WFH professional development

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WFH professional development

Post by Anonymous User » Wed May 13, 2020 10:44 am

Can anyone discuss the implications of young associates working from home for a substantial period of time? I'm supposed to start working in September after my clerkship ends but I suspect I'll be working from home for the first several weeks/months.

I worry that as a first year associate, I'll be difficult to learn and develop. Part of the benefit of being a first year is the feedback and comments received by superiors. Without being in the office, is it harder to receive feedback? If I submit a project to a senior associate in the office, I'm likely to receive the project back with comments and edits for me to fix thereby teaching me what I did wrong and what I can improve for the future. Over the summer, my superiors would not only give me written comments to fix, but they'd discuss with me things that were done well and things that could be improved. I took to heart everything they said and my reviews indicated that my focus on implementing critiques was well received. Therefore, I wonder if I submit the same project to the same senior associate from home, will I get the same type of feedback? Do you think the senior will send me back comments and have me fix everything and discuss what could be improved, or do you think the senior will just make the necessary changes and send it to his/her superior?

Is my worry that WFH hinders professional development of junior associates misplaced?

Anonymous User
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Re: WFH professional development

Post by Anonymous User » Wed May 13, 2020 12:04 pm

As a junior that just finished his first half year, I would say that it doesn't really affect work product feedback at all. Those are largely done through blacklines/track changes/etc. anyways, but I am corporate so idk if that is true for lit as well. If you're worried about it I would just ask them to please let you know of any comments when you send them your work product. I would also say that people seem to be valuing connecting more and are more willing to talk and spend a few minutes to catch up than they would otherwise.

I think it only hinders professional development in the sense that you obviously can't do something like take a lap around the floor or a happy hour and introduce yourself to all the seniors and partners anymore, so building new connections, outside of the projects you're staffed on, is probably more difficult.

JusticeChuckleNutz

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Re: WFH professional development

Post by JusticeChuckleNutz » Wed May 13, 2020 12:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 12:04 pm
As a junior that just finished his first half year, I would say that it doesn't really affect work product feedback at all. Those are largely done through blacklines/track changes/etc. anyways, but I am corporate so idk if that is true for lit as well. If you're worried about it I would just ask them to please let you know of any comments when you send them your work product. I would also say that people seem to be valuing connecting more and are more willing to talk and spend a few minutes to catch up than they would otherwise.

I think it only hinders professional development in the sense that you obviously can't do something like take a lap around the floor or a happy hour and introduce yourself to all the seniors and partners anymore, so building new connections, outside of the projects you're staffed on, is probably more difficult.
1st year in Lit who just finished their first half year as well. I certainly agree with all these thoughts. I haven't seen a massive difference in terms of feedback compared to being in-office to WFH. At least in my group, unless i did something obviously wrong, a lot of my feedback just comes from running a redline and seeing what the senior/partner changed anyway. Definitely less socializing, especially as summer starts and you would have SA events but agree that both partners and associates seem to be more willing to connect/discuss how things are going before diving into work.

Anonymous User
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Re: WFH professional development

Post by Anonymous User » Wed May 20, 2020 12:12 pm

Any one else have experiences they'd be willing to share?

RaceJudicata

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Re: WFH professional development

Post by RaceJudicata » Wed May 20, 2020 8:33 pm

You are unlikely to get the type of feedback you got as a summer. But you probably wouldn’t have regardless of work from home. Just a different dynamic. Need to learn from implementing changes or, if you aren’t given opportunity to implement (eg senior fixes and sends direct to partner/client), you need to take it upon yourself to run redlines, review changes closely, and think about why changes were made.

Assuming you are lit, you will also get a lot of pseudo feedback from follow up questions on research or whatever you happen to be working on. Pay close attention to these follow up questions — they should give you a lot of insight into the types of things you should be thinking about.

Bottom line - Don’t be afraid to ask follow up questions, but I wouldn’t expect (whether working from home or not) the type of feedback you got as a summer.

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Moneytrees

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Re: WFH professional development

Post by Moneytrees » Thu May 21, 2020 1:24 pm

This varies by practice group and your supervising attorneys, but as a general rule of thumb, you shouldn't expect a lot of substantive feedback in Biglaw. It's mostly a sink or swim type atmosphere.

Anon2468

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Re: WFH professional development

Post by Anon2468 » Thu May 21, 2020 8:40 pm

Tax here. I feel way less immersed in technical discussions than I did in the office, so I think working from home is a detriment from a development standpoint. You learn so much in tax from just listening to experienced practitioners talk through issues.

Anonymous User
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Re: WFH professional development

Post by Anonymous User » Fri May 22, 2020 9:27 am

Anon2468 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 8:40 pm
Tax here. I feel way less immersed in technical discussions than I did in the office, so I think working from home is a detriment from a development standpoint. You learn so much in tax from just listening to experienced practitioners talk through issues.
OP here. I'm in tax also and this is my exact fear.

hdr

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Re: WFH professional development

Post by hdr » Fri May 22, 2020 10:48 am

The only feedback you typically get is more work. WFH won't affect whether the partners give you work or not.

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