I love that people like to think of tenure as 'making partner' -- it's especially more hilarious when you consider the wage gap between lawyers and professors.
Of course, I was referring to the levels of professional advancement. At a law firm, for instance, "making partner" usually takes six years of being an associate, and the "full" partners who do the judging are looking at both your past achievements and your likelihood of future success. It is not only analogous to the tenure process, but damned near identical.
An obvious difference is the organization of the business entity; presumably making partner means having an equity stake in the partnership ... or, increasingly, "becoming a member" of the limited liability partnership (LLP) or company (LLC). With the erosion of shared governance at universities, it is harder than it used to be to claim that tenured faculty are also the "members," rather than employees, of a university -- but when I was coming up, I was told that the university was
its faculty, that the minds of its professors were as much a part of the substance of the university as the physcial library or the football stadium. Again, analogous to law, but perhaps now (sadly) outdated.
For what it's worth, although bassethound may be thinking of attorneys in big, white-shoe firms with large, corporate client bases, many lawyers do not make all that much more than professors, by and large. Of the law partners I know, and I know a few dozen, most make between $60-90K, some less, some more, but generally in line with full professors, at least in some fields. (Perhaps they don't work at the Harvard and Yale of law firms.) Still, my comments to the OP had less to do with salaries than with the stages of one's career. I could have probably used certain blue-collar fields as an example, but then I'd have to show that attaining tenure means you've earned the right to retire (as Marc Bouquet has argued):http://www.theminnesotareview.org/journal/ns7172/credos_bousquet.shtml
One more law/academe analogy for the OP: I found that many associates who made partner were miserable shortly thereafter, with some even dropping out of the firm (to become solo practitioners or even leave law altogether ... I know a few who became adjuncts at law schools or PoliSci departments). I think that the brass-ring-attained syndrome applied there also, but now they had additional pressures -- like drumming up business, re-investing their salaries in the partnership (and hence taking a pay cut, at first), and having more non-billable service duties. It is a prize, but it is not all glory.
I do agree with the others that there's also the opportunity for renewal, for taking new research directions or teaching new courses or getting involved in new activities, perhaps off campus even. Good luck!