How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

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Art Prior

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How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

Postby Art Prior » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:14 am

I'm a 1st year associate having problems with colleagues

How do you win favor with senior associates and show value without coming off like you are being confrontational. Bringing up corrections seems to have been a disaster for me, because I just get told I'm wrong and then I see the final product with that change in it and probably don't get the credit. If you don't say anything then you get hit for missing an error when you looked at something. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

I've learned in my other career that things coming to the point where you start fighting back and create a negative work environment for everyone just makes life miserable for all. Thats why I've just bent over and taken the abuse. In this case, the environment is negative for me but good for them since they enjoy making others look bad that have greater academic credentials to help themselves feel relevant superior. Everyday is a battle to bite my tongue. How do I survive law firm life? Do I became the predator? I really hate being one and it hasn't changed things at other jobs.

I will also add that what I see a great deal of on this board is people viciously attacking one another for everything they they can think of, does it just take being a total dick to succeed in law? I will not that the 3 partners I have worked for are not like this at all.
Last edited by Art Prior on Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

lavarman84

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Re: How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

Postby lavarman84 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:19 am

Image

Art Prior

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Re: How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

Postby Art Prior » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:27 am

^



With a well thought response like that You probably didn't make it to the end where I called you on your comment before you posted it so here you go:

"I will also add that what I see a great deal of on this board is people viciously attacking one another for everything they they can think of"

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rpupkin

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Re: How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

Postby rpupkin » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:08 am

Art Prior wrote:I've learned in my other career that things coming to the point where you start fighting back and create a negative work environment for everyone just makes life miserable for all. Thats why I've just bent over and taken the abuse. In this case, the environment is negative for me but good for them since they enjoy making others look bad that have greater academic credentials to help themselves feel relevant superior. Everyday is a battle to bite my tongue. How do I survive law firm life? Do I became the predator? I really hate being one and it hasn't changed things at other jobs.

You may dismiss the following as a vicious attack, but I'll post a little advice anyway.

Just based on your post, you come off as fairly arrogant and unlikable. I'd consider the possibility that you are at least partially responsible for your sour relationship with the senior associates. Regardless of who is at fault here, your only play is to remain polite, cordial, and professional. Continue to work hard. If your work is in fact good, it will be recognized eventually.

Tread lightly with the "cozying up to the partners" approach that I can tell you're considering. Those senior associates you hate are very valuable to the partners. They can do a bunch of things you can't.

It doesn't surprise me that partners in your practice group are being nice to you--it's very common for partners to be kind to summer associates and juniors--but that doesn't mean they particularly value you. If you get a reputation as someone who squabbles with senior associates, you're basically done at your firm. That partner you like isn't going to take your side, and he won't want you working on his matters in the future. So, to use your terminology, it's not in your interest to become a predator.

Good luck.

lolwat

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Re: How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

Postby lolwat » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:19 am

Kinda reminds me a little of that guy at kasowitz. Greg barry or whatv

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Re: How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:33 am

d

Art Prior

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Re: How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

Postby Art Prior » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:36 am

rpupkin wrote:
Art Prior wrote:I've learned in my other career that things coming to the point where you start fighting back and create a negative work environment for everyone just makes life miserable for all. Thats why I've just bent over and taken the abuse. In this case, the environment is negative for me but good for them since they enjoy making others look bad that have greater academic credentials to help themselves feel relevant superior. Everyday is a battle to bite my tongue. How do I survive law firm life? Do I became the predator? I really hate being one and it hasn't changed things at other jobs.

You may dismiss the following as a vicious attack, but I'll post a little advice anyway.

Just based on your post, you come off as fairly arrogant and unlikable. I'd consider the possibility that you are at least partially responsible for your sour relationship with the senior associates. Regardless of who is at fault here, your only play is to remain polite, cordial, and professional. Continue to work hard. If your work is in fact good, it will be recognized eventually.

Tread lightly with the "cozying up to the partners" approach that I can tell you're considering. Those senior associates you hate are very valuable to the partners. They can do a bunch of things you can't.

It doesn't surprise me that partners in your practice group are being nice to you--it's very common for partners to be kind to summer associates and juniors--but that doesn't mean they particularly value you. If you get a reputation as someone who squabbles with senior associates, you're basically done at your firm. That partner you like isn't going to take your side, and he won't want you working on his matters in the future. So, to use your terminology, it's not in your interest to become a predator.

Good luck.


good advice. thanks.

I've really tried to figure out why people don't like me and I try to act as humble as possible at work. I get that this post is arrogant but at the same time I acknowledge that it could be me.

I guess a follow up question is how do you act humble without looking useless in a law firm setting?

this is shit you should have figured out by your mid thirties, I don't know if I"m just socially awkward or what in the workplace.

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jkpolk

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Re: How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

Postby jkpolk » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:08 am

You just have to flip your mind set. Your job is to make other people look good, not to look good yourself. I think big law is unsustainable with a different mentality (not that it's super sustainable either way).

True, you wind up TLS procrastinating some work you're doing over night so a (person more senior than you) looks good getting the doc flipped to the client early in the day, but that's the job.

Int'lshoe

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Re: How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

Postby Int'lshoe » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:11 pm

Hey OP, I know it has been awhile, but wanted to share my advice. This issue is pervasive to all junior associates, so do not feel like you are alone. In fact, I stumbled across your post after having a particularly bad encounter with a senior associate who relished in making my life miserable this afternoon.

