Do you thank senior associates and partners?

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avenuem

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Do you thank senior associates and partners?

Post by avenuem » Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:50 pm

Does TLS have a "questions that don't deserve their own thread" (QTDDTOT) or "you're neurotic as hell" section?

Imagine you're a junior. You do work. A mid level SUBSTANTIALLY improves your work. Midlevel sends to senior, crediting you. Senior associate on the cusp of partnership tells you that your work is "superb."

Do you respond to say thanks? Does your analysis change if the person giving you a compliment is a partner or mid level?

I assume you shouldn't fill inboxes with "thank yous," but also wouldn't want to seem like a dick by not acknowledging the compliment. Nevermind the issue that Midlevel credits me for work that's like 10% mine.

lawlo

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Re: Do you thank senior associates and partners?

Post by lawlo » Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:07 pm

Lay off the adderall.

Sackboy

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Re: Do you thank senior associates and partners?

Post by Sackboy » Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:09 pm

I normally don't send thank you emails, unless I'm saying something like "Thank you. Let me know if you need any follow up" or "Thank you, but Jessica did the real heavy lifting." I'd never just say thanks. Seems kind of pointless.

2013

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Re: Do you thank senior associates and partners?

Post by 2013 » Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:42 am

Don’t say thank you.

avenuem

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Re: Do you thank senior associates and partners?

Post by avenuem » Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:49 am

2013 wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:42 am
Don’t say thank you.
This sounds right to me.
Sackboy wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:09 pm
I normally don't send thank you emails, unless I'm saying something like "Thank you. Let me know if you need any follow up" or "Thank you, but Jessica did the real heavy lifting." I'd never just say thanks. Seems kind of pointless.
This is helpful. But in keeping with such questions, does it undercut the midlevel if the midlevel makes the choice to give me credit, only for me to say something like "Thank you, but midlevel did the work?" Your first suggestion sounds best.

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Barrred

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Re: Do you thank senior associates and partners?

Post by Barrred » Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:57 am

avenuem wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:49 am
2013 wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:42 am
Don’t say thank you.
This sounds right to me.
Sackboy wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:09 pm
I normally don't send thank you emails, unless I'm saying something like "Thank you. Let me know if you need any follow up" or "Thank you, but Jessica did the real heavy lifting." I'd never just say thanks. Seems kind of pointless.
This is helpful. But in keeping with such questions, does it undercut the midlevel if the midlevel makes the choice to give me credit, only for me to say something like "Thank you, but midlevel did the work?" Your first suggestion sounds best.
The senior KNOWS that the midlevel substantially improved your work (thats their job). No need to credit them back. I would only send a "Thank you, but Jessica did the real heavy lifting" email if Jessica was at my level (or +1 year) or junior. Doesnt change who is giving you the initial praise (partner/senior). If the midlevel didnt think your work was worth praise from the partner/senior, they wouldnt have gone out of their way to credit you in their initial email.

TigerIsBack

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Re: Do you thank senior associates and partners?

Post by TigerIsBack » Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:21 am

No matter what, a midlevel is going to improve your work because if they don't it falls on them, since it was their job to review it. Juniors often do things horribly wrong (not necessarily for lack of effort), that's just the nature of the biglaw beast so midlevels and seniors have to clean it up before it goes to a client.

My $0.02 is that it's certainly a positive sign when a midlevel is giving you credit even if they substantially improved your work. That generally means they're either (a) a super nice person and always do that or (b) they like working with you and want you to succeed so they are doing their part in currying favor on your behalf with more senior folks.

Most biglawyers are not (a), so if anything, I'd read into this as a positive in that your work was good enough that the senior was appreciative of your effort. If a junior makes sloppy mistakes that are totally careless and I basically have to redo the work, I just send it on to the senior associate/partner without giving or not giving credit to anyone (certainly wouldn't throw a junior under the bus, but not going to praise them either if they didn't even try). On the other hand, if a junior gives me something that is horrible and I have to completely redo it, but I can tell they thought about what they did, or asked good questions, or just generally were trying to get it right, I will give them credit with the senior person every single time because those are the juniors that I want to continue working. All juniors that are making a reasonable good faith effort will eventually get better, so I want those types of juniors that care about their work product to be building their confidence, and frankly I also want them to want to work with me the next time I'm on a crazy deal and someone senior asks me to try to find a junior to bring in at the 11th hour.

TL;DR - to answer your question, I wouldn't say anything at all. The senior person has a positive impression of you right now, so just leave it at that even if you feel the praise is undeserved, because I can guarantee that there will be plenty of shitty things about this job that will happen that you also won't deserve, so take the wins when you get them.

