Making Partner: Today’s 15 Essential Skills and Traits

Do you have what it takes? Bonus: Six boxes to check off, and seven tough questions.

By Marc Rosenberg

What is the right stuff to earn a promotion to partner? This is one of several questions that if asked of ten partners from different firms, you may get ten different answers.

MORE: Why You Might Want an Executive Committee | How to Specify Managing Partner Duties | When Votes Must Be Taken, What Are the Options? | Ownership Percentage and Capital Accounts | 5 Key Reasons to Have a Partner Agreement

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I have worked the following script dozens of times at partner retreats: I ask the group what it means to be a partner and write their responses on a flipchart. When we’re done, one of the partners yells out “Oh no. None of us qualifies!” And because the truth is often said in jest, this retort is no joke.