Biglaw client interaction experience

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Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:00 am

Capital markets associate at a V10. Deals with bankers on a daily basis. It’s one thing that they expect an answer to everything or have things done “ASAP” and show little to no appreciation to good work, but totally another that many of the bankers seem to think it’s completely fine to act jerkish /unnecessarily mean or just outright personally attack us lawyers. Just wondering what’s other folks’ experience been like. Do your partners also ask you to bite your tongue and just put up with them?

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby FND » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:Capital markets associate at a V10. Deals with bankers on a daily basis. It’s one thing that they expect an answer to everything or have things done “ASAP” and show little to no appreciation to good work, but totally another that many of the bankers seem to think it’s completely fine to act jerkish /unnecessarily mean or just outright personally attack us lawyers. Just wondering what’s other folks’ experience been like. Do your partners also ask you to bite your tongue and just put up with them?

there are dicks everywhere, and quite a few bankers are dicks. For the most part, they're just in a hurry, which can come off mean. But personal attacks do come, and you're gonna have to take it. You're being paid too much money to care.

Note: when I worked in finance I once told the associate I was working with he wasn't allowed to go to the bathroom, because the documents were expected any minute and had to be turned around right away. I've also once called the attorney literally every 5 minutes asking if he was finished. We weren't paying $$$ for an associate's excellent legal acumen, but for the associate to be at our beck and call, to be able to provide us with the requisite service at the requisite time. I never yelled, but, you bet that if he didn't deliver as required, we'd have asked his supervising partner for a different associate - and you can only imagine what that would have done for his career.
"We" had gotten people fired at other companies for insufficient/inadequate performance - including a V.P. at a bank.
Last edited by QContinuum on Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:08 am

If I call every 5 minutes that surely won’t be disruptive and really drill in the fact that it needs to be turned ASAP

smh

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby hlsperson1111 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Capital markets associate at a V10. Deals with bankers on a daily basis. It’s one thing that they expect an answer to everything or have things done “ASAP” and show little to no appreciation to good work, but totally another that many of the bankers seem to think it’s completely fine to act jerkish /unnecessarily mean or just outright personally attack us lawyers. Just wondering what’s other folks’ experience been like. Do your partners also ask you to bite your tongue and just put up with them?

there are dicks everywhere, and quite a few bankers are dicks. For the most part, they're just in a hurry, which can come off mean. But personal attacks do come, and you're gonna have to take it. You're being paid too much money to care.

Note: when I worked in finance I once told the associate I was working with he wasn't allowed to go to the bathroom, because the documents were expected any minute and had to be turned around right away. I've also once called the attorney literally every 5 minutes asking if he was finished. We weren't paying $$$ for an associate's excellent legal acumen, but for the associate to be at our beck and call, to be able to provide us with the requisite service at the requisite time. I never yelled, but, you bet that if he didn't deliver as required, we'd have asked his supervising partner for a different associate - and you can only imagine what that would have done for his career.
"We" had gotten people fired at other companies for insufficient/inadequate performance - including a V.P. at a bank.


You sound like a lovely person.

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby Npret » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Capital markets associate at a V10. Deals with bankers on a daily basis. It’s one thing that they expect an answer to everything or have things done “ASAP” and show little to no appreciation to good work, but totally another that many of the bankers seem to think it’s completely fine to act jerkish /unnecessarily mean or just outright personally attack us lawyers. Just wondering what’s other folks’ experience been like. Do your partners also ask you to bite your tongue and just put up with them?

there are dicks everywhere, and quite a few bankers are dicks. For the most part, they're just in a hurry, which can come off mean. But personal attacks do come, and you're gonna have to take it. You're being paid too much money to care.

Note: when I worked in finance I once told the associate I was working with he wasn't allowed to go to the bathroom, because the documents were expected any minute and had to be turned around right away. I've also once called the attorney literally every 5 minutes asking if he was finished. We weren't paying $$$ for an associate's excellent legal acumen, but for the associate to be at our beck and call, to be able to provide us with the requisite service at the requisite time. I never yelled, but, you bet that if he didn't deliver as required, we'd have asked his supervising partner for a different associate - and you can only imagine what that would have done for his career.
"We" had gotten people fired at other companies for insufficient/inadequate performance - including a V.P. at a bank.

