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October 08, 2006

Comments

Anthony Reeves

This was a great blog. Interestingly enough, I think alot of firms and associates are stuck in the "partner or bust" mindset. A lot of firms would be wise to maximize the energies and resources of their associates and treat them as either 1) future partners or 2) potential referral sources should they leave. The other thing that is sometimes wild is that some firms don't real give attorneys the guidance to maximize their careers internally and externally. Today's associates are in an arena where there is so much competition, it would be nice to be able to move away from the masses.

All in all, I like the blog.

A. Ray Reeves
www.anthonyreeves.com
http://legalbeat.anthonyreeves.com

Russ Gray

Being an associate sucks. The partners see you as a cow to be milked, nothing more, nothing less. Partners, especially of the baby boom generation, tend to think that associates are their personal slaves. One partner that I worked for would say to me that he looked around for things that he hated to do so he could give them to me. That way he could have somebody to blame when things went wrong.

Most of the newer attorneys I talk to feel the same way. One friend of mine had the partners cut his billables without telling him, and then gave him a reprimand for not getting enough billables. At my previous job, the firm had a major business slowdown, with a lot less work to go around. The partners started pressuring the associates to bill more, while there was less and less work. Not a good situation.

Another trouble with the whole partner-associate thing is that in many firms the partners are the only ones allowed to do marketing. They may say they want associates to promote themselves, but what they really mean is they want the associates to promote the firm at the expense of their own careers. Associates' unwillingness to do so can be explained by the attitude of the partners who act as if associates are simply cash cows.

I enjoy marketing. At my last job, I never had time to do anything but work away to meet unrealistic billables requirements. Now that I'm in solo practice I get to do a lot of marketing, and it's a lot of fun. But it's something my old bosses would never believe I could do.

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