How I Made Partner: ‘Think Proactively,’ Advises Desmarais’ Ameet Modi

Climbing Photo: Shutterstock

Office: San Francisco.

Practice area: Intellectual property litigation.

Law school and year of graduation: Columbia Law School, 2008.

How long have you been at the firm? 10 years.

How long were you an associate at the firm? 6 years.

Were you an associate at another firm before joining your present firm? Yes, at Kirkland & Ellis (New York) for approximately 2 years. I left in June 2010 to join Desmarais.

What year did you make partner at your current firm? 2017.

Ameet Modi. Ameet Modi. Courtesy photo.

What’s the biggest surprise you experienced in becoming partner? The time and resources necessary to manage a law firm on a day-to-day basis. It was (and remains) helpful to have the guidance of my other partners to balance those responsibilities with the responsibilities of the substantive legal work—which also became greater and more challenging as a partner.

What do you think was the deciding point for the firm in making you partner?  I think it was a combination of demonstrating reliability and the initiative to “own” aspects of my cases as much as possible. As an associate, I tried to approach every task with the mindset of being the subject matter expert on the particular issue, and—importantly—getting it done within the requested timeframe, or clearly communicating to others if that wasn’t possible. I think consistently demonstrating those skills over the course of several years was probably important to show that, as a partner, I could both run cases effectively and generate new business for the firm.

Describe how you feel now about your career now that you’ve made partner. One of the most fulfilling aspects of my career is that I’ve known many of my colleagues for eight years or more, and we’ve become very close as a result. It’s fun to reflect on the fact that several of my then-fellow junior associates are now my partners, and that we’ve taken this journey together in helping to develop the firm from its early days.

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