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  • Michael Burne

Stress Awareness Month: Being Offered a Partnership

The value of self-reflection

The legal sector is widely regarded as one of the most high-pressure industries to work in, with many lawyers experiencing work-related stress on a day-to-day basis. From the moment of qualifying to eventually being offered a partnership, stress becomes part of the job and something the majority of lawyers seem to accept as an unavoidable consequence.

But, why should they?

At Bamboo, we want to encourage lawyers to take a step back and reflect on how their career is affecting their mental well-being. And, with it currently being Stress Awareness Month, now is the ideal opportunity for progressing lawyers to undergo a period of self-reflection, to help determine which career path will bring them the most satisfaction and the least amount of stress.

The risks of accepting a partnership

For many lawyers, the pinnacle of their careers lies in achieving that highly anticipated partnership in a traditional law firm setting. While the process of climbing the ladder can generate overwhelming stress for lawyers, with long working hours and hard-to-reach targets, few seem deterred from pursuing the prize of promotion. It’s this unwavering determination that raises the question, how many lawyers consider the risks of being offered a partnership against the rewards?

When hard-working lawyers are handed a formal offer of promotion, it usually includes an overview of their role responsibilities, obligations and, most importantly, their financial requirements. Lawyers being offered an equity partnership in particular will find themselves faced with a hefty capital contribution, which will typically be funded by a personal loan called at Partnership Loan from the firm’s bankers. In small firms, this could be as low as £50,000. Whereas, in larger firms, it could rise up to £350,000, or even higher. And, if those figures aren’t enough to raise your blood pressure, the risks that come with borrowing that money and then “lending” it to your firm to buy into the equity sure will be. For example, if the partnership was to become insolvent you would still owe the bank the money borrowed for the capital contribution with no prospect of the return of the money. In addition there may be regulatory consequences with the SRA for equity partners of firms that fail..

So, if you’re approaching a partnership offer and haven’t considered the financial pressure that comes with a promotion in the legal sector, now is the time to reflect and ask yourself if the reward is worth the risk.

The alternative route to the top

In order to be offered a partnership in the first place, lawyers are usually required to have a consistent track record of adept commercial understanding, high levels of personal fee income and a reliable referral network. In return, they’ll be expected to win new work, maintain client relationships and help inform the strategy of the firm. And so, if you have what it takes to become a partner and are excited at the prospect of the responsibilities you’d gain, why do it for another law firm instead of your own?

At Bamboo, we provide an alternative route to lawyers looking to take their careers to the next level. Without the stress and debt of a partnership offer, we enable lawyers to start their own firms, with just an entry level set-up cost that starts as low as £5,000. Through our law firm operating system, we allow lawyers to focus all of their energy on their clients and services, without the added responsibility of handling the back-office process required to run a law firm.

So, if you’ve recently gone through a period of self-reflection and are interested in pursuing a more stress-friendly career in the legal sector, feel free to get in touch with Bamboo to re-route your career path.


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