Please save this post to use when people wonder why biglaw is so terrible. When you have clients that treat you like prostitutes, what do you expect? Except they aren’t even paying your salary.

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:49 am

Npret wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Capital markets associate at a V10. Deals with bankers on a daily basis. It’s one thing that they expect an answer to everything or have things done “ASAP” and show little to no appreciation to good work, but totally another that many of the bankers seem to think it’s completely fine to act jerkish /unnecessarily mean or just outright personally attack us lawyers. Just wondering what’s other folks’ experience been like. Do your partners also ask you to bite your tongue and just put up with them?

there are dicks everywhere, and quite a few bankers are dicks. For the most part, they're just in a hurry, which can come off mean. But personal attacks do come, and you're gonna have to take it. You're being paid too much money to care.

Note: when I worked in finance I once told the associate I was working with he wasn't allowed to go to the bathroom, because the documents were expected any minute and had to be turned around right away. I've also once called the attorney literally every 5 minutes asking if he was finished. We weren't paying $$$ for an associate's excellent legal acumen, but for the associate to be at our beck and call, to be able to provide us with the requisite service at the requisite time. I never yelled, but, you bet that if he didn't deliver as required, we'd have asked his supervising partner for a different associate - and you can only imagine what that would have done for his career.
"We" had gotten people fired at other companies for insufficient/inadequate performance - including a V.P. at a bank.

Please save this post to use when people wonder why biglaw is so terrible. When you have clients that treat you like prostitutes, what do you expect? Except they aren’t even paying your salary.


At least Robert Kraft tipped well

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:41 pm

OP here. Not surprised to hear what the poster above said but thanks for making me feel better and giving 0Ls a glimpse into what they may be getting themselves into.

jimmythecatdied6

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby jimmythecatdied6 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:57 pm

of course bankers are dicks, but once you show them you can speak their language the conversation changes. same goes for c-level executives.
Last edited by QContinuum on Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby abiglawyer » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Note: when I worked in finance I once told the associate I was working with he wasn't allowed to go to the bathroom, because the documents were expected any minute and had to be turned around right away. I've also once called the attorney literally every 5 minutes asking if he was finished. We weren't paying $$$ for an associate's excellent legal acumen, but for the associate to be at our beck and call, to be able to provide us with the requisite service at the requisite time. I never yelled, but, you bet that if he didn't deliver as required, we'd have asked his supervising partner for a different associate - and you can only imagine what that would have done for his career.
"We" had gotten people fired at other companies for insufficient/inadequate performance - including a V.P. at a bank.


Do you also do the five singles on the table thing at restaurants? How you treat people who have to be nice to you is a great indicator of what kind of person you are.

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby FND » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:55 pm

abiglawyer wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Note: when I worked in finance I once told the associate I was working with he wasn't allowed to go to the bathroom, because the documents were expected any minute and had to be turned around right away. I've also once called the attorney literally every 5 minutes asking if he was finished. We weren't paying $$$ for an associate's excellent legal acumen, but for the associate to be at our beck and call, to be able to provide us with the requisite service at the requisite time. I never yelled, but, you bet that if he didn't deliver as required, we'd have asked his supervising partner for a different associate - and you can only imagine what that would have done for his career.
"We" had gotten people fired at other companies for insufficient/inadequate performance - including a V.P. at a bank.


Do you also do the five singles on the table thing at restaurants? How you treat people who have to be nice to you is a great indicator of what kind of person you are.

not at all.

The deals we were working on were very time-sensitive, with some of the moving parts being valid for no longer than a week. So we'd get the final quotes, then we'd have to do the math, get all the final bits together, and get them signed by multiple parties in different countries, to the law firm for final review and signoff, and then to the bank for funds to be wired out, all in just a few days. For the wires to go out, the final stack of documents, with approvals, had to be in at the bank on the day the quotes expired at 4:30 at the latest.
The time I told John he couldn't go to the bathroom, it was already two o'clock on the day the quotes were expiring, and I was still chasing down the last two signatures on my end, so it really was going down to the wire.
On the flip side, if I got lucky and had everything together with a few days to spare, I'd call John before sending documents to let him know that we had plenty of time. (called because I wasn't dumb enough to put that in an email)

