Junior Associates Don't Understand Our Firm's Chain of Command! Grrr...

by admin 14. January 2015 14:18
Dear Jane, I’m a mid-level associate supervising a few more junior associates on a big matter. One of them just told me she doesn’t understand why her drafts need to go through me on their way to the partner.  Sincerely, Why Would One Woman Do This To Another Woman? Dear Why Would One Woman Do This To Another Woman, Let’s give the more junior associate the benefit of the doubt and assume her intentions are benign. My suggestion is to have a conversation with her about the value you add to both her and the partner by making sure the drafts are in good shape befor... [More]

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Dear Jane

Two Career- & Family-Minded Parents Here! Are We Crazy?

by admin 8. December 2014 14:24
Dear Jane, My husband and I are both associates at large law firms – not the same firms – and we now have an almost two year old child and are thinking about having a second child. Both of us are very serious about both our careers and about parenting. When we look up at the partners at either of our firms, everyone has a stay-at-home spouse/partner. Sincerely, Can We Really Both Continue To Do This? Dear Can We Really Both Continue To Do This?, Please don’t let the lack of role models convince you that it can’t be done. You both need mentors who become committ... [More]

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Feeling Out of Place

by admin 12. November 2014 14:37
Dear Jane, I just started working at a big law firm after having been in the firm’s summer program.  Within my first three months at the firm, I have been mistaken for a secretary twice. Sincerely,           Feeling Like I’m in the Wrong Place   Dear Feeling Like I’m in the Wrong Place,          I truly do not mean to indicate that the presumption made about your status is acceptable, but let’s focus on what you can do, as that is the only part of the scenario which ... [More]

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Dear Jane | Quick Look

I Know I'm Fresh Meat, But I'm ACTUALLY an Associate!

by admin 17. October 2014 13:59
Dear Jane, I just started working at a big law firm after having been in the firm’s summer program. Within my first three months at the firm, I have been mistaken for a secretary twice. Sincerely, Feeling Like I'm In The Wrong Place Dear Feeling Like I'm In The Wrong Place, I truly do not mean to indicate that the presumption made about your status is acceptable, but let’s focus on what you can do, as that is the only part of the scenario which you control. What was your response? You have the ability to make sure that the person making the presumption will not do so again... [More]

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Dear Jane | Quick Look

Help! My Admin is a Nightmare!

by admin 17. October 2014 07:48
Dear Jane, I am a more junior associate with a crushing workload. My admin is openly disrespectful to me and prioritizes my work last. Sincerely, I Don't Have Time For This Dear I Don't Have Time For This, Relationships require two people. First, examine your behavior and look for ways in which you may be contributing to the ineffective relationship you currently have with your admin. Be honest with yourself! Then arrange a time to sit down and have a discussion with your admin. Come prepared with a list of your expectations and create an environment where you can honestly discuss tho... [More]

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Dear Jane | Quick Look

Go-To Expert Leaving?

by admin 25. September 2014 12:08
Dear Jane, I made the decision as to my “go to” expertise solely based upon the ability to work with a big rainmaker who is an expert in the area.  He just announced he is leaving the firm. I Found Out Through The Grapevine   Dear I Found Out Through The Grapevine,           Please do not take it personally that he did not tell you himself – he may have chosen not to so there would be no question about his interpretation of the ethical requirement concerning solicitation of associates.  You should make a fairly ... [More]

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Dear Jane | Quick Look

Keep Quiet About an Offensive Comment?

by admin 10. June 2014 10:15
Dear Jane, I was recently at a firm lunch and one of the partners in the group I was chatting with before lunch made an "awkward" comment that offended me as a woman. I did not do anything at the time, nor did anyone else. First thing I did when lunch was over was go to see my best friend at the firm and tell him about the comment. Sincerely, Wish I Had Said Something  Dear Wish I Had Said Something, You did say something; you made sure your friend knew about the comment. Unless you talked to your friend to get the courage to "report" the comment to the office managing partner, your ... [More]

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Dear Jane | Office Politics

The Firm Gossip?!

by elizabethsfrank 15. May 2014 17:01
Dear Jane, My mentor, with whom I have a great relationship, recently took me out to lunch to tell me that I've developed the reputation of being a "gossip". I was barely able to keep from crying at the time and now thinking about it makes me so angry it almost brings me to tears. Sincerely, I Want to Find Out Who Started that Rumor Dear I Want to Find Out Who Started that Rumor, Time for some honest introspection. Are you a gossip? If you are a gossip, stop it immediately. If you can honestly say you are not a gossip, then you need to talk to your mentor about why you are being perceived... [More]

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Dear Jane | Office Politics

Joining In the Firm Gossip Sessions

by elizabethsfrank 15. May 2014 16:54
Dear Jane, I am very excited to be a new member, and the only woman, on a client team for one of the most important partners in my practice group. At team meetings, part of the way we "bond" is by sharing firm gossip. The comments can get very vicious and make me feel uncomfortable. I really need to have the rest of the team feel like I "fit" in to get good assignments. Sincerely, Do I Need to Join In And Trash Other Attorneys At The Firm?   Dear Do I Need to Join In And Trash Other Attorneys At the Firm? You've already stated that you are over your comfort line. While I always enco... [More]

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My Mentor is Leaving!

by admin 14. May 2014 05:36
Dear Jane, My mentor, with whom I thought I had a great relationship, just announced that he is leaving the firm and going to another firm in the city. I am devastated and feel like he's betrayed me. Sincerely, Why Do I Do Now?   Dear What Do I Do Now? Nothing you told me indicates that your mentor betrayed you, he just made the decision that another firm's platform is a better match for him and his practice. You don't indicate whether you work with him, but remember that there may be ethical issues with talking to an associate about changing firms while he is still a partner of you... [More]

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Dear Jane | Quick Look

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