American Lawyer featured partner David Ruff’s path to a leadership role at Orrick in this Q&A, highlighting his approach to developing a successful practice and his advice for younger lawyers on the partnership track.
In the feature, David, co-leader of the firm’s M&A and private equity practice, told the publication that an important ingredient in making partner is establishing a distinctive narrative. “Get to know the firm’s strategic priorities and think about how those align with your own interests. Make sure there’s overlap there, and then actively pursue work and business development opportunities that align with both, understanding that there will likely be some evolution over time,” David said. “As your career develops, make sure you’re taking full advantage of your relationships with mentors and sponsors, and make sure they have a clear understanding of what your goals are (including that one of your goals is to make partner) so they can help you.”
David also detailed his unique path to partnership, including working remotely long before the pandemic unfolded, as well as his contributions to the firm’s “best place to work” and diversity and inclusion initiatives. Among other things, David has served as a mentor to fellows in the Legal Innovators program, a legal startup the firm partners with to increase the pipeline of diverse talent.
And David offered this observation on the lessons of working through the challenges of the pandemic: “Culture and connections matter. Organizations that went into the COVID years with strong connections were able to thrive, notwithstanding the difficulties we all faced. I’m personally very proud of the way we all came together to support one another, as well as our clients, during a period of record-setting deal activity.”