Note: a different time, on a similar deal, verbal approval had gone out at 4:30 to get the wires out ("we're still checking, but it looks good; yeah, ok, tell them they can send the money"), only for a final hangup to be discovered at the very last minute - the deal had been backdated to a Saturday, and had to be backdated to the relevant Friday. (the dates weren't the big issue, the math on backdating the wrong days was off, and so a lot of the numbers had to change)
By the time that was discovered, on a Friday before a holiday weekend, millions of dollars were already in the process of being wired, the supervising partner at the law firm had already left, the VPs and the managing director at the ibank had already left, Partner at the PE firm involved had already left, pretty much everyone in power had left, but they'd all been copied on the email chain, so it was up to us little people to figure out a solution in the 10-20 minutes we had before heads were gonna roll.
Last edited by QContinuum on Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

abiglawyer

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby abiglawyer » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:not at all.

The deals we were working on were very time-sensitive, with some of the moving parts being valid for no longer than a week. So we'd get the final quotes, then we'd have to do the math, get all the final bits together, and get them signed by multiple parties in different countries, to the law firm for final review and signoff, and then to the bank for funds to be wired out, all in just a few days. For the wires to go out, the final stack of documents, with approvals, had to be in at the bank on the day the quotes expired at 4:30 at the latest.
The time I told John he couldn't go to the bathroom, it was already two o'clock on the day the quotes were expiring, and I was still chasing down the last two signatures on my end, so it really was going down to the wire.
On the flip side, if I got lucky and had everything together with a few days to spare, I'd call John before sending documents to let him know that we had plenty of time. (called because I wasn't dumb enough to put that in an email)

Note: a different time, on a similar deal, verbal approval had gone out at 4:30 to get the wires out ("we're still checking, but it looks good; yeah, ok, tell them they can send the money"), only for a final hangup to be discovered at the very last minute - the deal had been backdated to a Saturday, and had to be backdated to the relevant Friday. (the dates weren't the big issue, the math on backdating the wrong days was off, and so a lot of the numbers had to change)
By the time that was discovered, on a Friday before a holiday weekend, millions of dollars were already in the process of being wired, the supervising partner at the law firm had already left, the VPs and the managing director at the ibank had already left, Partner at the PE firm involved had already left, pretty much everyone in power had left, but they'd all been copied on the email chain, so it was up to us little people to figure out a solution in the 10-20 minutes we had before heads were gonna roll.


Your inability to admit that your behavior was humiliating and unnecessarily controlling is frankly unsettling.

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The time I told John he couldn't go to the bathroom, it was already two o'clock on the day the quotes were expiring, and I was still chasing down the last two signatures on my end, so it really was going down to the wire.


Ohhhhhhh, I see.

Then that makes it entirely reasonable that you told someone they were not allowed to take two minutes to do one of the three things that you actually need to do to continue living. Totally normal.

I always come back to this: every single person should have to work at least a year in retail or the service industry. I think it would help prevent people acting like total sociopaths as soon as they have someone working under them.

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby FND » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:32 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The time I told John he couldn't go to the bathroom, it was already two o'clock on the day the quotes were expiring, and I was still chasing down the last two signatures on my end, so it really was going down to the wire.


Ohhhhhhh, I see.

Then that makes it entirely reasonable that you told someone they were not allowed to take two minutes to do one of the three things that you actually need to do to continue living. Totally normal.

I always come back to this: every single person should have to work at least a year in retail or the service industry. I think it would help prevent people acting like total sociopaths as soon as they have someone working under them.

Oh grow up. Do you think biglaw is paying a first year associate fresh out of law school $190k/yr because their legal acumen is so great? First year associates get paid a ridiculous amount of money to be there to do grunt work whenever they're needed.
If John wanted a job where he could go to the toilet whenever he wanted, McDonalds is always hiring.

If a deal didn't close, nobody made any money. We were paying the law firm stupid money, and we were paying it for exactly one reason and one reason only: the bank needed the law firm's reputation and malpractice insurance to sign off on due diligence BEFORE funds could be sent.

