First Year Lazy (?) Associate

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hlsperson1111

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Re: First Year Lazy (?) Associate

Postby hlsperson1111 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP's post is why I refuse to work directly with first years any more. Obviously every practice group is different, and I am not sure how you are defining senior associate, but the easiest way to avoid these types of problems is to always have someone between you and the first year. That protects you from having to clean up their work and deal with their performance issues and allows you to focus on substantive feedback rather than typos. Life is also easier for the first year when they are being supervised by someone closer in class year.

The more senior you are the more you are responsible for what ultimately goes out the door (and when that happens). You have too few chances to blow any of them on even good first years who are still figuring things out.


Also a senior associate at a Vault firm. I don't know what your firm's staffing is like, but it is rare for us to have three layers of associate review on any case (or really, three associates on a case at all). Most cases are 1-2 partners and 1-2 associates. And frankly, what you are suggesting sounds incredibly inefficient; most of our clients would (justifiably) be irritated if they saw one brief or one document go through three associates before it got to a partner.

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Re: First Year Lazy (?) Associate

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:44 am

hlsperson1111 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP's post is why I refuse to work directly with first years any more. Obviously every practice group is different, and I am not sure how you are defining senior associate, but the easiest way to avoid these types of problems is to always have someone between you and the first year. That protects you from having to clean up their work and deal with their performance issues and allows you to focus on substantive feedback rather than typos. Life is also easier for the first year when they are being supervised by someone closer in class year.

The more senior you are the more you are responsible for what ultimately goes out the door (and when that happens). You have too few chances to blow any of them on even good first years who are still figuring things out.


Also a senior associate at a Vault firm. I don't know what your firm's staffing is like, but it is rare for us to have three layers of associate review on any case (or really, three associates on a case at all). Most cases are 1-2 partners and 1-2 associates. And frankly, what you are suggesting sounds incredibly inefficient; most of our clients would (justifiably) be irritated if they saw one brief or one document go through three associates before it got to a partner.


Should have given the caveat that I am in corporate and 3+ associates is pretty normal. Obviously if you only have 2 associates on a case then things are different - I think the advice to just avoid that associate makes a lot of sense.

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Re: First Year Lazy (?) Associate

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:49 am

OP here.

Senior associate in my case is 6th year, but a recent lateral, so I'm hyperconscious of my own integration reputation. I also haven't had the opportunity to vet any juniors through the hiring and/or summer associate process.

I got burned again yesterday, and I stopped being nice. I told the first year that I expect a reviewable work product in my inbox this morning. He cobbled together some schlock, and then bounced into my office 10 minutes ago to discuss. I walked him through his numerous errors and told him that in biglaw, the expectation is to use logic as well as Westlaw when cutting and pasting irrelevant regulations. The final straw was when he said, "Joe asked me to write a memo that is due on Friday. I need to get started on that, so I probably cannot spend any more time on this."

Fuck him.

JohnnieSockran

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Re: First Year Lazy (?) Associate

Postby JohnnieSockran » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Senior associate in my case is 6th year, but a recent lateral, so I'm hyperconscious of my own integration reputation. I also haven't had the opportunity to vet any juniors through the hiring and/or summer associate process.

I got burned again yesterday, and I stopped being nice. I told the first year that I expect a reviewable work product in my inbox this morning. He cobbled together some schlock, and then bounced into my office 10 minutes ago to discuss. I walked him through his numerous errors and told him that in biglaw, the expectation is to use logic as well as Westlaw when cutting and pasting irrelevant regulations. The final straw was when he said, "Joe asked me to write a memo that is due on Friday. I need to get started on that, so I probably cannot spend any more time on this."

Fuck him.


Yes, that's pretty rough so I'd stop giving him work. Bonuses are significant for 6th+ year, so I guess you'll have some extra hours by keeping the work to yourself, and hopefully a better junior comes along soon for you.

Also, it's Wednesday. So all he has to do is 1 memo by Friday (plus whatever he was doing for you)? Guy's not gonna last long in this job...

objctnyrhnr

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Re: First Year Lazy (?) Associate

Postby objctnyrhnr » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:13 pm

Are the sentiments about this associate shared by anybody else to your knowledge?

hlsperson1111

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Re: First Year Lazy (?) Associate

Postby hlsperson1111 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
hlsperson1111 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP's post is why I refuse to work directly with first years any more. Obviously every practice group is different, and I am not sure how you are defining senior associate, but the easiest way to avoid these types of problems is to always have someone between you and the first year. That protects you from having to clean up their work and deal with their performance issues and allows you to focus on substantive feedback rather than typos. Life is also easier for the first year when they are being supervised by someone closer in class year.

The more senior you are the more you are responsible for what ultimately goes out the door (and when that happens). You have too few chances to blow any of them on even good first years who are still figuring things out.


Also a senior associate at a Vault firm. I don't know what your firm's staffing is like, but it is rare for us to have three layers of associate review on any case (or really, three associates on a case at all). Most cases are 1-2 partners and 1-2 associates. And frankly, what you are suggesting sounds incredibly inefficient; most of our clients would (justifiably) be irritated if they saw one brief or one document go through three associates before it got to a partner.


Should have given the caveat that I am in corporate and 3+ associates is pretty normal. Obviously if you only have 2 associates on a case then things are different - I think the advice to just avoid that associate makes a lot of sense.


Fair. I didn't mean to be harsh - I just think that the approach is very dependent on office size, staffing dynamic, and the nature of the matter. If it's some huge deal with a ton of people then your approach makes a lot of sense; it's just very hard to do it in litigation, where matters often tend to be more leanly staffed and clients seem to be more cost conscious.



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