Scolded by partner -- how to prevent in the future

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Anonymous User
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Scolded by partner -- how to prevent in the future

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:29 pm

I'm a first year associate and just had a really crappy situation happen and am trying to figure out how to prevent it in the future -- thoughts would be appreciated.

A partner gave my senior associate mentor a complex project. The senior handed it off to me with an over simplified and largely incorrect explanation of the assignment. I slaved over this project for over a week. A few days ago, several weeks after I completed the assignment, the partner came and ripped me a new one for giving him crappy analysis and work-product. He then angrily explained what the project was supposed to be, which was not at all what I had been told by the senior. Although I did not out the senior for giving me a poor description, the partner seemed to recognize that this project was not a first year-level project, and did say he was angry with the senior for handing it off.

I want to prevent this from happening again. Looking back, I really don't know what I could have done differently. I didn't know I had done the project so poorly until the moment he told me -- he insisted that this could have been solved by my asking questions, but I was so clueless as to what the assignment was supposed to be that I didn't even know what questions to ask.

How can I prevent this from happening again? I've only been here a month and I really want to make sure I don't get a reputation for producing poor work product.

Anonymous User
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Re: Scolded by partner -- how to prevent in the future

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:32 pm

I think you said it yourself. You were so clueless you couldn't have understood the project properly and that was the question you should've asked -- wtf am I supposed to do

jd20132013
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Re: Scolded by partner -- how to prevent in the future

Postby jd20132013 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:52 pm

This isn't your fault. Just one of the many terrible things about biglaw. Yes it's bad but you literally couldn't have done anything differently.

Work hard and see what your first set of reviews look like.


Well actually, an edit-- one thing you can in future do is ask for examples of similar work product. Not sure from
Your post exactly what you did wrong, but if it was more of a presentation/detail thing, examples can help.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Scolded by partner -- how to prevent in the future

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:46 pm

It's not clear if you handed this directly to the partner or not. Generally, try to make sure you're giving your work to the person who assigned it to you, at least for their review before it goes up the chain. Ideally this should have gone to the senior, who would have endorsed the work before it went to the partner. That makes it very clear the issue lies with the senior. But in this situation everyone should basically understand that anyway, so I wouldn't worry too much.

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2807
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Re: Scolded by partner -- how to prevent in the future

Postby 2807 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:17 pm

Get your instructions in writing.

Anonymous User
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Re: Scolded by partner -- how to prevent in the future

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:34 pm

You could also ask another midlevel/senior just casually "wtf is this assignment?" for some insight.

I'm sure they'd understand that you were assigned a complex project that isn't normally given to 1st years and would be willing to give you advice/tips/sample work product.




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