Asked and AnsweredBy John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMCOver the last two weeks I responded to a question concerning starting a new law practice and I outlined the first to phases of start-up. Eventually, you must address and face Phase III.Phase III – Partnership – Internal/Other FirmEventually the question of partnership arises – whether sooner based upon the need or desire to transition an associate into a partnership or to add a practice area by acquiring a lateral partner with his/her book of business. Maybe you are thinking about merging with another firm. Or maybe you have been solo or a sole owner for your entire career and are now contemplating retirement and are looking for a succession/exit strategy and now must either bring in a partner, merge with another firm, or sell your practice. Partnership with another attorney creates another set of interpersonal dynamics and another set of skills that will need to be developed at this stage of your practice.