PrinterInk

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Re: Do you thank senior associates and partners?

Post by PrinterInk » Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:55 am

JFC, try this:

“Thanks!”

He didn’t give you a Nobel Prize—no need to write a speech.

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Re: Do you thank senior associates and partners?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:25 am

PrinterInk wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:55 am
JFC, try this:

“Thanks!”

He didn’t give you a Nobel Prize—no need to write a speech.
This. OP is overthinking it.

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byrdscales

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Re: Do you thank senior associates and partners?

Post by byrdscales » Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:52 am

I think the right answers have been given already, just wanted to add that it's not necessary to effusively thank the mid-levels and seniors you work with when they take the time to teach you something or answer questions. A polite "thanks" is nice. Telling me "thank you so much, you're the best, I really appreciate you taking the time to review that with me!" is too much.

avenuem

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Re: Do you thank senior associates and partners?

Post by avenuem » Fri Nov 20, 2020 6:27 am

byrdscales wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:52 am
I think the right answers have been given already, just wanted to add that it's not necessary to effusively thank the mid-levels and seniors you work with when they take the time to teach you something or answer questions. A polite "thanks" is nice. Telling me "thank you so much, you're the best, I really appreciate you taking the time to review that with me!" is too much.
Yeah, I think such a gushy and long thank you is over the top and can be just as bad as (if not worse than) flooding their inbox.
TigerIsBack wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:21 am
Not quoting your whole post because of how long it is, but I appreciate how thoroughly (and assuringly) you responded. FWIW - you seem like a nice biglaw person, just like the mid level, but I did give a lot of effort so maybe it is a little bit of (b) too.

Thanks all. Will read any other responses, but feel the questions I had were adequately addressed.

And yes, to the other anons, maybe I am overthinking it. I like the firm despite overthinking things and want to last for a long time, not just leave in a few years when convenient.

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cfcm

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Re: Do you thank senior associates and partners?

Post by cfcm » Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:34 am

byrdscales wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:52 am
I think the right answers have been given already, just wanted to add that it's not necessary to effusively thank the mid-levels and seniors you work with when they take the time to teach you something or answer questions. A polite "thanks" is nice. Telling me "thank you so much, you're the best, I really appreciate you taking the time to review that with me!" is too much.
Yeah when someone sends me an email like that I assume they are being sarcastic.

Sackboy

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Re: Do you thank senior associates and partners?

Post by Sackboy » Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:36 pm

cfcm wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:34 am
byrdscales wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:52 am
I think the right answers have been given already, just wanted to add that it's not necessary to effusively thank the mid-levels and seniors you work with when they take the time to teach you something or answer questions. A polite "thanks" is nice. Telling me "thank you so much, you're the best, I really appreciate you taking the time to review that with me!" is too much.
Yeah when someone sends me an email like that I assume they are being sarcastic.
This is some next-level pessimism.

Barrred

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Re: Do you thank senior associates and partners?

Post by Barrred » Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:07 pm

avenuem wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:50 pm
Does TLS have a "questions that don't deserve their own thread" (QTDDTOT) or "you're neurotic as hell" section?

Imagine you're a junior. You do work. A mid level SUBSTANTIALLY improves your work. Midlevel sends to senior, crediting you. Senior associate on the cusp of partnership tells you that your work is "superb."

Do you respond to say thanks? Does your analysis change if the person giving you a compliment is a partner or mid level?

I assume you shouldn't fill inboxes with "thank yous," but also wouldn't want to seem like a dick by not acknowledging the compliment. Nevermind the issue that Midlevel credits me for work that's like 10% mine.
One more thing: To all the junior associates out there, don't beat yourselves up/downplay the importance of your role on a team based on the heaviness of the edits that your work receives before it goes to the partner/client. With very rare exceptions for truly horrible work, it is usually immensely easier for me as as a mid-to-senior associate to edit a junior associate's draft than it would be for me to draft a brief from scratch. Often I will make a change to literally every sentence of the junior's draft, and I may switch around the structure entirely, but that is because I have a particular style that I am trying to achieve before I put my stamp of approval on the draft. On many occasions, the draft that the junior sent me probably could have been forwarded straight to the partner, in terms of quality of argument, but since it is going to the partner through me I'm going to put my stylistic/structural spin on it because that is what is expected. If I credit you (the junior) in my email to the partner, you should take it as me acknowledging the foregoing (and even if I forget to credit you, you should still hold your head high knowing that you made an important contribution to the brief).

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