And, by the way, if you think that's particular to biglaw, that's not true. Big Four accounting firms and bulge bracket investment banks are just as bad, but their starting pay is lower. I've seen associates pull allnighters over Christmas and New Year, because that's the job. If you're not willing to do it, there are thousands of people who'd happily take your job for less money.
Generally speaking, 20-somethings don't have the skill-sets to command six-figure salaries; those high-paying jobs are paying for their availability.
Last edited by QContinuum on Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:of course bankers are dicks, but once you show them you can speak their language the conversation changes. same goes for c-level executives.


The sad thing is, as a petite Asian female, the meanest remarks/attacks I got are often from female bankers

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:59 pm

I’ve been on both sides of this, as a junior then midlevel in biglaw, then in-house, including at a bulge bracket i-bank as counsel/VP level.

While outside counsel, I would bristle at quick turnaround deadlines and less-than-pleasant treatment by both clients and partners. As in-house counsels, I would get annoyed when I wasn’t given quick responses and turnaround by those law firms that we paid out the nose to. But I would never treat them like they were beneath me just because I was the client, I would never be anything other than polite, professional and courteous. Even in the most desperate of time crunches - literally in the middle of a board meeting of a joint venture to approve a big deal, all the finance bigwigs waiting on legal to confirm something, growing ever more inpatient as we try to get them an answer we need outside counsel to confirm - there’s never an excuse to treat people like dogs.

tl;dr: ASAP turnarounds are expected and an inevitable part of the job, jerks are expected but only because people are jerks, not because they need to be.

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby FND » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I’ve been on both sides of this, as a junior then midlevel in biglaw, then in-house, including at a bulge bracket i-bank as counsel/VP level.

While outside counsel, I would bristle at quick turnaround deadlines and less-than-pleasant treatment by both clients and partners. As in-house counsels, I would get annoyed when I wasn’t given quick responses and turnaround by those law firms that we paid out the nose to. But I would never treat them like they were beneath me just because I was the client, I would never be anything other than polite, professional and courteous. Even in the most desperate of time crunches - literally in the middle of a board meeting of a joint venture to approve a big deal, all the finance bigwigs waiting on legal to confirm something, growing ever more inpatient as we try to get them an answer we need outside counsel to confirm - there’s never an excuse to treat people like dogs.

tl;dr: ASAP turnarounds are expected and an inevitable part of the job, jerks are expected but only because people are jerks, not because they need to be.
Anon from earlier

Just to clarify, I was very nice and polite when I told counsel he couldn't go to the bathroom because the work was expected imminently. I also gave heads up when time wasn't an issue.

TL:DR There's a difference between being demanding and being degrading.
Last edited by QContinuum on Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

BrainsyK

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby BrainsyK » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:19 pm

I'm going to have to support anon finance-bro here. I've been treated with similar contempt for $11/hr with no benefits--including the bathroom part. It's in the nature of these jobs that pay stupid money to those in their early to mid-twenties that people will eat some shit.

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I’ve been on both sides of this, as a junior then midlevel in biglaw, then in-house, including at a bulge bracket i-bank as counsel/VP level.

While outside counsel, I would bristle at quick turnaround deadlines and less-than-pleasant treatment by both clients and partners. As in-house counsels, I would get annoyed when I wasn’t given quick responses and turnaround by those law firms that we paid out the nose to. But I would never treat them like they were beneath me just because I was the client, I would never be anything other than polite, professional and courteous. Even in the most desperate of time crunches - literally in the middle of a board meeting of a joint venture to approve a big deal, all the finance bigwigs waiting on legal to confirm something, growing ever more inpatient as we try to get them an answer we need outside counsel to confirm - there’s never an excuse to treat people like dogs.

tl;dr: ASAP turnarounds are expected and an inevitable part of the job, jerks are expected but only because people are jerks, not because they need to be.
Anon from earlier

Just to clarify, I was very nice and polite when I told counsel he couldn't go to the bathroom because the work was expected imminently. I also gave heads up when time wasn't an issue.

TL:DR There's a difference between being demanding and being degrading.

I was mainly thinking of this:
Anonymous User wrote:I've also once called the attorney literally every 5 minutes asking if he was finished.

That may have been done politely, but it wasn't nice. And mostly I'm sure it was counterproductive - the attorney knew it was needed ASAP, calling incessantly only interrupted the work getting done, which delayed the deliverable from getting to you.
Last edited by QContinuum on Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

abiglawyer

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby abiglawyer » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I’ve been on both sides of this, as a junior then midlevel in biglaw, then in-house, including at a bulge bracket i-bank as counsel/VP level.

