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In Boston Legal Alan Shore is an excellent attorney who brings in loads of cash, has sued and won against the tobacco industry and various government branches. He has been to the Supreme Court and won his case after insulting all the judges.

He is a brilliant attorney, so why doesn't he contest for partnership? He is still an associate. Why? He could easily get it, Denny, Carl, Shirley, Jerry and Paul would all vote for him. Why then does he not consider partnership at Crane, Poole and Schmidt? Has this ever been addressed in the show or have there been any hints from which we can deduce Alan's motivation for not striving for partnership?

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Basically because he'll never make it. Throughout the series it's shown that he's a 'loose cannon' and, if made a partner he will basically bring the whole firm into disrepute.

He has resigned himself to the fact that he will never be made partner at the firm due to his unpredictable behavior and lack of trustworthiness. While the managing partners of Crane, Poole & Schmidt do not fully trust Alan, they do recognize his talent as an attorney and will often give him the latitude to go about his unorthodox means if they feel it will benefit the firm.

Wikipedia

Alan's position at Crane, Poole, and Schmidt is technically that of an associate, yet for all practical purposes Alan is treated as a Partner in the firm. Alan himself has acknowledged he has no hope of actually ever making Partner, for the very good reason that the partners, by and large, do not trust him, yet he is treated as much more of a peer by the named partners and senior partners than a subordinate. He generally exerts influence with both the Senior and Named partners far above what his actual position would indicate, including his strong friendship with Denny Crane and an often grudging respect from Schmidt, as well as often ignoring the rules and warnings of serious consequences, if he feels strongly about something.

Bostonlegal.wikia.com

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There are two reasons: the one Alan Shore presents himself, and non-obvious one.

The former is that he is a loose-cannon, in Season 2, Ep 11 he retorts to Shirley, that he is not a partner, [I'm not a partner] but only because I can't be trusted.

The not so obvious reason is that it would contradict the essence of this hedonistic character, that James Spader plays on the show. One of the primary responsibilities of the partner is to bring new business, shmooze with clients and supervise other cases. None of the activities that Alan Shore enjoys, especially since as a partner he would have to tone down his antics.

Being an ultimate hedonist, why would he do something, that wouldn't bring him pleasure?

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