for not considering your long-term career prospects when doing your research into law firms: surely it's best to focus on getting your foot in the door first? That said, future opportunities are an important factor to consider when you're weighing up potential employers, whether they're inside or beyond the firm itself.

The table below is for the folks who want to know how likely it is they'll make partner at their firm of choice. To do so, we've divided the number of partners each firm made up from within its own ranks in 2020, by the number of first year associates joining that firm in the same year, to give you a rough idea of the chances of progressing from a newbie to a partner.

Firm

Intake size 2020

Partners made 2020

Chance of 1st year making partner

Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller

1

2

200%

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

15

25

167%

Greenberg Traurig, PA

31

45

145%

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

6

8

133%

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

5

6

120%

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

41

45

110%

Fish & Richardson PC

13

14

108%

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

15

15

100%

Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP

1

1

100%

McDermott Will & Emery LLP

41

35

85%

Fox Rothschild LLP

27

23

85%

Jackson Walker LLP

13

11

85%

Reed Smith LLP

54

44

81%

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C.

8

6

75%

Cooley LLP

22

14

64%

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

33

21

64%

K&L Gates

43

24

56%

Katten

20

11

55%

Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP

11

6

55%

Waller

13

7

54%

Dykema Gossett PLLC

17

9

53%

Crowell & Moring LLP

16

8

50%

Haynes and Boone, LLP

28

14

50%

Mayer Brown LLP

40

20

50%

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

285

141

49%

Duane Morris LLP

21

10

48%

Wiley Rein LLP

13

6

46%

Perkins Coie LLP

59

27

46%

Alston & Bird LLP

39

17

44%

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP

17

7

41%

Brown Rudnick LLP

10

4

40%

King & Spalding LLP

54

21

39%

Foley Hoag LLP

24

9

38%

Foley & Lardner LLP

49

18

37%

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

79

29

37%

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

52

19

37%

Thompson & Knight LLP

11

4

36%

Goodwin

72

25

35%

Groom Law Group

3

1

35%

Hunton Andrews Kurth

45

13

29%

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.

7

2

29%

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

56

16

29%

Linklaters

11

3

27%

Baker Botts LLP

56

14

25%

Venable LLP

40

10

25%

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

53

13

25%

Latham & Watkins LLP

169

40

24%

White & Case LLP

80

18

23%

Norton Rose Fulbright

58

13

22%

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

74

16

22%

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

19

4

21%

Jenner & Block LLP

39

8

21%

Allen & Overy LLP

15

3

20%

Dechert LLP

51

10

20%

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

31

6

19%

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

16

3

19%

Jones Day

157

28

18%

Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

12

2

17%

Axinn

7

1

14%

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

70

10

14%

Bracewell LLP

22

3

14%

WilmerHale

82

11

13%

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

24

3

13%

Winston & Strawn LLP

64

8

13%

Hogan Lovells US LLP

77

9

12%

Morrison & Foerster LLP

78

9

12%

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

120

13

11%

Clifford Chance LLP

28

3

11%

Paul Hastings LLP

75

8

11%

Milbank LLP

58

6

10%

Vinson & Elkins LLP

78

8

10%

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

108

11

10%

Covington & Burling LLP

149

14

9%

Arnold & Porter

66

6

9%

Ropes & Gray LLP

165

15

9%

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

23

2

9%

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

74

6

8%

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates

138

11

8%

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

151

11

7%

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

130

9

7%

Shearman & Sterling LLP

50

3

6%

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

122

7

6%

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

92

5

5%

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

48

2

4%

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

44

1

2%

Ashurst

1

0

0%

Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP

2

0

0%

Cozen O'Connor

10

N/A

N/A

DLA Piper LLP (US)

39

N/A

N/A

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

17

N/A

N/A

Goulston & Storrs

7

N/A

N/A

Irell & Manella LLP

10

N/A

N/A

Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC

11

N/A

N/A

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

N/A

5

N/A

Proskauer Rose LLP

N/A

14

N/A

Seward & Kissel LLP

10

N/A

N/A

Sidley Austin LLP

N/A

30

N/A

Squire Patton Boggs

N/A

14

N/A

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

N/A

4

N/A

Vedder Price

9

N/A

N/A

Gibbons P.C.

N/A

5

N/A

 Firms not listed did not disclose their intake or partner promotion numbers.

There are of course a few drawbacks to this methodology: firstly, it can take up to a decade (or even more) to rise through thanks to potential partner status, so the numbers won't correspond exactly. Second, be aware that some firms have different definition of 'partner' to others: certain BigLaw outfits promote high-achieving staff to the title of 'partner' without including them in the full equity partnership. Where the firms provided both numbers, we've only listed equity partners here.

It's also worth remembering that some newly made partners will likely have lateraled across from another firm at some point during their career. That explains why some firms scored a figure above 100% (it doesn't mean you get to make partner twice!)