While outside counsel, I would bristle at quick turnaround deadlines and less-than-pleasant treatment by both clients and partners. As in-house counsels, I would get annoyed when I wasn’t given quick responses and turnaround by those law firms that we paid out the nose to. But I would never treat them like they were beneath me just because I was the client, I would never be anything other than polite, professional and courteous. Even in the most desperate of time crunches - literally in the middle of a board meeting of a joint venture to approve a big deal, all the finance bigwigs waiting on legal to confirm something, growing ever more inpatient as we try to get them an answer we need outside counsel to confirm - there’s never an excuse to treat people like dogs.

tl;dr: ASAP turnarounds are expected and an inevitable part of the job, jerks are expected but only because people are jerks, not because they need to be.
Anon from earlier

Just to clarify, I was very nice and polite when I told counsel he couldn't go to the bathroom because the work was expected imminently. I also gave heads up when time wasn't an issue.

TL:DR There's a difference between being demanding and being degrading.


There's no polite way to tell someone they can't pee. I'm sorry that someone in your past transgressed boundaries of basic decency so profoundly that you think this is okay, but it isn't in any circumstance.

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:22 am

ITT anon breaks all rules of human decency but we need to grow up because we just don’t understand being a raging douche, as adults do.

cavalier1138

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:31 am

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:ITT anon breaks all rules of human decency but we need to grow up because we just don’t understand being a raging douche, as adults do.


For real. It's deeply disturbing to see the actual thought processes that go into justifying this kind of behavior as part of "growing up."

jarofsoup

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby jarofsoup » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:25 am

I am not sure why you have difficulty managing your stress like this. I wonder what other posts have been written about you yelling at junior associates and making them lateral.

Usually when you ramp up the stress (and for no reason) people get frazzled and move slower. Keeping it cool gets you better (and faster) work.

Now that you are in the profession, I am sure that it has done wonders for your reputation that you were a nightmare client.

LawAndBehold

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby LawAndBehold » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:12 am

jarofsoup wrote: Usually when you ramp up the stress (and for no reason) people get frazzled and move slower. Keeping it cool gets you better (and faster) work.
I second this. Whoever thinks breathing down someone’s neck is a good strategy to get quick and excellent turnaround is quite frankly not a very (emotionally) intelligent person but is rather some bully on a power trip. Also quite insulting and degrading to the associate working on the matter. I’m sure the associate in question knows full well how urgent and important the work is. And is not sitting on his or her ass. No point in harassing someone like that. It will have the opposite effect: you create unnecessary stress and that is how people make mistakes. And just because you pay them shitloads is not an excuse to treat people that way. You sir, anon finance, is what is wrong with the (legal) service industry.

ghostoftraynor

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby ghostoftraynor » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:17 am

Finance bro is a great reminder nobody is the bad guy in their own head. The human ability to justify horrible actions is truly amazing.

And the posters insanity isn’t even beneficial. Someone who is about to poop their pants, getting called every five minutes by their psychopath client, definetly isn’t working at full speed.

Bllljd115

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Re: Biglaw client interaction experience

Postby Bllljd115 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:34 pm

I've seen this fact pattern/type before in other contexts. In the story above, it sounds like someone (maybe banker-anon, maybe someone else) failed to manage the process appropriately, leading to a last minute fire drill for all parties involved (except for the partners/MDs who had all left because they probably didn't think there was any issue that could arise last minute that was really that crucial and required their attention). In that situation, calling the associate every five minutes may have soothed banker-anon's anxiety, make them feel they were in control, and gave them cover if something gets screwed up, but it's not advancing the ball on the project at all and is probably measurably increasing the risk of mistakes. The better approach is to take the view in that everyone junior is in this together and is trying to get shit done. When you take that view, you don't need to micro-manage another adult's bathroom breaks or take out your anxiety on them (since that's not why you are paying them) and you get better work product with less stress because you have built a level of trust among team members.

There's really no way to solve for this issue, unfortunately. When your primary qualification for an entry level finance/law job is being good at school, a lot of the people who wind up in these jobs are going to be emotionally unsuited to act as managers.



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