The concern with this topic is the thought that if someone is not ‘partner material’ no matter how talented a lawyer they are, they won’t (or shouldn’t) make it as a partner. 

If someone has the ability to develop into a talented lawyer, they should have the ability to develop personally and professionally to gain the skills needed to become a good partner. 

A better conversation for partners to have would be, ‘you do not have the skills needed for partnership, but we will work with and invest in you to help develop them.’ Creating loyalty to the firm and giving back for the hard work they have put in over the years.