The issue you identified -- finding your "place" among all of the attorneys that you work with -- will likely be the most challenging part of your job as an attorney. The law itself, dealing with clients, arguing and winning motions is all tremendously EASY as opposed to trying to navigate your way through law firm politics.

Law firms are generally run like giant fraternities. As you may have noticed from the other posts in response to your inquiry, those who have "time" invested in a particular firm develop a tremendous sense of entitlement and arrogance. Generally speaking, your life will be made miserable by those more senior to you. This is part of the senior associates/junior partners "paying it forward" for what they experienced as a junior associate, and is also a function of their massive egos. The legal professional in general is permeated with hazing of younger attorneys, so try not to take anything personal. In fact, when a younger attorney is clearly more brilliant than the older attorney, it is very common for their treatment of the younger attorney to be even worse given the added insecurities.

As you've correctly identified, having a direct confrontation with any associate would be a bad thing. That being said, don't be afraid to stick up for yourself. If you've identified a mistake, call it out. If you disagree with a procedural step, speak up. Your law firm did not hire you and is not paying you to be a glorified secretary. Don't let mid-level associates tell you otherwise, they are just pissed they didn't speak up when they were a junior. That being said, try as best as possible to be respectful and stick to the facts/law. At the end of the day, drop any disagreement as its not worth getting into personal vendettas.

In terms of "cozying up" to the partners, I say go for it, but be strategic. While the senior associates you work with have some say on your reviews, at the end of the day the partners are the ones who make all the big decisions. Also, understand that senior associates who want to make partner must demonstrate that they can work effectively with junior attorneys. So if a disagreement does erupt, it is not entirely your fault that it did not work out. Don't let all of your accomplishments go totally unnoticed by the partners though as those senior associates will be the first to sell you down river if there is ever downsizing, etc. Note though that sharing your accomplishments with partners will likely result in further hazing by the senior associates. Again, just take it and move on.

At the end of the day, there are no good ways to deal with senior associates who are assholes. Be respectful and focus on the work, but don't be a pushover entirely. Pick and choose your battles, otherwise everyone at the firm -- including the partners -- will know you're that guy/girl who won't stick up for themselves. That person is always the first to be let go or the last to be made partner anyway.

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Pokemon

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Re: How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

Postby Pokemon » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:15 pm

:lol:

foregetaboutdre

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Re: How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

Postby foregetaboutdre » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:38 am

unless a partner or sr. associate really is going to do something that is catastrophically wrong/bad it pays tbh to be a "yes man/woman"

as a jr. you want to get work from sr associates/partners. so you do things the way they want them even if you think they are kind of dumb.

jd20132013

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Re: How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

Postby jd20132013 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:27 am

Yep it's just not that deep

Some of the times they'll actually know more than you -- they are more experienced after all. Not sure what the value for YOU is in stepping on people's toes. Remember that you aren't going to be partner so you ought to be trying to ensure that you get to leave on your terms

ruski

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Re: How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

Postby ruski » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:14 am

as a junior, remember your client is the midlevel/senior supervising you. that's it. no one else. just try to make their lives easier. don't try to understand the 'big picture' in a deal or spot possible errors or think about the needs of the actual client, that will come naturally with time. just do what ever the senior asks you to do and do it well and present it in a manner easiest for him (e.g. organizing attachments in an email rather than randomly attaching 10 docs, always providing redlines, etc.).

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Re: How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

Postby jimmythecatdied6 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:34 am

ruski wrote:as a junior, remember your client is the midlevel/senior supervising you. that's it. no one else. just try to make their lives easier. don't try to understand the 'big picture' in a deal or spot possible errors or think about the needs of the actual client, that will come naturally with time. just do what ever the senior asks you to do and do it well and present it in a manner easiest for him (e.g. organizing attachments in an email rather than randomly attaching 10 docs, always providing redlines, etc.).


this. know your audience. your audience is the midlevel/senior that is supervising your work product. if you make them look good, you look good, and you preserve your biglaw shelf life. if you don't, at best you stop getting work from them. At worst, you get canned.

jimmythecatdied6

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Re: How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

Postby jimmythecatdied6 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:36 am

also, as far as attribution, forget about it as a junior associate. that's just the way big law works. maybe in a few years you will get to put your name on a filing.

ghostoftraynor

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Re: How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

Postby ghostoftraynor » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:30 pm

Hard to give actual advice without actually seeing what's going. From my experience, people like when you point out errors and raise issues they weren't thinking about--that's literally the only thing law school exams test you on and its not random. Either you and some of the people commenting here work for actual psychopaths OR you (and them) are just coming off condensing. Don't "correct" people--just raise the issue and ask for their thoughts. No reasonable person is going to be mad because you are trying to do your job.

That being said, if you do work for actual psychopath, remember what was said here earlier--seniors (really midlevels) are your clients. Getting credit from a partner is great, but they really aren't super important for your career right now. Even if they are the one reviewing you, they are going to get most of their feedback form whoever the most senior person working with you was.

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Pokemon

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Re: How to deal with senior associate drama as a junior

Postby Pokemon » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:03 pm

Op is a first year and most biglaw practices require too much built in knowledge for a first year to provide actual advice. It is not a question of intelligence but of experience. That is why 95% certainty that op is some weirdo who thinks of himself as smarter than what he actually is but in reality probably just annoys other people.



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